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Should asexuals be included in LGBT communities?

28 posts in this topic

Hey guys. 

I'm a student at Huddersfield University in the UK, and I'm putting together a podcast that aims to begin to answer the question; Should asexuals be included in LGBT communities?

As an asexual person myself, I haven't always exactly felt comfortable in LGBT spaces. The debate forces me to consider a lot of different questions, but I want to know your opinions. 

I already have a few people to chat to who say that we should be included, so I'm looking for some people to balance this argument. 

 

If you want to chat about this, please contact me at u1566709@unimail.hud.ac.uk , and we can sort something out. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks.

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Well... we all face discriminations for not being heterosexual heteroromantics.

What I find ridiculous bc even animals are ace, aro, auto, gay and bi.

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 This question pops up a lot.

 

I haven't been too involved with lgbt spaces/communities myself. But considering that the very string of letters don't all represent things that have to do with sexuality, I say yes. But it's really up to the individual if they want to be part of it or not. 

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The short answer is "yes, if they experience same gender attraction on some level or are trans." People who benefit from both cisgender and hetero privilege have zero place in a community that's for same gender attracted and trans people. When I see people saying it's up to the individual whether or not they identify as LGBT, that speaks volumes to me, because that means they can essentially opt in or out of privilege if they ~feel like it~, whereas people who are actually LGBT do not have that option.

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No, at least not in the foreseeable future.

 

For now, asexuality lacks the neccessary credibility - which, to a big part, is the fault of online asexual communities themselves. And from what I'm seeing, it's getting worse, not better.

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11 minutes ago, The Bard said:

People who benefit from both cisgender and hetero privilege have zero place in a community that's for same gender attracted and trans people.

I don't benefit from hetero privilege. I'm not heterosexual.

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1 minute ago, podsnap said:

I don't benefit from hetero privilege. I'm not heterosexual.

If you are exclusively attracted to your societally-deemed "opposite gender," you do have hetero privilege. It doesn't go away simply because one does not desire sex with their partner. That implies there's privilege for experiencing sexual attraction, which is a big part of what same-gender attracted people are discriminated against for.

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The current full acronym (at least in America) is "LGBTQA" which stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer Asexual/Agender. We are part of the community, but clearly not a particularly loud group.

 

Honest, I really wish we were more involved as LGBT+ organizations have some great resources that I think we could both get support from as well as support them ourselves.

 

On a personal note which is completely subjective to me and may not be the case for others, I am lucky enough to have a lot of LGBT+ friends and I have always felt right at home with them. I have drawn support from the when needed and found they understand well feeling ostracized at times by the heteronormative culture.

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I personally don't like being included in the LGBTG community. Nothing against them at all ! Don't misunderstand !  But I'm not an element in their set. Not one. Plus they are sexual and we are not for the most part save the demis. Its like going to a muffler shop and asking them why they don't bake cupcakes to me. Symantics and language evolves or morphs into to totally new meanings to old words. 

Could I refuse to ever engage in sex with a another man or say I have never or will never feel same sex attraction and still be accepted as Gay ?  Or if a guy wanted to work as a carpenter but had never or would never use a hammer, a saw or use geometry and fractions, what would he be ? 

I just don't get all this. We do share with them cruel jokes and comments being thrown at us  and being misunderstood or marginalized by some. But that doesn't make them asexual and us sexual !

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I think it's up to the individual, honestly. As an ace lesbian, I feel 100% confident and comfy in my queerness. I'm one of the student leaders of my grad school's LGBT organization. So, if being in the LGBT community feels right, I say go for it. And if it doesn't, that's perfectly fine, too.

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I'm all for asexuals in general having a letter in the bunch. No individual of any gender or orientation is required to be active in a community or to identify with it though. Yes, asexuals who don't experience same sex attraction or dysphoria don't have the same problems as gay or trans people, but if you think that they don't get any troubles from society because of being what they are, there is evidence to the contrary all over this site. It's what brought most of us here. I won't claim they have it worse or better than others, because really it all varies case by case, but I think they deserve a place with the other types of people who are seen as "not normal" or "not real".

 

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I think it's up to the LGBT community.  We shouldn't expect to be included in an already-extant community if they don't want us.   It's their house and they have the right to either open the door or not.  

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Asexuals who are homoromantic, bi or pan romantic, or trans already are LGBT+.  I would be happy to see cishet asexuals participating in the LGBT+ community, as long as they are allies to the first four letters in the acronym. I really don't understand why someone who is not on board with gay and trans rights would want to join anyway. Once asexuals are participating in the community and working for gay and trans rights, I'll bet the community would be glad to boost asexual awareness. I think the asexuals with the most to gain from the association are those with a similar approach to sexual orientation, in that they want to come out, associate with a community based on orientation, and date within their orientation. The LGBT+ movement is not about gay men and lesbians passing as straight and trying to date heterosexuals.

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6 hours ago, The Bard said:

If you are exclusively attracted to your societally-deemed "opposite gender," you do have hetero privilege. It doesn't go away simply because one does not desire sex with their partner. That implies there's privilege for experiencing sexual attraction, which is a big part of what same-gender attracted people are discriminated against for.

