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Asexuality: much like atheism?


Raychel

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This was inspired by the recent quarrel between asexuaity and the lgbtqp community over whether or not asexuality belonged in the queer community.

I, myself, am a bit... torn on the issue.

Asexuality is seen as nonsexuality, much like how atheism is seen as not a religion, but a lack thereof.

So would you folks, in your utmost opinion, consider asexuality of not being part of the lgbt community?

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I like to hang out with the LGBTQWTF community because they promote an atmosphere of acceptance. However, I also feel left out at the Pride Center because of all the talk about sexuality and promotion of it. It really depends. I feel like asexuality doesn't really fit, but we're like the little fish on the belly of the shark, just going along for the ride and using the shark's prowess to keep predators away.

I can't believe I just made that parallel...

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I like to hang out with the LGBTQWTF community because they promote an atmosphere of acceptance. However, I also feel left out at the Pride Center because of all the talk about sexuality and promotion of it. It really depends. I feel like asexuality doesn't really fit, but we're like the little fish on the belly of the shark, just going along for the ride and using the shark's prowess to keep predators away.

I can't believe I just made that parallel...

Ahaha, I see what you mean. Out of curiousity, what does the "W" and "M" stand for in your LGBTQWTF acronym?

But I sort of see us personally as a nonsexuality. Not really apart of the LGBTQP community, but still sort of... something. I don't know. Much like how atheism isn't a religion but it's still considered... there.

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Touchofinsight

I think comparing asexuality to atheism isn't "fair". Atheism deny the existence of something, asexuals do not deny that sexuality exists for other people, they don't deny the idea that while they can not sexual attraction themselves that others may. However I may be comparing extreme atheism to casual asexuals. Plus we are comparing (faith) or lack there of, compared to feelings. I don't know its a slippery slope and I am trying to see all sides of this argument, but in the end run.. imo Not a "fair" comparison.

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I think comparing asexuality to atheism isn't "fair". Atheism deny the existence of something, asexuals do not deny that sexuality exists for other people, they don't deny the idea that while they can not sexual attraction themselves that others may. However I may be comparing extreme atheism to casual asexuals. Plus we are comparing (faith) or lack there of, compared to feelings. I don't know its a slippery slope and I am trying to see all sides of this argument, but in the end run.. imo Not a "fair" comparison.

True, though I was more trying to get at how each group was perceived by an outside group's perspective. Atheism is perceived as simply not a religion while with asexuality, some also see it as a nonsexuality if that makes much sense.

Though of course there are exceptions, in some opinions asexuality is a sexuality, and atheism is a religious belief.

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Quill Pen Gentleman

Since Asexuality is in a totally different spectrum than the rest of the LGBT people, I would glop us in a different category but I do find that talking to a lesbian at my school makes me feel more comfortable with being ace. Actually talking to her specically made it easier for me to come out of the ace closet. So, I don't really think that A should be added to the growing number of letters in the LGBT group (becuase I think they've added intersexed and pansexual as well). So, if we get something like this in the end we're going a bit too far: LGBTQPIAA

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I personally think that asexuality is like atheism in that they're both a lack of something. One is a lack of a sex drive most people have, the other is a lack of a belief in something that most people commonly have.

I don't want to also be lumped in with the super-long acronym that is starting to include pretty much anything that isn't "straight." I don't want to run around in pride parades and change the legal system or really single out anyone as some other kind of species as orientation movements and the people they have to fight make them out to be. I don't feel like I'm part of that. I just don't want to date or have sex, which is different than discussions based entirely about having sex with whomever you want. I'd be perfectly fine if I never had to interact with another human being again. I know that's extreme but it's pretty far-removed from all the battles being fought over sex.

Asexuals who aren't heteroromantic may want to join the LGBT movement for their own desire to maybe kiss whoever in public and not get disgusted stares, but I'd be cool with no PDA from anyone. Asexuality alone doesn't belong in the movement.

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I didn't see the parallel at first, but it is an interesting idea. It would be like there being a group of minority religious groups in a region making their own group that was composed of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc, and Atheists going along for the ride.

There are, as others have pointed out, notable differences and flaws to the analogy, but its kinda funny to think about.

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I feel like there are many parallels between asexuality and atheism! Or maybe I just see lots of parallels because it's natural to see patterns in our own lives. See, I've participated in the atheist movement for years, and I compare lots of things to atheism. :)

The parallel that I find most compelling is the way that religion and sex are two things that people find very important. So important, that they have trouble imagining a happy life without them! Atheists and asexuals kind of screw that up.

But I wouldn't say that everything is the same. Asexuality is to LGBT as atheism is to... what? Interfaith? The thing is, LGBT is an umbrella for gender and sexual minorities, while interfaith is an umbrella for everyone but the faithless (ie the majority). Not very comparable!

