Originally posted on Tumblr but reposted here for archiving. Please note that my views have changed since this was first written.
I know, I’m behind the times as always, but I’ve been watching a lot of House lately and it occurred to me that 1) I have watched The Episode and 2) that I watched it before I really knew what asexuality was and so might therefore be able to give a new perspective on how much damage it actually did to the community.
(Disclaimer: I don’t have the best memory in the world and my views on life have obviously changed since I watched it, so I don’t know how much of what I’m about to say is the truth and how much is either remembered wrong or coloured by new experiences).
The episode starts with the couple saying they’re asexual and just don’t have any desire for sex. As I remember it, I didn’t see this as a sexual orientation – I remember thinking it must be some sort of lifestyle choice like veganism. Obviously that’s not the case, and that was made clear in the show, but I don’t remember changing my mind about it being a lifestyle choice.
I do, however, remember rooting for the couple over House, which I think is important. Usually you want House to solve the puzzle and save the people’s lives, but in this case I felt like he should stop trying to ruin their happiness. I didn’t want him to prove asexuality wasn’t a thing because they were clearly getting on well enough without his help, and (hopefully) this is the way other people viewed it and therefore view sexuality. House proving there was some sort of tumour growing in the guy didn’t make me think he was right about everyone who felt the same way (and I felt that the wife saying she’d been faking it was an absolute cop-out). I like to think that maybe some other people don’t take House’s word as Gospel either, and the show won’t impact on their view of asexuality.
However, the people I’m hoping it won’t affect are the people who, chances are, would give us a chance to explain ourselves anyway. Those who agree with House will agree with him because they want validation of their own beliefs – they’re people whose minds we would be fighting to change anyway. That One Episode certainly doesn’t help and was handled horrifically, but hopefully it won’t have had/won’t have too large an impact.