Asexuals, Bisexuals, Pansexuals and LGB Language

I was reading a post  on the blog ‘Tge Querrness’about ‘political lesbianism’ and why it’s a flawed concept. I  found a particular part quite interesting:

Lesbian is a term for gay women bi women and pan women lay claim to because it is a term that is used to assert whatone’s sexuality is

Now I’m not here to be some language police. But I’m curious, how many bi or pan women describe themselves as ‘lesbians’ even if they are in a woman/ woman relationship?

I have seen terms kike ‘gay asexual’ and ‘asexual kesbians’ being used on social media, but not in rekation to bi or oan women.

 

Question to those who identify as bi, do you ever use the term gay/ lesbian to describe yourself or your relationship/s?

Advertisements

Coming Out… To Yourself

Another post about ‘coming out’ to probably the most important person… yourself.

“Coming out” is a choice faced by the LGBT+ community; including asexual people. The average age for young people to come out as gay is 17 according to “The Guardian; way younger than pre – Stonewall Riots in 1969.

For asexual people, the main reason for not coming out young is not persecution, necessarily, but just not knowing that asexuality exists for the person’s adolescent and adult life. Internet forums and information platforms, such as Asexuality Visibility and Education Network. (better known as it’s acronym AVEN), have given tech – savvy young people information that may (or most likely), not have been available for older asexual people when they were younger, and hence, they didn’t know about asexuality, and despite probably feeling “different” for most of their lives, they lived traditional “sexual” lives anyway (marriage, etc), probably thinking that there was something “wrong” with them.

Knowing the terminology is one thing. Admitting to yourself that you are asexual, or even your romantic orientation, is another. In the book, asexual vlogger, author and advocate Julie Sondra Decker (also known by her YouTube pseudonym Swanky Ivy), described that while many asexual people are relieved when they find out a term for what they’re feeling, they can also go through a period of sadness and grief as well. As I’ve said before, it can really throw you off. It did to me. All of a sudden, things aren’t certain any more. Coming out as asexual when your in a relationship can seriously change the relationship, or break it up. For a lot of younger people, when they “come out” as asexual, they’re often not believed by family and friends.

There is something that happens way before that, and it’s probably the most important part of the process… coming out to yourself. This can be hard. It can be scary. It can be hard to accept, but it’s the most important part of the process. I truly believe you can only fake something like that for so long before it wrecks you. Even if you decide that there’s no need to come out to friends, family, co – workers, etc, I truly believe that coming to terms with it yourself is really important. Accepting yourself is really important. Not constantly kidding yourself that you’re something that you’re not is, in my view, is crucial. Being authentically yourself, and admitting the truth to yourself can be very liberating and psychologically and emotionally beneficial.

So please, whether you decide that it’s not one’s business and you don’t feel the need to come out to others, give yourself the care to come out and accept yourself. Living a lie is no way to live.

Identity – Challenging Bromberg On His Argument

TW: suicide, but only a brief mention.

 

Is identity predestined or chosen? I’d say bit of both, but more of the former. Let me explain what I”m talking about.

I read this article on Andrew Bolt’s blog I’m just reporting what some other guy argues. It would probably be unlawful for me to agree. Predominately, it’s talking about cultural heritage, however, there are mentions of sexual orientation and gender identity that I feel compelled to comment on.

In terms of racial identity, I can see where Bolt is coming from. His parents migrated from Holland just before he was born in the last 1950’s. In his adult life, he made the deliberate choice to identify as “Australian”, leaving his Dutch heritage behind. However, I wonder if it’d be the same, for example, if the suburb in Adelaide (where he grew up), had a bigger Dutch population? What if he had a non – Caucasian heritage, like Chinese, Arabic or Vietnamese? Would his decision be the same? I also know of a family who’s kids I grew up with who’s parents spoke Cantonese at home. Isn’t it possible that could’ve had some influence on how they identify?

I know someone who’s mother came from Germany after the war. The mother slammed German relatives who spoke their native tongue in fron of the children because of the pain it caused. Maybe if this person was more exposed to the German culture or language, would things have turned out differently in the way she identified?

