LGBTTQQIAAP Alphabet

Do you know your alphabet? I can only assume that your response as a reader would be affirmative, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read what I’m writing; but perhaps you’re reading with assistive technology, which is equally cool! Gotta love technology and how it allows us to access any type of content.

When we talk about the alphabet in the ace community, it’s often something that comes up in other circles on the internet and in life: the LGBTQIA community. What do the letter mean? Are there more letters? Why do I hear about LGBT and have no idea what LGBTQIA is? Well the answer is simple, and not so simple.

The LGBTQIA Community

When people who fit outside the “norms” of society they often search for communities to which they can belong. This is absolutely true for the LGBTQ community, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer/Questioning. But the question remains, even with these communities, are they all inclusive? Do heterosexual people, for instance, take part in these communities? The answer is a hesitant yes, maybe. Some people in all communities are allies for the people inside, and help wage the war of information and acceptance. Everyone appreciates those people, but they might not necessarily feel like they belong to the community.

Historically this community only represents people on the sexual spectrum (homosexual, bisexual for both genders) but in certain circumstances can include a wider range of individuals, like for example the transexual community, or intersex community. It really just depends on who you’re talking to, and how inclusive a community is willing to be. Some might even include asexuals, but that’s a question up for debate depending on the person. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

Asexuals and the LGBTQIA Community

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Courtesy of Dylan Edward’s “Nothing Wrong With Me

Since asexuals are becoming more mainstream (though admittedly due to the numbers it’s likely to never be mainstream in the truest meaning), some decide to become involved in certain communities. Though it begs the question, does a heteroromantic or aromantic asexual belong in the LGBTQIA community? The “A” suggests that it’s included, but do heteroromantic aces belong with lesbians, gays, bisexual,s trans, queer, questioning, or intersex others?

I would be bold enough to say, not necessarily but it depends on the person. A heteroromantic ace likely would only be apart of that community if they were unable to find another of their own, or because they are an ally. As asexuals, they aren’t really represented in minority groups like this, which are mainly focused on sexuality. Sure it’s great to be inclusive, but my example ace likely wouldn’t get much out of (except education) a LGBTQ community.

A biromantic asexual however would get something out of a community like this, but it depends on the person. We read about how hypersexualized the world is and these communities are no exception, but at least there is a common thread or common romantic experiences with these people with whom they can relate. Sure it’s mixed up with sexual attraction, but for the 99% of the human population sexual attraction and romantic attraction go hand-in-hand. Usually ace people are educated enough in their own orientation to navigate through these communities, but they still aren’t really represented by them.

The Asexual Debate

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Courtesy of Dylan Edward’s “Nothing Wrong With Me

The debate comes up every so often in ace circles: “do we belong in LGBTQ?” thereby adding an additional “A.” The votes split, and it depends on who is talking, but if the answer is yes, then you’d be including the demi/gray-aces, homoromantic & biromantic aces, and excluding the heteroromantic aces, and the aromantic aces. The community, thus, splits into different factions. That’s what’s so dangerous or worry some about joining forces with other communities: there will always be people that are underrepresented.

I’m not saying that they don’t belong, I’m just saying that the only people that are really going to understand and relate to other asexuals are asexual people or allosexuals with a lot of experience with asexuals (it’s rare).

It’s Confusing

Unless you’ve been around the asexual community a long time, you likely wouldn’t have much experience being able to navigate your thoughts, feelings, confusion, or questions about yourself. Sure aces can try to get their answers online (i.e. Reddit’s /r/AskRedit), but with lack of information and education about asexual issues or even basic visibility, the answers one would get are quite polarizing, hostile, and unhelpful.

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Courtesy of Dylan Edward’s “Nothing Wrong With Me

It’s particularly hard when asexuals are trying to navigate their feelings and sometime seek out fulfillment of their emotional or romantic needs. They find people that they think they might get along with, but often feel broken because it’s not going the way it should be.

It’s especially true about asexual dating. Most aces find allosexuals to date, but how do they approach it, or when do they come out? It’s simple being asexual when you’re alone, in theory, but for asexuals yearning for their needs to be met just like the 99% of the rest of the population, it begs the question, how can it work for them too?

It comes down to education and individual needs. If mainstream populations were more educated about asexuals they would be more willing to understand and accept them as possible partners, or even help them integrate into other communities. I hope this can happen, but there is a sinking feeling inside my gut that it just won’t be there.

Until that happens, the best we can do as humans is try to find inclusive environments for all people of all types, and promote that.

 


Dylan Edwards posted a really cool narrative on his website from which I’ve used some of the images in this blog post. Check out the full story of his journey being an Evangelical Christian to an asexual trans man. 

#ForeverAlone

I was made aware of something very poignant lately. Over the last few days I’ve been walking around looking for Pokémon, and I’ve noticed the number of walkers, drivers, and people doing things in groups. It doesn’t ever seem to be alone. Most people might not notice this, but I picked up on it very quickly.

