Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views may have changed since this was first written.
I go on the ace tags a lot. And I see a lot of people saying ‘I wish I was asexual’. And I’m torn between calling these people out because it’s just so damn hurtful and leaving them be because they very rarely actually tag with ‘asexual’ and often are just venting about their own problems to themselves and a select few internet folks.
So I need a minute to let off steam about this.
I have to admit, I used to say similar things. Another boy would be not-reciprocating my feelings (which actually makes me think about some things but I’ll talk about those in a separate post), and I’d say to my best friend, ‘boys suck, why don’t we become lesbians and go out with each other’.
Thankfully, I’ve now realised how rude that is. And here are the reasons:
- Assumes that you can change your sexuality
- Assumes that this particular sexuality is ‘easier’ to deal with than the one you currently have
Neither of which are cool, and I really wish that I hadn’t said such things, even in private Facebook conversations. The theme of this blog seems to be ‘I used to have these shitty thoughts but I have now learnt better’ and I like that. It’s one of the reasons I don’t go and call those people who make the same mistake as me out – if someone says something to you on Tumblr, it’s almost certainly going to be an attack, and chances are that the people I’d try and helpfully point out issues to would think I was being cruel and end up with hurt feelings and a certainty that they wouldn’t do what I asked them to do. It’s better, sometimes, to let people find these things out themselves.
But like I said before, it’s hurtful. It’s hurtful to see people invalidating your existence in one half of the tag and to see people thinking your life is easier in the other half. Sometimes, it feels worse than the general misinformation about asexuality and the plant comments, because it’s not (explicitly) about people having incorrect assumptions, it’s about people knowing (a little?) bit about you and still thinking you’re not worth the trouble. It’s all those people saying ‘but if you don’t want to have sex, what are you marching for? It’s not like there’s a law against not having sex’, and it’s implying that you’re inferior. You don’t have problems worthy enough of attention.
This is an idea I’ve seen quite often recently in my (mainly non-asexual) peers, the idea that they don’t deserve to mention their problems because they’re not having as bad a time as other people. And this is bad enough for people’s health in a general environment, but for aces it’s dangerous. It tells us that coming out isn’t worth doing (even within the community,which is another kettle of fish I should tackle at some point [without mixed metaphors, hopefully]), it tells us that visibility work isn’t worth doing, and it tells us that we shouldn’t even need a name for this thing we don’t feel. And if we listen? We don’t just hurt ourselves, we hurt aces who don’t even know they’re ace yet.