First thing; cultural heritage. In this article, the associate professor Mike Keane, among other things, quoted from Justice Mordecai Bromberg:

In my view, identity like any other form of consent, is completely contemporary phenomenon. At each and every juncture you make an autonomous choice about how you identify…

(Couple of paragraphs down):

Justice Bromberg’s standard would then create some bizarre and wholly unacceptable ethical precedents. Imagine what this principle, if logically extended to other forms of identity and ethics, would mean. Your upbringing would forever cast you into a certain  identity. You were born a Catholic? Well, then society will hold you to it all through your adult life. And if you want to identify as transgender? No, sorry you’re not allowed.

OK, on this little bit. I think I can safely say that the majority of transgender don’t “want to identify as transgender”. It’s how they authentically feel themselves. From what I’ve heard/ read about gender it’s pretty instinctual. Actually, on Sunrise one day (last year?), columnist Shelley Horton paraphrased respected Melbourne – based childhood and adolescence psychologist Dr. Michael Carr – Gregg when she said that if a transgender child isn’t able to express their gender identity, their risk of suicide skyrockets. (NOTE: not all children who go through this in early childhood end up as transgender adults).

By the way, this decade, century, whatever, is not the first time that there have been people who have identified as transgender. There have been historical accounts from the early 1900’s of certain biological women who have dressed up as men and have even married other women in that disguise. In such cases, historians have genuinely questioned whether the women were in actual fact transgender.

Secondly:

At a time when we are talking on the intolerance of Islamic State, Justice Bromberg’s decision would have us forever cast people to racial, religious and sexual identity from birth without the possibility of opt out.

How does exactly someone “opt out” of being straight? Or gay? Or asexual? I have said in the past that, yes sexual identity/ orientation isn’t black – and – white for some people. I have also argued that for others, sexual orientation is never likely to be fluid. And I still stand by that. I think it’s fair to say after the collapse of the “ex – gay” industry both here and the US, for a lot of people, gay, straight, asexual, etc, that there are people who can’t just “opt out” of their sexual identity (some of them can’t anyway). It’s how they’re wired. According to the American Psychological Association (although there are differing views, I might add), most people’s sexual orientation is identified and pretty much determined by the age of fifteen. Of course, there are exceptions.

It’s my view that identity is complex. I don’t think it’s simple to say, “it’s choice” or even that it’s all natural. It’s a mixture of both and probably more. Should we discriminate on any of these grounds? Good heavens no! But, like I said before, completely ignoring people’s differences isn’t the answer either, whether they “choose” these differences or not.

 

 

Identifying As Asexual and Being OK With It

I didn’t identify as asexual until just before my 21st birthday, but looking back, I would say there were ‘signs” much earlier. Throughout my life, even in primary school (Year Four +), sex and love never went hand – in – hand with me. When I was a teenager, however, from the ages of about 13 – 15, I assumed that I would get married and have children. At 16, that kind of came to a crashing hault. I couldn’t get myself to date. And the idea of sex made me panic.

In Year 11, I had a girl in my year who was an out lesbian. When I say “out” I mean, “out”, “out”. She was incredibly open about her sexuality. Sometimes, when she talked about such things, I shut down. Note, I do not say this to mean that LGB people should stay in the closet. It just confirmed to me that that’s not what i was either. There were other people who came out as bi (one later gay), and I didn’t fit in either.

From 16 – 20 I thought I was straight but not found the right person yet. It was one night, just before my 21st birthday, I had dinner with a few friends at a hotel. We got talking about relationships, and what we wanted in men when we married. That seemed really foreign to me. No matter how many times I tried to tell myself to snap out of it, it was just really foreign, just wasn’t something I experienced.

 

So, I say I officially, if you like, identified as asexual since I was 21. Through that time, I’ve tried to come to grips with it. It’s isolating and quite nerve – wracking at times. Writring this blog has given me not just an outlet, but also a way to inform others about aseuxailty and it’s existence in the context of the modern world.

Have I come to acept it? Yes…. kind of. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t make it change. (And note to non – aces out there, no “doing it’ isn’t going to change anything, finding “the right person isn’t going to do anytyhing- it’s an orientation).

So, that’s a part of my story.

 

To other asexuals, what’s your story? When did you identify as asexual?