- Category: A Negative
- Published on Friday, 13 July 2012 10:28
- Written by Skylar Finnley
- Hits: 1309
Writer's note: The column is still written by the same person even though the byline has been changed. I've decided to adopt this name to reflect the recent changes in my identity as well as to have a more convenient name for non-Finnish folks to use, spell and pronounce.
Talking about shotgun weddings. Well, actually, nobody was talking about them, but I am going to... LGBT and Asexuals, coming together? That seems to be one of the hot button issues cropping up constantly and it seems that the side that wants it to happen has the upper hand at the moment. Quite frankly, I do not see why and I'm going to tell you why.
At first glance, it seems like a pretty logical step to take. LGBT communities and organizations are well established and have some real power and influence in society today, unlike the practically invisible Asexual community still struggling to properly establish themselves. By joining the established community, we'd immediately step more into the limelight and perhaps even get to enjoy the many benefits that come with both that and the resources of the LGBT community at large.
However, that's where it ends. If you look into it more closely, the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits and the disadvantages are much more fundamental. Just looking at the possible benefits, we can see that they're actually pretty shallow and materialistic rather than fundamental or beneficial on a deeper level.
The argument for joining the alphabet soup that is brought up most often is that LGBT community represents the sexual minorities and as Asexuality is a sexual minority group. I might even contest the semantics of that, since I do not think so. Much like Atheism is not a religion and black is not a colour. But that's the topic for another column and a completely different fight. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll say that we are a sexual minority group because that's how the public at large sees us, erroneously or not. I'll concentrate on the original argument instead.
The fact is that the LGBT community has problems representing the groups that have been established within them already. Bisexuals often complain that they are being marginalized and even shunned by the LG folks, not to mention how Transfolks are practically a completely separate group that are often forgotten even if everybody's used to adding the T to the alphabet mix. One can only imagine how the Asexuals would be treated in a group already struggling with fair treatment of all the groups they've included in their mists. One might argue that we should join them to change that within, but I'm very dubious. If B and T folks haven't been able to do it in the decades they've been included in the mix, what are the chances that we'd be able to? Especially since we'd be the smallest of the minorities in the group.
We share a lot of concerns and difficulties with the LGBT folks, but we have to remember that most of our problems are fundamentally different. I'm not one of those people who think LGBT folks do nothing but screw each other and everything they do is to get a good lay. In fact, I'm completely the opposite, but I just wanted to clarify that so that my next statement won't be misunderstood. Because a lot of what the LGBT group does is to promote sexual freedom and their focus seems to be the promoting of having it rather than doing what you want, not the option of not doing it if you don't want to. Which is perfectly ok and logical for their cause, but I don't think it gels well with even the sex positive Asexuals such as myself. In fact, the suggestion of including that aspect to the conversation is often met with outright hostility from the LGBT people.
And that brings me to the biggest argument against forcing a merger between LGBT and Asexuality. The hostility. Now, I don't want to make unfair generalizations since most LGBT people I know are perfectly ok with Asexuality, but that doesn't change the fact that the most hostile comments and even threats against us mainly seem to come from gay men. The most visible example of this is the aphobic and outright disgusting comments often made by the gay rights celebrity Dan Savage. But his rhetoric is pretty mild compared to a lot of stuff I regularly read in blogs and other online forums. His comments are inappropriate, but at least you can print them in the newspaper. The constant hostile and violent comments suggesting corrective rape, violence and other forms of "corrective" measures are not. And you can read them all the time, mostly coming from gay men who apparently feel that they're threatened by the possibility that some people don't want to have sex. Why that is, I can't even fathom.
I have to admit that I'm more than a little affected by the local Finnish LGBT group SETA (short for SEksuaalinen TAsa-arvo, Sexual Equality) that has made clear statements about Asexuals consistently. According to them, we don't exist and and all we have are mental or medical problems that should be corrected by a doctor immediately. See a pattern here? Corrective rape, dismissal and even suggestions that it is a medical condition. Gee, I wonder what other minority group was hassled with the very same arguments for centuries on end? Could it be that the bullied have become the bullies themselves? Again, one might argue that we could make change from within the group, but I think that's a doomed enterprise.
At the same time, I do want to make it perfectly clear that I'm not against LGBT communities or LGBT rights. Quite the opposite, I'm a fierce proponent of them and have made it known both in my media work and with practical actions and support. I think they're doing extremely valuable work and have been in the forefront of driving positive change in society and equality for not only LGBT people but for humanity at large. And I've found myself belonging to the T spectrum very clearly, so I might even want to join them in that capacity.
And that brings me to the crux of the matter. Why should Asexuals and the LGBT community be forced upon each other when there's nothing preventing people from being part of both of those group if they so choose to. That way, they get all the upsides of both the groups and organizations without forcing a bunch of people who don't want that into the mix. The fact is that most Asexuals are either Aromantic or Heteroromantic, so the traditional LGBT functions do not apply to them or even interest them. But Homo-, Bi-, Pan-, Etc, -romantic people share a whole lot with the central issues the LGBT groups are fighting for. So joining both communities not only makes sense, but is more than beneficial for all parties included.
So why force the groups together, bringing up all the problematic sides of the forced union, when the current situation already covers all the upsides of the deal without the negatives? I think the solution is quite clear. And yes, I understand that the current situation is not perfect. Nothing is. But I still do maintain that it is infinitely better than the alternative a lot of people are trying to push through.
I'd be very grateful :)
Also, kudos on the coherent arguments :)