Why We Need Mental Healthcare Without Asexual Erasure – And How to Get There
«The first person I told was my therapist. Big mistake.
She immediately responded by telling me that my asexuality would go away as I got older (I was 18 at the time). She also said that she thought that my lack of interest in sex was probably “just a symptom” of my depression.
I argued and told her I didn’t think it would go away. It was true that I’d been experiencing depression since long before puberty started, but it just didn’t feel like a symptom to me – it felt like an identity.»
«One partner thought he could make me sexual, so he pressured sex when I didn’t want it, and I gave in because I grew up in a world where sex is considered an obligation in relationships.
It wasn’t until I felt validated and assured in my identity that I gained the ability to talk about my sexuality safely and openly, making my relationships healthier because I was able to communicate more honestly and (assuming a respectful partner) ensure my needs were respected.
If my therapist had actually supported me instead of denying my own self-wisdom and understanding, I might have gained those tools much earlier in life.»
Read the whole article here.
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Asexual Men and Rape
«Part of being “a real man” is having sex with a lot of women (before eventually being ensnared by the old ball-and-chain, of course). Celibates are not “real men.” Virgins are not “real men.” The abstinent are not “real men.” Those with low sex drives are not “real men.” And, crucially, asexual men are not “real men.”
So of course asexual men endure the standard array of pathologization, criticism, mockery and disbelief when they come out as asexual: “there must be something wrong with you,” “you’re just repressed,” “you’re just a late bloomer,” “you’re a misanthrope,” “you can’t get laid,” “you’re gay, aren’t you?”»
Read the whole article here.
This is #15 of a series in which I read correspondence between me and people who have questions, comments, or–more often–misconceptions about asexuality.
This one covers a question we sometimes get from a vocal minority in the queer community claiming asexual people absolutely do not have problems worth discussing because the very worst thing we ever experience is “hurt feelings” over people not acknowledging our orientation.
Here are the citations and links for everything mentioned in the video.
Siggy’s Breakdown of asexual queerness (orientation and gender identity):
My appearance at Creating Change (where I was invited to discuss asexuality at an LGBT conference):
My interview in the Gay Voices section of the Huffington Post:
The numbered list backups:
1. JOB AND HOUSING DENIAL:
* The study documenting asexual discrimination: “Intergroup Bias toward ‘Group X’: Evidence of prejudice, dehumanization, avoidance, and discrimination against asexuals”
* An anecdotal account of possibly being fired for asexuality:
* A follow-up to this story by the same person:
2. ADOPTION DENIAL:
* Discussed in Olivier Cormier-Otaño’s lecture, wherein he mentioned asexual couples getting denied adoption because “If you’re asexual, you’re not fit to be married.”
3. CONSUMMATION LAWS:
* These may change, but as of the creation of this video, the states requiring consummation for a marriage to be legal are here:
* For laws regarding consummation as it refers to a couple that includes one immigrant, please see this document:
4. ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW:
* In New York, SONDA, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, mentions asexuality as one of the sexual orientations that cannot be discriminated against legally.
* In Vermont, asexuality is included in a “protected category” list under “sexual orientation”:
* The proposed legislation in Texas that names asexuality as a protected class is reported on in a news article here:
* The law paper by Elizabeth Emens, accepted by Standford Law Review, which thoroughly examines how asexual people live in a prejudicial environment and how that works out legally, is entitled “Compulsory Sexuality.”
5. “CORRECTIVE” RAPE:
* Huffington Post discussed “corrective” rape and how it’s hurting the asexual community here:
Here is a Tumblr thread where another user and I discuss rape threats:
* You can see some of the rape threats I have received here:
* And you can read about my experience with a man forcing himself on me after I told him I wasn’t interested here:
6. POOR REPRESENTATION IN MEDIA:
* Godiva’s is a Canadian show that is canceled. It featured an asexual heteroromantic man, Martin. He was “fixed” with testosterone supplements.
* Huge is an American show that is canceled. It had an asexual aromantic woman, Poppy, in a minor role. She mentioned her asexuality once during a discussion with a fellow camp counselor and it was never mentioned again.
* Shortland Street is a New Zealand show that is still going on as of this writing. It featured an asexual biromantic man, Gerald. His asexuality is examined deeply throughout the series.
The bad House episode is called “Better Half”:
7. MISDIAGNOSIS WITH A MENTAL DISORDER:
* DSM definition of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder:
8. DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE:
* The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
* Materials created by AAW for the Trevor Project’s volunteers:
13 Stories of Asexual and Aromantic Oppression
«Some things happened in the asexual and aromantic community this week and for the most part they were positive. I won’t go into detail now because this post is not about that. One thing that did happen was aces and aros getting some attention on the blogging platform tumblr. And not all of it good attention.
What I found particularly disturbing was repeated assertions that asexual and aromantic people do not experience oppression. This is so incorrect.
First of all, let me be clear what I mean when I say oppression. The word doesn’t necessarily mean being locked up or killed. It doesn’t have to mean systematic and deliberate acts by a Government. Oppression, in the context of social justice, means behaviours and words that marginalise and cause harm to a minority. It doesn’t have to be overt and it doesn’t have to be deliberate. All that’s required is that the victims are marginalised and that the behaviour is harmful: physically harmful, emotionally harmful, it doesn’t matter. It also doesn’t matter whether a person who is not part of the marginalised group in question thinks the act should be considered oppressive. It is up to the people experiencing the harm to say whether they feel oppressed.»
Read the whole article here.