Then I hung out with a group of friends of mine and it became painfully obvious how alone can be in a group of people. People gravitate towards their partners or their besties, and I’m left to feel like I don’t belong.

To further amplify this, what happens when you start looking through your Facebook photos to find that the vast majority of the photos are of things or oneself, but not with other people?

And to take it one step further, when you look at your life and how you’ve shaped it, and how it seems inconceivable to be able to integrate someone else into you life because you’ve set it up so much to be the best suited for being alone.

I guess this calls for an appropriate hashtag #ForeverAlone

I was watching a film the other day and it made me think of something when one of the characters called the other one neurotic. It wasn’t until a few days later that I started to think about that one.

According to the dictionary definition:

neurotic |n(y)o͝oˈrätik|
adjective – Medicine

suffering from, caused by, or relating to neurosis.
• abnormally sensitive, obsessive, or tense and anxious

When you are conversing with someone and wait an inordinate amount of time for a reply, it starts to make you anxious. It starts to make you a tad obsessive if that person happens to be someone that you fancy.

And this, ladies and gentleman, is the reason why I’m not cut out for dating or relationships.

When you meet someone for tea that you fancy in some way or another, is that considered casual dating? Despite that person not being interested in you at all, is that still considered dating? If it’s so consistant that it happens about 8 times, and each time it appears to get more and more interesting and people feel more and more at ease with each other does that continue to constitute casual dating?

All of these questions are obviously a representation of how ambiguous and complicated dating in the 21st century is. This is especially true when men, in particular, are so poor at communicating their feelings and or desires bar the lets go to bed type of communication. So, it’s no wonder that people are so confused these days as to what kind of relationship status they are currently involved in.

At first it was the “we aren’t exclusive” attitude, and then it’s the “we haven’t talked about it” situation, and then it’s the “we are casual and sleeping around but I don’t know if they are doing the same” situation. As you can see they get more and more vague and rely less and less on actual communication. Why did the human race and society get this way? Why do people allow this relationship ambiguity? Why do people put up with it, and the “games” that people play?

These question and this discussion are in no way representative of my own situation, but since I was out for tea with a friend the other night I started to think about it more and more. I guess the ambiguity is akin to the possible situation that people are meeting for dates, and one person is interested and the other person is quite aloof or not interested at all.

Lets get communicating, people. Less peoples hearts will thenceforth be broken!

Have you ever wondered if how you look and what your personality is affects how people interact with you in the dating world? Well look no further; over the last 3 months I’ve conducted an experiment to find out the answer to this question. The results may or may not shock you, depending on how bitter you have been.

The Experiment:
I decided to create two profiles on a location based dating application for Android, profile X was myself with my own pictures, and profile Y was photos of a friend of mine who most would consider attractive. My friend consented to the use of his photographs for this experiment. My process was to interact with people via this application synonymously and with the exact same personality as my own. I would answer in the exact same way. I put limits on meeting people as to not blow my cover.

The following conclusions were taken over the course of the three months:

Profile X
Others took approximately 70% longer to initiate conversation with a total of 20 conducted in the timeframe
Responding to initiated conversations was roughly 20%
Persons contacted requested additional photographs 9% of the time
Persons contacted requested nude photographs 5% of the time
Conversations were limited, with the other not seeming very interested
There were 5 requests for meeting face to face.
There were 0 requests for hooking up.
Nearly all persons contacted lost touch within the timeframe of 3 months.
Persons contacted would be considered with the following adjectives: older, moderately attractive, pushy, disinterested.

Compared to:

Profile Y
Within creating profile there were 70% more visitors to the profile, and a total of 389 initiated conversations in the timeframe.
Responding to initiated conversations was roughly 89%
Persons contacted requested additional photographs 100% of the time.
Persons contacted requested nude photographs 85% of the time.
Conversations were lively, and persons seemed very eager.
There were 340 requests for meeting face to face.
There were 114 requests for hooking up.
Of the 340 requests for meeting face to face, 70% were within the first 5 messages
Of the total conversed persons, 15% lost touch within 30 days, 58% within 60 days, and remaining 27% within 90 days.
Persons contacted would be considered with the following adjectives: varied in age, very attractive to hardly attractive, pushy, interested, curious, forward and very sexual.

Are these results surprising to you? Were you one of those people who thought that looks didn’t matter? Does this change how you see situations at all?

I think all the experience did was confirmed what I already believed. What really surprised me was the fact that I was able to maintain the same level of conversation and responses without getting discouraged and irritated given the differences in experience. What bothers me the most is that this experiment also speaks about a persons personality and how little or how much it can have an importance.

With Profile Y, no matter what was said intrest was still kept and made the whole experience feel very superficial. With Profile X, people seemed more polite but unwilling in just about any circumstance.

Take what you want from this; I know I have. >:XX