varying degree

[cw: same old same old]

This post has me feeling “just @ me next time” which I did not realize was a distinct emotional state until now.

the thing is, a varying degree of sexual attraction, esp regarding lgbt people, is completely normal and not unusual!

*shrugs and nods*

its not either you’re asexual or you’re “allosexual”. it’s not that you feel sexual attraction or you don’t. it really is a spectrum and that’s completely ok!!!

local gray-ace here to cosign

it takes some people a lot of time to figure out their relationship to and their degree of sexual attraction

No kidding.

however, with the prevalence and rise of asexuality i’ve noticed a lot of people have been mis-characterizing their same-gender attraction as asexuality.

That– what?

lbr it’s a lot easier to “come out” even to yourself as ace than it is to come out as sga… and it’s also easier to dismiss your lack of sexual attraction to the opposite gender (and esp to men for sga women bc of the intersection of misogyny and homophobia) as asexuality

Um.  Well, that does happen, yes.  I have a friend from high school who identified as ace prior to identifying as gay.  It can be that way.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that accepting/deciding to ID as ace is “a lot easier” — not because I’m under the mistaken impression that IDing as gay or bi is easy but because that statement sounds like it’s coming from someone who’s, I guess, unaware of the number of aces who went the other direction, who ID’d as bi or something else and had to seriously struggle with accepting their asexuality.  I mean.  This is an extremely common thing.  I wrote a whole post about it a couple years ago.  Yeah it uses the “allo” language that a lot of people aren’t keen on (it was a couple years ago).  Point is, this kind of talk makes me question how much the speaker has been exposed to ace-specific experiences at all.

asexuality isn’t a catch-all term.

Well–

it’s ok to have a complicated relationship with your sexuality

Yes!

and you don’t necessarily have to put a label on it!

Absolutely.

if you think you might be sga, please try to deconstruct your internalized homophobia before automatically assuming you’re ace; it is ok to be sga!!!

Wh…  what?   What the…  What.  What the heck is this– “automatically assuming you’re ace”???  Does that–  I mean.  I’m going to go ahead and presume it does happen, since just because I haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but for a lot of aces I’ve talked to… not all, some exceptions definitely, but seriously a lot… coming to see oneself is ace is a process that’s practically the opposite of “automatic.”  You…. you know that, right?  You know how common the “it took me a long, long time to figure out/accept that I was ace” thing is and how much it’s referenced by aces in the ace community, right?

I mean, this is as bizarre and unnecessary a statement to me as something like warning people not to “automatically assume they’re bisexual,” even though I’ve definitely heard of aces automatically assuming they’re bisexual before later IDing as ace.  It’s a thing that happens.  But that statement would be weird and uncalled for because there’s already a ton of messages out there trying to persuade people not to ID as bi.

Anyway fun fact apparently I’m the target audience of this post since I sometimes “think I might be sga” and kinda try to “deconstruct my internalized homophobia” in that I try not to block out the possibility of any attraction and have a tendency to microanalyze my peoplefeelings as aces are wont to do (seriously, look it up) but y’know, posts like these are actually the opposite of helpful and supportive for my process and I can’t actually tell if you care.

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8 responses to “varying degree

  • Libris

    -lies on the floor-

    hey did you know you can be both ace and gay?! this is shocking right??

    fun fact: it was way harder for me to accept being ace than being gay, because when I came out I could access communities supportive of me being gay, but even specifically ace communities at that time were all about how you had to date other ace people or be poly or you were being a terrible person. and everywhere not-a-specific-ace-community was worse. lack of support makes things hard! it’s okay to be ace! supportive messages for everyone of every orientation!

    who automatically assumes they are ace? is this just coming from ‘aces are just straight’? because many of us automatically assume we are straight because that is the societal assumption, but being ace is NOT the societal assumption, who has even HEARD of it in order to ‘automatically’ assume it without having heard that it’s okay to be gay?

    how is it EASIER to come out as ace? (I mean, comparing ‘difficulty’ levels is going to be ridiculous because it’s so circumstantial anyway, but for fuck’s sake.)

    and I mean, hell, I thought I was aro ace for a bit before I figured out I was gay. and maybe part of that was due to dismissing my attraction to women. but 1) being gay DOESN’T MAKE ME NOT ACE and 2) you know the main part of that? abuse history and mental illness. you know what’s not going to help with making someone feel like they are a real person and could possibly, ever, matter to other people? telling them their orientation is just because they’re homophobic.

    (none of the emotions here are directed at you, Coyote, I just. ARGH.)

  • Siggy

    In my experience, realizing I was gay was difficult, more than people give credit for. But also, realizing I was ace was hard too. It’s not for nothing that ask blogs are flooded with “Am I asexual?” questions. Maybe some people find one or the other to be a lot easier, I could see that.

    The #1 most effective way to deconstruct my internalized homophobia was to identify as asexual. Therefore, “try to deconstruct your internalized homophobia before automatically assuming you’re ace” strikes me as bad advice. Given that the whole point of the post is that internalized homophobia is difficult to get rid of, they’re basically advising that people sit in limbo indefinitely.

  • queenieofaces

    Yeah, seconding most of what Libris and Siggy have already said. I figured out I was SGA waaaay before I figured out I was ace, and figuring out I was ace was way harder. THAT SAID, the #1 thing that made me more comfortable about being SGA was being in ace communities and being in a space where it was okay for me to exist as I was. Like, yeah, ace communities aren’t perfect and can have issues with heterosexism, but if I hadn’t been in ace communities, I would be a lot less comfortable with myself and my attractions than I am now.

    (Also, when I’m having really bad PTSD flare ups, I definitely go through periods where I’m like, “What if I’m not ace but I’m actually just secretly bi or gay and have internalized homophobia like all those internet commenters insist I do?” which is a particularly bad place for me to be mentally! So I’d really appreciate it if the “you’re not ace, you’re just homophobic” arguments would go somewhere else. It IS possible to be both SGA and ace, but a lot of these arguments seem to be operating on the assumption that those two things are mutually exclusive.)

  • Z

    Not sure if that post is related, but there has been an uptick of tumblr concern trolling about wanting to protect “real lgbt kids/people” where spreading info about asexuality (let alone adding it to sex ed classes, which is apparently the worst) is bad because people will ID as ace when they’re really gay due to how easy it is to admit that you’re not attracted to anyone and also safe because there are never any bad things that happen when you do.

    I mean, I identified as open to anyone/bisexual/pansexual from high school until my mid twenties (easily, proudly, and without reservation) and it took a couple of years for me to accept that I actually didn’t experience sexual or romantic attraction to anyone (and years later I’m still on and off about whether that’s okay or if it makes me a bad, abusive person lol esp since I experience other attractions to, and a willingness to engage in sexual and romantic activities with, people regardless of gender and none of that really counts according to most people).

  • Hollis

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRG

    It’s been much, much harder for me to come to terms with being ace. It’s something that I’m still struggling with almost 4 years later (after coming out as bi(romantic) and nonbinary trans and I still feel way better about being bi and trans than I do about being ace. And it was hard admitting I was trans! It was really hard!!

    But I’ve seen similar arguments directed at nonbinary folks–make sure you’ve dealt with your internalized transphobia before you identify as nonbinary because you’re probably actually binary trans!! (lol no that is a bad argument and any discourse surrounding that idea is Bad Discourse).

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