Heterosexual doesn't mean 'not homosexual', it means 'feels sexual attraction to the opposite gender/a gender that is not your own' and suggesting that it means that just enforces a binary that doesn't even exist. Heterosexuality is about sexual attraction, not romantic attraction.

 

I watched a documentary on Asexuality once, and when the aces went to a pride parade, there were so many people who were like, "Whaaaat, that doesn't exist! That can't be real!"

 

And it just blows my mind, because that's what people thought about the homosexual orientation but it did serve as a good example as to why Asexuality belongs in the LGBT+ movement. It's stigmatized, seen as illegitimate, and most people think of it as something that needs to be treated.

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i am not sure . i mean i am agender (and aro ace)  so does that make me fall into the transgender umbrella somehow cause agender is under the transgender group right ? confused 

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3 hours ago, arekathevampyre said:

i am not sure . i mean i am agender (and aro ace)  so does that make me fall into the transgender umbrella somehow cause agender is under the transgender group right ? confused 

Yeah, agender is a Transgender non-binary genderqueer identity.

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10 hours ago, Josie P said:

The current full acronym (at least in America) is "LGBTQA" which stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer Asexual/Agender. We are part of the community, but clearly not a particularly loud group.

 

Honest, I really wish we were more involved as LGBT+ organizations have some great resources that I think we could both get support from as well as support them ourselves.

 

On a personal note which is completely subjective to me and may not be the case for others, I am lucky enough to have a lot of LGBT+ friends and I have always felt right at home with them. I have drawn support from the when needed and found they understand well feeling ostracized at times by the heteronormative culture.

The current acronym is:

Lesbians

Gays

Bis

Transgenders

Transexuals

Transvestites

Queer

Intersex

Ace/Aro

Pan/Poly

Demis

2-Spirits

+

(Many places assume Ally and Questioning folks as members, also many places spell it with more than a single T, however that's debatable as Transexual and transvestite are perceived as offensive to many people, and are old-timey).

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4 hours ago, podsnap said:

I watched a documentary on Asexuality once, and when the aces went to a pride parade, there were so many people who were like, "Whaaaat, that doesn't exist! That can't be real!"

 

And it just blows my mind, because that's what people thought about the homosexual orientation 

Homosexuality has been known since the ancient Greeks.  There was never a time when people thought homosexuality didn't exist.  

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In a sense, anyone who isn't heterosexual and heteroromantic could be considered LGBT+. Like LGBT communities, asexuals and aromantics have difficulty being accepted and understood in society.

On the other hand, in contrast to LGBT communities, by and large asexuals and aromantics do not face direct oppression (with the main exception being some reported instances of corrective rape). To the extent that asexuals and aromantics experience oppression, it is more often indirect through omission. Therefore, I can understand LGBT communities feeling that they do not have enough in common with asexuals/aromantics in this regard.

The LGBT movement has largely been characterized by a fight for legal rights, particularly marriage and adoption rights. This operates within a conceptual framework of people pursuing sexual and romantic relationships. Asexuals and aromantics, in contrast, are interested in pursuing relationships missing one or both of those elements, and are more likely to remain single throughout their lives. In that respect, their interests as to how they hope to fit into society may be quite different from LGBT directions.

Furthermore, LGBT communities have often favoured a sex positivist ideology/image as part of their political effort. Sometimes this can take the form of the belief that everyone who is not enthusiastically sexually active is repressed, which doesn't mesh well with asexuality (see the reception of the asexual group at the San Francisco pride parade depicted in the documentary (A)sexual (Angela Tucker, 2011)). Even without going that far, a focus on in-your-face sex positivism may not provide a culture that's inviting to asexuals (especially given that some asexuals are sex-repulsed). For example, at my university the LGBT student group's most recent event was "sex toy bingo". I'm sure that can be a fun event for many people, but the prizes wouldn't be of much use to me!

I would add, though, that if there is a university or university student society funded LGBT resource centre on campus, there should also be an asexual/aromantic resource centre. And if there isn't sufficient numbers to justify the latter (which is quite likely the case), then at the very least it seems reasonable to ask the LGBT resource centre to also have information available on asexual/aromantic identities. 

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3 hours ago, AVEN #1 fan said:

Yeah, agender is a Transgender non-binary genderqueer identity.

thanks a lot @AVEN #1 fan

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Sure why not?

 

Even though I am Asexual I never truly see myself as apart of the LBGTQ community. Just the Asexually community. That is it. I can't relate with the LBGTQ communities so I generally don't see myself as apart of it.

 

Am I weird for feeling like that?

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On 3/16/2017 at 6:14 AM, Sally said:

Homosexuality has been known since the ancient Greeks.  There was never a time when people thought homosexuality didn't exist.  

Hmm, if you're saying there was never a time when people thought same-sex desire/attraction did not exist then you would be correct, but homosexuality as an orientation is a much more modern invention, and it absolutely is something that people did not believe existed.