Oh, also, though asexuality is often seen as a nonsexuality, I do not see that way. I think asexuality is a sexuality, though not the typical kind of sexuality. In contrast, atheism is not a religion (nor is it a lack of religion).

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Recent quarrel??? Why was I not informed, the rock in front of my cave isn't THAT heavy.

Anyway, with all of our homoromantics and panromantics I cant imagine why we wouldn't be included, besides, asexuals have similar experiances to the lgbt community as a result of heteronormative culture.

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I find it funny (as in weird), that whenever the topic of whether or not Asexuals are part of the LGBT community, the focus is always on Asexuals' romantic orientations. I mean, some of us are trans*.

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CamisaNegra

I have to say, I don't think the comparison really holds up that well, even though it's an interesting parallel. As has been said above, atheism is a conscious rejection of the idea of some kind of Creator, where asexuality is an orientation, and not a conscious choice. I would see atheism as more like celibacy than asexuality, myself, though even that isn't a perfect comparison.

The whole long LGBTeverything acronym is really supposed to cover all of the gender and sexual minorities, isn't it? I mean, if you're excluding asexuality from that because it's a lack of sexuality rather than actually being a sexuality, transgender people should not be included either, as being transgender is not a sexuality either. Personally, I don't think that asexuality ought to be considered not a sexuality. I mean, if asexuality isn't a sexuality, then what sexuality would people who identify as asexual fit under? I would not want to call myself pansexual, even though I identify as panromantic, because I'm not sexually attracted to the people I'm romantically attracted to. Maybe I'm just not comfortable with the vocabulary yet, and there are words that I'm missing that would make that fit for me, but right now it doesn't.

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I like to hang out with the LGBTQWTF community because they promote an atmosphere of acceptance. However, I also feel left out at the Pride Center because of all the talk about sexuality and promotion of it. It really depends. I feel like asexuality doesn't really fit, but we're like the little fish on the belly of the shark, just going along for the ride and using the shark's prowess to keep predators away.

I can't believe I just made that parallel...

Ahaha, I see what you mean. Out of curiousity, what does the "W" and "M" stand for in your LGBTQWTF acronym?

But I sort of see us personally as a nonsexuality. Not really apart of the LGBTQP community, but still sort of... something. I don't know. Much like how atheism isn't a religion but it's still considered... there.

I lose track of what letters are supposed to go in there so I usually write LGBTQWTF with WTF meaning "what the frak?" to get the point across that there are too many letters. :P

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Asexuality is seen as nonsexuality, much like how atheism is seen as not a religion, but a lack thereof.
Yes, I do consider it like that actually.

I like to think of it as Asexuality is a broad definition, much like Sexuality is. There's a whole bunch of different sexualities and on the same note not every Asexual person is the same in what they feel either. So to me it's just separating Sexual and Asexual. What I mean is, in my mind at least, alphabet soup is for people of minority sexualities and other things I would imagine given the number of letters, and that with Asexuality we focus more on romantic orientation rather than sexual orientation. So I see it more as a Sexual Community and Asexual Community thing. Lots of different, uh, "sub-factions", if you will, or orientations. In other words Asexuality is like the opposite of Sexuality - being a Sexual person doesn't mean Sexual is your orientation, right? In the same manor, although it's a common reference, Asexual isn't necessarily an Asexual persons orientation. Sexual and Asexual are broad terms.

But basically I'm just trying to say that technically Asexuality isn't a sexuality and really shouldn't be treated as such by being lumped in with a group who want acceptance for their own sexualities. Simple fact of the matter is that we're not sexual and while standing together is fine and everything I just don't see a point in it in this case.

Basically, I think we should focus more on or own movement rather than just becoming another letter in the strain. Half the time people only see the first 4 letters anyway and ignore the rest and the other half they either try to guess or don't care what the others mean. So, I wasn't trying to sound rude or anything but since we're not a sexual minority I don't see much logic in being lumped in with the other letters.

If you're going to add Asexuality you might as well just list all romantic orientations as well, even with the risk of being redundant, because Asexuality isn't specifically an orientation in and of itself.

But I'm shitty at explaining things so I wouldn't blame people for totally not understanding what I just said or just getting the wrong impression.

