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scarletlatitude

A is Not for Ally: Spare a Thought for Invisible Identities this Pride Month

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scarletlatitude

https://thepanoptic.co.uk/2018/06/02/asexuality-pride-month/

 

2 June 2018

 

A little snippet (whole article at the link above):

 

Quote

Why does this erasure occur? It might be because most queer identities are rooted in sexual and romantic orientation – so a lack thereof can be a threatening concept to understand. When you spend your life fighting for love, the rejection of it can come across as insulting. But people forget that there are many types of love – familial, platonic, universal. Being a-spec does not mean you are incapable of loving. You love your sibling, your dog, your plants – you don’t need to marry them to let them know

 

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Alejandrogynous

The whole 'A doesn't stand for ally!' outrage always gets under my skin a little, not going to lie. Because originally, A did stand for ally. The A was put there for supporters, sort of, but really was mostly meant so people who weren't out yet could still participate in the community as 'allies' without being outed. It was a good thing. Now asexuality has gained visibility, which is awesome, and now the A stands for ally AND asexual/aromantic. Which is also a good thing. But it's absurd and really grating for us to basically co-opt the letter and act like everyone else is so out of line for still using it the way it was originally meant to be used. Be bothered that asexuality isn't included, sure, but stop acting like 'A is for ally' is some rampant misunderstanding that we need to correct.

 

(Maybe I should be putting this in the Controversial Opinions thread but oh well.)

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InquisitivePhilosopher

The thing is, last year, I found a very well-known U.S. university that, in 2016, had tweeted and posted an article about Asexuality during Asexual Pride month in October. But, then, in 2017, they didn't post anything about it at all, not even during Asexual Pride month, yet they still posted articles about other LGBT+ identities. Then, when I looked at their site, with LGBT+ scholarships, one webpage listed LGTBQIA+ students being eligible: but on that page, at least twice, the "A" was specifically mentioned as standing for "Ally" and nothing was mentioned about asexuals. 

 

This inconsistently is important, among college students who edit their university's webpages: it points to the fact that not all students obviously believe, or are aware that, asexuality exists; some still believe the "A" continues to only stand for ally. It's possible that, since asexuality wasn't listed as being a part of the LGBT+ scholarship on that page, that it caused some asexuals  to not apply for it.

 

I know that there still are universities who don't recognize asexuality in their LGBT+ clubs or write about it at all.

 

With universities writing that the "A" stands for ally, and not mentioning asexuality at all, it feels uncomfortable, as though they're saying that asexuals are making up their orientation to feel special and that they're really just "straight" allies. I guess it just bothered me because I didn't grow up being seen as straight by others. If I'd attended that university, I definitely wouldn't have felt welcome or wanted in their LGBT+ club.

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Alejandrogynous

Oh, I agree - asexuality should be mentioned and I'd love for it to hold an equal space in the acronym, to be as commonly acknowledged as ally. That'd be great. But that's in addition to ally, not taking it over and raging about how dare these ignorant people think A stands for ally. Because it did stand for ally. It does stand for ally. It just stands for asexual/aromantic too.

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Snao Cone
3 hours ago, Alejandrogynous said:

The whole 'A doesn't stand for ally!' outrage always gets under my skin a little, not going to lie. Because originally, A did stand for ally. The A was put there for supporters, sort of, but really was mostly meant so people who weren't out yet could still participate in the community as 'allies' without being outed. It was a good thing. Now asexuality has gained visibility, which is awesome, and now the A stands for ally AND asexual/aromantic. Which is also a good thing. But it's absurd and really grating for us to basically co-opt the letter and act like everyone else is so out of line for still using it the way it was originally meant to be used. Be bothered that asexuality isn't included, sure, but stop acting like 'A is for ally' is some rampant misunderstanding that we need to correct.

 

(Maybe I should be putting this in the Controversial Opinions thread but oh well.)

There was also a significant risk for straight people to be visibly in support of LGBT folks, before "diversity" and "equality" of gender and sexual minorities became marketable both politically and economically. Allies were incredibly important when there were virtually no public resources for common problems of the LGBT population, like homelessness, HIV/AIDS, violence, poverty, etc. This predates the asexual community as we know it today and is very important to the history of social progress.

 

That being said, people who consider themselves allies to the LGBT+ population these days face a significantly lower risks in doing so. I can understand why younger people who are coming of age in a culture where homo- and bisexuality (and sexuality in general) are more accepted and openly discussed can interpret there being a greater need for awareness and recognition of asexuality and aromanticism. I am totally on board with that (obviously). I just don't think we should dispute the fact that the role of allies as a recognized part of the movement has historical significance, and so keeping "ally" as one of many words under the A in the acronym isn't doing a disservice to asexuality and aromanticism.

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Kimmie.

I personally think it should stand for ally first and foremost, because of the reasons already been mentioned. It was and still is more dangerous to be a ally and standing for it then being a ace. I am actually not sure if asexuality and  aromanticism should be a part of it as seperate parts, but that you need both of them to be.

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InquisitivePhilosopher

I didn't have any allies help or defend me when I was laughed at in public, for being gender nonconforming and appearing gay or trans to others.

 

What if someone doesn't know or hasn't decided whether they're really aromantic or not? Perhaps they don't want to rush into labeling themselves because they haven't dated (because no one shows any interest in being friends with them or dating them) and don't know whether they're aromantic or just very selective about making friends, who could potentially turn into a romantic interest. It's not easy for some to figure out, so they wait (all while having an aromantic life), in case they might feel romantic feelings for someone in the future.

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Kimmie.

Okay i am not sure of the separate part, but allies was/are more important to the movment then we aces ever will be.

 

Ofcource asexuality and aromaticism is a part of it IF the ones already part of it is okay with it. 

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