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eshilia

Learning about ace erasure and discrimination

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eshilia

Hey all, I'm doing my final year at high school now and my Personal Interest Project, which is an academic essay on a topic of my choice. The topic I chose is looking at discrimination within the LGBTQ+ community and how our society contributes to it.

So what I'm asking is:
1. Why do you think discrimination (of any kind, though you can be specific) occurs in the queer community?
2. What makes this discrimination worse?
3. How do you feel about queer representation (or the lack of it) in different types of media?
4. And anything else you'd like to say about this topic.

If you've got any theories or opinions about any of this then I'd love to hear it and possibly use it in my project! Ethically, I can't refer to any of you by your names or anything that can identify you, so if that's something you're uncomfortable with then I've got you covered.

I've also got a survey you can answer here, though you can't write as much.

It'd be super helpful for me to collect more responses and I'd love to hear what you have to say. If you have any questions then I'll answer them as best I can. Also, if you have queer friends who don't use AVEN then it'd be great if you could send them the survey.

Thanks everyone it means a lot to me ^_^

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Zash

From what I hear, a lot of the time the queer community rejects us because "No one discriminates against people who don't have sex." A lot of the reasoning sounds like what people were saying about the homosexual community about 50 years ago.

However there was a study (I think it was called "Discrimination against group X" or something like that), that showed people had much more negative opinions about people who say they don't want to have sex. People were even less likely to rent out property or loan money to people who did not want to have sex than to people who were gay. I have read stories here of people who were bullied because they didn't know what some sexual terms were. There is also the issue of corrective rape, which is more common (per capita) with asexual people than homosexual people.

But, some queer communities are blind to all that and reject asexuals. Now, there are a lot of queer communities that accept us too. When I was at World Pride, there was only one religious bigot (who ran off when we started quoting scripture to defend our position) who didn't accept us, at least as far as I saw. And there was a couple who appeared disappointed I was asexual, but, that felt more like when a straight person finds out the person they are attracted to is gay.

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Axestopper Pete

1: The reasons depend upon whose discriminating against whom, and even then there can be various reasons. One that I've frequently heard of is homosexuals (and heterosexuals too sometimes) disliking bisexuals because their bisexual ex-partners left them for a member of the opposite sex. In terms of asexuals, I'm not the best informed but I'm led to believe some people in queer movements don't like asexuals because it they feel it invalidates pro-sex ideas (or something...). And also stuff like whether asexuals are part of the queer community (which is debated and discussed frequently on this site) and an argument that there are too many labels already (I didn't design human sexuality, did you?).

2: Slightly confused by your phrasing of this one but I'm guessing you're talking about discrimination by queers being worse than discrimination by non-queers. I haven't been discriminated against personally in any way for being asexual (after all, I'm not "out" in real life and don't have much of an online presence), and I can't really comment on other people's experiences. That said, being discriminated against for (aspects of) your sexuality by people who have also been discriminated against for their sexuality strikes me as exceptionally hypocritical in an argumentative sense, and presumably that makes it hurt a lot more emotionally, as these are people who should be friends and allies in a slightly more sane world.

3: I'm probably more badly informed on what 'the media' is/says than the average individual so I'll pass.

4: I think that there is ambiguity of what it is to be discriminated against on the basis of one's sexuality. As I understand it, homosexuals are discriminated against because homosexual activity (by which I mean gay sex) is seen as abhorrent from those perspectives that discriminate. As such, I think a case could be made for "discrimination against homosexuals" being "discrimination against people who willingly partake in gay sex" (even though that is not exclusive to homosexuals or bisexuals). By that logic, I think it could also be argued that "discrimination against asexuals" could be "discrimination against people who willingly abstain from sex". As such, perhaps virgin-shaming is technically asexual discrimination.

Do note I consider this last paragraph a controversial view. After all, as mentioned by Zash some people dislike asexuals because they consider it abhorrent to have no sexual interest whatsoever, as opposed to simply remaining celibate. I admit I'm curious what such individuals think of somebody lacking sexual attraction (or sexual interest or whatever you want to call it - it's still debated :P) participating in sex. But then, when you go back to the homosexual discrimination analogy... mmph, I really should be going to bed :P In any case, I suggest you consider your definition of "discrimination" in your essay! Good luck with it and :cake:! Welcome to AVEN!