I personally think it's just easier and makes much more sense to call the LGBTQWTF "Alphabet Soup" myself, by the way. XD

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The whole long LGBTeverything acronym is really supposed to cover all of the gender and sexual minorities, isn't it? I mean, if you're excluding asexuality from that because it's a lack of sexuality rather than actually being a sexuality, transgender people should not be included either, as being transgender is not a sexuality either. Personally, I don't think that asexuality ought to be considered not a sexuality. I mean, if asexuality isn't a sexuality, then what sexuality would people who identify as asexual fit under? I would not want to call myself pansexual, even though I identify as panromantic, because I'm not sexually attracted to the people I'm romantically attracted to. Maybe I'm just not comfortable with the vocabulary yet, and there are words that I'm missing that would make that fit for me, but right now it doesn't.

My view may be odd and I may go on a little tangent. As far as LGBT, but with the experiences I have had, I feel like the minority of the minority and that I do not belong in the LGB community since it is sexuality based, not gender based. I think that stems from education and acceptance though. Anyway, I think asexuality SHOULD fit in there because as someone said, it's about acceptance. Someone in the minority, I feel, should be more tolerant of other minorities. The thing is though, asexuality is also a minority of the minority and education is not really out there yet. It's great that lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual individuals can get together and feel comfortable expressing their love/attraction in public and around others, but what about asexuals? I think asexual people should feel comfortable and accepted by the LGBT community though so there is a place to call "home" and feel safe.

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I find it funny (as in weird), that whenever the topic of whether or not Asexuals are part of the LGBT community, the focus is always on Asexuals' romantic orientations. I mean, some of us are trans*.

I'm trans, gay and asexual.

But I'm still not part of the LGBTetc.

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As for the Asexuality/Atheism comparison: Both start with 'A'. The 'A' being a prefix for lack of. In other words, both Asexuals and Atheists lack something that most other people have.

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I have to say, I don't think the comparison really holds up that well, even though it's an interesting parallel. As has been said above, atheism is a conscious rejection of the idea of some kind of Creator, where asexuality is an orientation, and not a conscious choice. I would see atheism as more like celibacy than asexuality, myself, though even that isn't a perfect comparison.

This^^ was pretty much my first thought when I saw the thread title, although I can see the point the OP is trying to make. To me, sexuality (including asexuality) is something inherent, unaffected by upbringing, teaching etc (whilst those things may affect your perceptions about various sexualities, I don't believe they will change what you are, if that makes sense). Religion / atheism, on the other hand, I see more as a learned behaviour. I was brought up by one atheist parent and one mildly religious parent (together, for clarification!). I have chosen a fairly atheist path, but it was absolutely a choice. My asexuality on the other hand is most definitely not a choice.

As to whether we belong with the LGBT etc, I'm really not sure. In one sense I think we do as we are 'not straight' (heterosexual), and therefore perhaps have solidarity with other minorities. But in another sense we don't seem to belong anywhere in the established groups and I think that is a source of some of the confusion that people feel before they discover that asexuality exists.

Maybe there should be three groups: heterosexual; homo, bi, or pansexual; and asexual (referring purely to sexuality & not gender here). Or just two - sexual and asexual. Or maybe there should be none at all and we should just live and let live. Yeah right...

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What about asexuals who identify as homo-romantic or bi-romantic? Do they not count as part of the LGBT group.

I think that anything that is not perceived as the 'norm' - ie. heterosexuality should group together - we are stronger united than alone!

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ok, I got about half way through this post before it bugged me enough to have to say this, atheism is a religion by definition. Just as asexuality is an orientation. A religion is something everyone has, it's referring to one's spiritual belief. Atheists believe there is nothing spiritual.

Some person on TV said that people are stupid if they believe that atheism is a religion because a religion requires a god. He is dead wrong. Hinduism, Buddhism, many Native American religions, and Wicca all of these have spiritual aspects to there religion that doesn't have a deity at all.

Also, I hate the idea of lgbtqagkskjdbh. I think the group should be LGB because the group was about being attracted to people of your own gender. Not a "everything but heterosexual" group. and yes, the T should be left off as transsexuals can be gay, or straight.

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Guest member25959

Here's a funny and totally unrelated story:

Back in 2004/03, I was taking a Sex Ed class. They were talking us through the ''LGBT'' stuff, e.g. Homosexuality and Bisexuality. So I felt that I didn't really fit into either of those categories.

So I ask the Sex Ed teacher, ''What term would you use to refer to someone who isn't really interested in sex?'' (keep in mind that this was before I knew what asexuality was, and I was a derpy 14 year old, asexuality DOES NOT EQUAL not interested in sex), and he replies with ''I don't think such a category even exists''.

So that left me a little confused. After a few minutes of thinking, I figured that if A can be added to -theist to make Atheist, then surely the same thing can be done with -sexual.

So then I ask him ''Is asexuality a thing?'' They go a little silent and say ''I don't think so''.

And this was a year or so before I discovered AVEN, after Googling asexuality to see if it actually existed.

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