Honestly all the ace discourse probably did start with cishet aces and other aces who id only as ace. But now this discourse has moved on to literally hating everyone asexual/aromantic or relating to them. Trust me I would know. There’s also another important ace discourse fact I think should be mentioned more people shouldn’t have to give out/add to their ID to be valid in the first place. Asexual should be valid in itself.
I normally never comment on posts but I was just thinking about this and I need to add on. It’s like, the qualifying factor for whether someone whose ace or aro is allowed in the community is if they are Gay Enough. Like, I saw a post earlier justifying why “cishet” aces shouldn’t be accepted, saying basically, if a homoromantic asexual is just as gay as their gay/lesbian counterpart, doesn’t that mean that a heteromantic asexual is just as straight as their straight counterpart? And if you think about it that way sure, you’d be right. But why should my acceptance in the community be based around how gay I am?
Every argument about aces is basically “You must be this gay to get on the ride.” (Until they suddenly aren’t,) And it’s ridiculous that asexuality isn’t recognized as its own thing. You have to have some kind of “acceptable non straight identity” tagged along. And from then people refer to you as gay, or pan, or bi. Not as ace. Because they don’t respect asexuality as a genuine identity that doesn’t need a separate crutch to make it non-straight.
I am asexual. I am also panromantic. I could see myself falling in love and most importantly being happy and comfortable in a relationship with anyone as long as they are kind and make me laugh. But being panromantic shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether I’m allowed into the community or not. The additional identity isn’t what defines me or what I hold closest to my heart in defining who I am. I am Asexual. If you asked me, “What are you?” That would be my reply. Because fundamentally, on that level, that’s what I am. That is who I am. And that should be enough.
And that’s why people are angry.
As someone who has been on tumblr for around 6 years, way before ‘ace discourse’ started; this is what it’s about.
When I first got on tumblr and started finding my identity as asexual (maybe 4-5 years ago), the split attraction model wasn’t as popular.
But it wasn’t asexuals or aromantics who made it popular. Largely the push came from non-aspec people. Everyday you could go into the tag and find a new person saying that aces HAD to id as something else as well. The phrase ‘ace is HOW you love not WHO, you need to tell us WHO for your identity to count as a sexual orientation’.
It’s always been about asexuality or aromanticism not ‘counting’ on their own. Back then we were making ace/aro-ness up. It wasn’t real. We were ‘just normal’, because ‘everyone feels that way about it’ and ‘other people aren’t attracted to everyone they meet’.
Aphobia has always been about aspec identities not being real, so they have to fall back on ‘if your identity isn’t real, what are you REALLY so we can decide if you can join’.
This post really spoke to be. I’ve watched the attacks on asexual identities with horror this month. It’s left me in tears at points.
I spent years questioning myself because of this divide between sexual and romantic attraction. I (eventually) figured out I wasn’t sexually attracted to anyone (and that was hard enough considering I didn’t find out about asexuals until my twenties), but what about romance?
I started questioning my friendships because as far as I could tell I was perfectly satisfied having a meal out or something once or twice a week. Meal out = date territory, was I dating? Was all my romantic needs being satisfied with friendly conversation?
I questioned myself for almost a decade over this. It seemed impossible to me or anyone else that I would have no romantic needs on top of being asexual, yet here I am.
I’m alone. I’m complete. I’m happy with my self.
I wouldn’t mind a partner in a vague sort of way that makes me think it’s more cultural than anything else, mostly I’m indifferent to the idea.
I’m asexual. Why do I need to say or be more?
Can I pass as cis? Not really. Most people can tell after a few weeks of knowing me that I’m not cis. They usually assume I’m gay. I’ve been screamed at because I wouldn’t admit to my ‘type’. I’ve been an object of ridicule because I’m broken in their eyes. I’ve been forced to sit through porn because people refused to believe it. And I know it could be so much worse.
It hurts, you know? To be excluded from something you thought you would be welcomed to. I expected better.