Now that we are all social distancing with covid-19 and contacting each other via social media, I’ve noticed a few things that have changed in my ads on those apps. Every 6 hours or so I’m inundated with TAIMI-apps for a new social network for LGBTQAI+ community (or at least it includes all those groups if I’m not mistaken).

While I don’t see a problem with advertising in general I’m a bit taken aback by the ads. “Do you wanna talk to hot guys in your area?” “Wanna meet cute guys?” are just some examples, which now extend into transgendered people as well. My immediate reaction: uhh, what? Hear me out.

Do I want to meet hot guys in my area, sure. But if I’m not hot myself, doesn’t that just mean that I have a decreased chance of encountering these people? It’s well known that hot gravitates to hot, simply put. You’re going to get matches if you’re attractive, fit, and market yourself a certain way. Okay sure, if you wanna be a piece of meat, that’s your choice.

It’s the word choice in the add that really struck a chord with me. In many ways it’s counter-intuitive to its’ own purpose: it wants to be inclusive to its’ members in the LGBT community, but at the same time cater to the attractive and thirsty. I get it, they are catering to the majority.

Will I likely try TAIMI app to social network and meet people to date? Probably at some point I might check it out, but I will likely not stay as I’d be contributing to the middle average in terms of desirability. If a frustrated average gay screams, does the community that is ignoring them hear? I’d guess not.

Best of luck with your swipes, frivolous as they may feel.

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. 

Is it just me? - BlaineIs it just me? - Xander

I have found my film-twin.. It is embodied in the character of Blaine in the film Is it just me? and it’s disturbing. He’s a writer, he’s bitter, he’s sarcastic, he’s everything I’ve ever been (except for being a writer, and more attractive).

The film centres around Blaine, the writer, who’s looking for a boyfriend, but hasn’t had any luck at all, as nobody will give him the time of day. He bumps into a guy from Texas named Xander at a coffee shop, whom he coincidentally and unknowingly chats to on the internet. They call each other, and develop a strong “soul connection” as Blain puts it, and decide to meet.

Is it just me? - XanderIs it just me? - Xander

Upon hanging up on the second 6 hour phone conversation, Blaine is sent Xander’s photo which was set to private, and he realizes who he’s talking to. Furthermore he discovers that he was accidentally logged into the account of his hot and sexual promiscuous go-go dancer roommate, Cameron.

Devastated by his misfortune, which appears normal, he begs Cameron to come on the blind date to set it straight. Unfortunately, Xander is enthralled by Cameron’s charm, but is confused as he seems completely different in real life. Blaine gets upset and tries to get a game plan together, but it doesn’t work, and in the mean time Cameron unknowingly invites Xander to see him dance at the go-go bar in Hollywood.

Is it just me? - Blaine Freak OutIs it just me?  - Blaine Pity Bus

Xander goes to see Cameron acting as Blaine at the club, and as Blaine has a classic freak out as he’s trying to tell Xander the truth, he thinks Xander disappears and leaves. Xander gets drunk and goes home with Cameron, where nothing happens, but he ends up being sick and spending the night on the bathroom floor. Blaine thinks that they sleep together, and sends him into a downward spiral of self pity and unfortunate event that he calls his life.

Is it just me? - Blaine strugglingIs it just me? - Blaine Devastated

As quote by Blaine in his article, he sums up the world quite effective:

Being average in a world of physical perfection is the worst kind of gay purgatory.

Running to his hag to wallow, they have a conversation centring around the situation:

The opinion that I have of myself is that I suck.

To which the hag responds:

Look at what you’ve created.
Work wise, you hide behind a pen name.
You date anonymously via the internet.
You won’t even go to a gay bar by yourself.
I mean have you ever initiated a conversation with someone in person?
Have you ever gone up to someone and said: “Hi, can I buy you a drink?”
I mean, really, is it just me or do you see a problem here?

Echoing the sentiments of everyone in the same situation, or those embittered by life and hating everything he responds in the most awesome way:

Maybe I’m afraid of putting it out there just in case no one wants it.

He puts the nail on the head. The rest of the film is for you to discover yourself, but ultimately it sums up my life.

  • Series of unfortunate events
  • Bitterness
  • Hate towards humanity
  • Hate towards gays
  • Sarcasm
  • Unbelievable situations
  • Never achieving what they want
  • Classic freak outs

Is it just me? - Finale

This film is the embodiment of my being, and I’ve watched it no short of two dozen times. Can’t you see the parallels to my life?