 

I think it's important to make this distinction because yes, people are happy to acknowledge that homosexual behaviour (i.e. sex with the same sex) exists and that people desire this, but they want to invalidate the orientation/identity that normalises it. i.e. because they believe homosexual behaviour is just a mental disorder, is wrong, or that no morally good person would ever desire it (etc.). In a similar way, asexual behaviour (i.e. not desiring sex at all) is often seen as a hormonal problem or as a result of trauma, or simply as some kind of personal denial, therefore people think asexuality as an orientation/identity should not exist. (I might have oversimplified it a bit here but you get my point)

 

LGBT societies and activism center around awareness of identity, as well as the fight for legal rights and against heteronormativity. Asexuals on the whole generally struggle with recognition of our identity, but unless our identities intersect with the other letters of the acronym, we have less problems with legal rights, and heteromantic asexuals will find it difficult to argue that they do not benefit from any sort of heteronormative privilege. I think this is why people generally think we are not as relevant within the acronym.

 

Personally, I'm on the fence about being included, though leaning towards inclusion. As an asexual in a same-gender relationship I don't think anyone would call into question whether I belong, but I don't always feel I do fit in the community for many of the same reasons you describe in your OP post. Also, having been subject to homophobia outside of my asexual orientation, I'm honestly a little uncomfortable with heteromantic aces claiming not to benefit from any sort of heteronormativity (not that this stops them from being included). STILL - something that might be an interesting read is this post on tumblr, which talks about some of the struggles bisexual people have had in being accepted in the acronym, and the parallels arguments made about asexual people.

 

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Some people think homosexuality was widely accepted in Ancient Greece. Actually, it was a small, marginal subculture, and the authors from back then whom we celebrate today were relatively obscure among the general population (unless you count some playwrights, who did have something of a name).

 

I did read somewhere that homosexuality was accepted in Persian culture, but I don't recall specifics or know how credible they are.

 

We should always beware the belief that our generation invented anything new. It never turns out to be true. The same applies for acceptance of homosexuality.

 

As for asexuality being part of LGBT, I have personal bad experience with toxic leftist activists, so I'm opposed to it.

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The question can't be answered neither globally nor at the green table.

Aces probably come in all variants. - Some might feel able to blend in but

On ‎16‎.‎03‎.‎2017 at 1:04 AM, Sally said:

I think it's up to the LGBT community.  We shouldn't expect to be included in an already-extant community if they don't want us.   It's their house and they have the right to either open the door or not.  

That is an important fact! - The LGBT alphabet soup will have established local structures when you ponder joining them. And to put things simple: They are volunteers. That means they are there because it feels right to + beneficial for them! - I'd assume an average single freshman would hit their university's LG group to prepare for a hookup. (I don't know the lesbians, but the gays are quicker than the het gals to hit on cute freshmen.) If I fancied to act like a sex repulsed prude the LGBT groups I experienced wouldn't be the places I'd love to loiter. Being gynoromantic wouldn't make my stand in there easier either.

 

Would the group crave pinstriped prude ace to do some of their office hours? - I guess not. - Although I am not aware of the current dress code for hardcore-scene lesbians, I 'd consider some incarnation of Mormon missionary or Salvation Army behind the desk rather ridiculous: "Hello, sorry, I am a representative of the sex repulsed Asexual bit of the alphabet soup. My fucking coworkers left copied lists of sinful places in that shelf to your left. - If you ever feel cake cravings, don't hesitate to ask me for bakery recommendations..."

 

OTOH: if you are uncomfortable with a society limiting your PDA to hetero romantic targets and eager to change it, why not join the LGBT? - Who cares what doesn't happen behind closed bedroom doors?

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I don't feel any affinity to that community at all. I came here to find solace away from a sexual society which includes lgbt. 

 

I don't think this question would be debated as much if asexuality was recognised more widely and we were seen as being on a par with lgbt as opposed to being on the fringes of it. 

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According to many surveys, people are more likely to hire, rent out spaces, or feel comfortable living next to a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans person over an asexual. A few participants in one survey downright stated that anyone who didn't experience sexual attraction to at least one gender to be too "inhuman" for them to be willing to rent an apartment/house too.

Now, survey's are not a majority and they are not a good source of information. The surveyors could targeted a particularly bigoted group or only published results that they liked.

 

The LGBT community is not exclusively for those of us who feel same-sex attraction(s). It's supposed to be for anyone who is not cis-het. There are still many in the LGBT community who say bisexuals don't belong for various reasons.

 

Personally I feel aces and aros belong. Saying someone doesn't experience the exact same type of issues does not mean they don't experience any. The LGBT community is for anyone who isn't cisgender heteroromantic heterosexual.

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Why are there so many threads on this topic all of a sudden?

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Thanks for all the responses to this question. It's given me a lot to think about.

 

The podcast will be coming later today. I'll post it in another thread, but will link it here when it's up later on, for those of you who are interested in listening. 

Bear in mind that it is just a uni project, so I know it's not perfect or polished in anyway, and at points I was trying to be purposefully inflammatory. Some of the things I said are not my opinion; I just had to get the point across!

Thanks.

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