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Certified Cake Decorator

1) Discrimination occurs because people are uncomfortable with things that aren't similar to them. They think anything out of the norm is weird and shouldn't be. (I'm generalizing and this is just my opinion) so when they are raised one way, and then when piberty hits all the LGBT people start being a lot closer it's sorta scary (i'm equating puberty to descovering sexuality and also up til high school you probably don't know as many LGBT people). So then they treat the LGBT people differently and often cruelly for really no reason.

2) i think that parents "sheltering" kids from the 'abnormal' makes descrimination worse. And parents learn it from their religion. Maybe this is just my insider religion-hate talking, but really religion causes most problems concerning the LGBT.

3) i think the media represents the queer community as weird and abnormal, when really it is a big part of humanity! Diversity! Wooo!!

4) I think in the future it isn't going to get better, unless we just brainwash everyone or make it legally required for everyone to join a GSA in school. Either or. :)

Again, just my opinion

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Feathers

Recently I watched the (A)sexual documentary thing, and several times I heard people at the PRIDE say something along the lines of "I don't believe in what you stand for." To me that is straight up intolerance to the level that people deny homosexuality. It would seem to me that if homosexuals want to be acknowledged and validated they should support and validate other minorities as well. They also seem to believe that asexuals have no purpose for joining in with GLBT-related activies. We don't want sex, so who cares? We can sit at home not having sex and no one will care. They don't seem to embrace the VISIBILITY and EDUCATION parts of being a minority.

Basically it boils down to intolerance, a lack of caring, and just plain not understanding. Not too many people realize that their (past, present, future) children, friends, siblings, etc could be asexual or that public education on the subject could save them years of toxic thinking and feeling lost or broken. Homosexuals, and to an extent bisexuals are already out there. most people know about them. Let all the other groups gain equal visibility - asexuals, pansexuals, trans*, aromantics, THE FACT THAT ROMANTIC/SENSUAL/SEXUAL ATTRACTION ARE SEPARATE, etc. There's a HUGE spectrum, and only a small portion is represented in public education.

Those are my thoughts!~

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NorthofSummer

http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/without-prejudice/201209/prejudice-against-group-x-asexuals

I'm just going to leave this link here; I think you may find it more useful than anything I personally have to say. Zash mentioned this study earlier. I think it will really assist you in your project.

"Group X" is how sexologist Alfred Kinsey referred to asexuals. Gordon Hobson, the author of the article, elected to study general prejudice against asexuals, by both the cis-straight population and the LGBTQIA+ community. The article explains the results better than I can, but I found it useful and a very intriguing read.

Hope this helps! :)

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Sally

I think we've got to be very clear about whether we mean "discrimination" or, rather, "prejudice".

Discrimination involves action: a certain group is discriminated against by general society in some specific way, by not being allowed to do something without some penality, whether legal or social.

Prejudice involves feeling. I as an individual or we as a group could feel prejudice toward person X without person X ever being aware of it. However, if person X suffers discrimination, they are going to know it, because it will affect how they live their life.

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Slayerin96

Personally, I consider that with very few exceptions, humans are inherently prone to judge, reject, deride, look down on, deny or patronise anything which doesn't fit into the so-called standard patterns. Most people on this planet are so narrow-minded as to despise anyone they find unusual, despite the fact that the out-of-ordinary characteristics of the person in question don't harm anyone (I'm strictly referring to such situations now). It happens all too often that those who are different from most people in aspects such as tastes, interests, life-goals, religion, sexuality and so on, are referred to by "outcasts", or even worse, "mentals"(which is very offensive since that's actually not the case!). All these resulted in nothing but their feeling afraid or uneasy about coming out, not trusting anyone completely anymore and seeking refuge inside themselves. Talking about sexuality, my point of view is that people should be made aware of all existing sexual orientations and enlightened once and for all about the fact that sexuality is something innate and thus one cannot and should not feel committed to change its own , but, more importantly, that no sexual orientation is better than the other. In addition, so long as a relationship between two persons, regardless of its nature, doesn't disturb the others - in the proper meaning of the word -, one should have no right to interfere by discriminating or offensive comments/actions upon it and suchlike. Full stop!

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