So feeling the need to vent some thoughts, the whole GSM thing pissed me off. And this has been brewing for some time anyway. So here goes for a wall of text and TW for mentions of rape, homophobia, and sexism.
I’m 27 years old. I realized I was a lesbian less than a year ago. Before then I identified as bisexual for about ten years, admitting my attraction to women to myself and others, but not fully realizing it. I in no way think bisexuality is just a stepping stone to being gay or lesbian, though i think it is seen that way and used that way because figuring out your sexuality is really fucking hard in a default straight world.
I grew up in the first state to allow gay marriage in the US, and yet I couldn’t figure out till I was 26 that I was a lesbian and had absolutely no attraction to men. I grew up disabled in a dysfunctional alcoholic family. I went to Catholic church on Sunday and Catholic school until I graduated high school. I was taught the Catholic stance on homosexuality, which is to accept the person as gay, but it was a burden and never to act on it.
I never really dated, my sexual experience is minimal, and I can list only two boyfriends, and that was 7 years ago. Some might consider me asexual, but I know better. I know what’s holding me back and it isn’t a lack of sexual attraction or drive, it’s society. I grew up around straight people, I was raised as if I was a straight person, I was taught to be a straight person, I was taught that if I was gay, that’s ok, just don’t act on it.
I grew up around homophobia, even though my parents where accepting of my bisexual, and later lesbian identity. I was surrounded by people who would say things like “Gay people are ok, as long as they don’t hit on me” or “Gay sex is gross.” and let’s not forget the sexism with “Vaginas are gross” and so much more. I internalized a lot of this shit for years, not realizing I was just hating myself.
I look at my life now at 27 and realize, I don’t know how to date, how to meet people, how to connect. I’ve grown complacent in my loneliness, but I never stop wanting to meet that special someone, who I know now could only be a woman. I’m stunted sexually because I grew up in a default straight society that didn’t want any gay people fucking and a sexist society that told me to be a virgin, or I’m a slut. This is why the homophobia and appropriation by the asexual community pisses me the fuck off.
Not only that, when I see asexuality posts from teens who are so sure they know they’re asexual I can only wonder what their experiences are that they are shutting themselves out from ever truly learning. Accepting and embracing a label that as far as I can see, does what a lot of sexists and homophobes want. I wonder that because I almost thought I was asexual too.
However, luckily,I never stopped learning and my thirst for knowledge helped me figure things out, as well as my experiences. I also stopped trying to be right about everything and instead tried to listen and continue learning. Truth is not absolute, and holding that belief dear helped me listen to other LGBT people and realize, holy shit, I’m not alone, I’m just like them, and I know who I am now. All those confusing thoughts about being a lesbian and what it meant was answered, because I knew it wasn’t just an identity but a journey and there were people there with me. I’m still figuring this out, but I have help now.
You have to learn who you are, sometimes the answers come easy, but sometimes they don’t, especially if you have prejudice and misunderstanding in your way. To quote Ellen Degeneres, “What I’m saying is that when you’re older, most of you will be gay.”
This shared experience of oppression that varies in many degrees is what makes the LGBT community a community. It’s why so many of us are saying as loud as we can NO TO STRAIGHT PEOPLE. We have the right to our own community, we fought and died for our rights and for our queer spaces. Yes there maybe be divisions within, but we share the same queer label thrown at us in hatred, the same history of oppression. And whether we embrace that label or not we sure as shit get to tell someone who is not queer to stop taking our identity.
Believe it or not, I do not have a problem with asexuality as an identity, claim it if you want, but what I have problem with is asexuals trying to use that identity to appropriate queer without any consideration to the history and usage as a slur. I have a problem with straight asexuals talking about coming out, as if they face the same risk of being disowned and abandoned like we do. I have a problem with asexuals claiming LGBT people have sexual privilege over them, when the basic reason for all of homophobia is that people don’t want us to fuck. We are threatened, hated, beaten, raped, and killed for who we want to love and have sex with. In no way do we have any sexual privilege.
Furthermore, in no way is asexuality an oppression. I don’t care how the fuck you define it, but being someone who is not sexually active is actually the desired society in this fucked up world. In this sexist world, women should be saving themselves for marriage, for that special someone (looking at you demisexuals and your ridiculous label) and if we don’t, we’re sluts and whores. In the homophobic world, they don’t want to know about us. Lesbians are not real we just need “a good deep dicking” They’re upset too much by the way we fuck. And then some straight people think they’re being magnanimous by accepting us but not wanting us to “act on our devious desires” or just not say anything because it’s gross.
Please, asexuals, tell me how the fuck you can claim queer when the worst you get is misunderstanding and erasure? And yes, I’m quite aware of corrective rape, which happens to asexuals and lesbians, and for many other reasons. That has more to do with sexism and rape culture than specifically asexuality or even homosexuality.
The point of all this, is yes, you have an identity. Sure, you can make a community to share experiences and get support, but stop trying to fucking appropriate ours. GET YOUR FUCKING OWN and stop saying sexist and homophobic shit. And straight people, just shut the fuck up.
Oh and FYI, please don’t cry about the sanctity of your tag. Communities aren’t based on fucking tumblr tags.