Text: “I think only attractive people should do visibility work.”
NO. Fuck this unassailable asexual rhetoric. Fuck it! Let’s also ban people who have been sexually assaulted or raped or abused, or who are not neurotypical, or people who have a mole on their left ear behind the pinna, and damnit, hell no. If we do that, then we are only justifying people’s ignorant assumptions about us, that we just “can’t get laid” or whatever the fuck else. NO NO NO NO NO. Anyone can do visibility work!
Everyone who does visibility work is super-fucking-attractive because they are so damn awesome. With that out of the way, can we all take a good look at the unassailable asexual?
No. The unassailable asexual does not exist. No one is so perfect that everyone in this world will magically believe they are asexual because they are asexual, and not for some other reason. Actually, the concept of the unassailable asexual needs to be tackled more in the ace community.
We internalize so much. There is pressure to be, among other things: happy, cis, never abused, extroverted, social, neurotypical, conventionally attractive, mentally and physically healthy, not kinky, and sex-positive.
And you hear this externally:
“Well look at you, you can’t get laid anyway.”
“But you are an abuse survivor, so there’s that.”
“Oh you are too young to know.”
“You are too depressed/anxious/socially awkward.”
What if I am? Do you notice that those things are things that people of every orientation can be? My asexuality is not more or less valid if I am sexy or happy or healthy. We need diverse representation because we are a diverse community.
I was thinking, a few days back, about the various reasons that people are supposedly asexual. All the little things that people say to explain away and invalidate asexuality. As the person above me said, though, some of those issues are things which people of every orientation deal with.
The only reason people question asexuality’s validity while ignoring the fact that their argument could be applied to many sexual people, is that people like to challenge non-normative things. If I said that I want to find a man and settle down and raise a kid or two, my mom would be delighted. There would be no question about why I want that. Did I just lack good gay role models? Do I hate women; is that why I feel like I have to be with a man? Maybe I am insecure, and just afraid to question societal norms.
Can I guarantee that my sexuality was not influenced by something that people like to bring up, like insecurity or the fact that sex was sometimes treated like some horrible taboo in my house? No. But would it matter, really? Again - I don’t think so.
Most aspects of your personality could probably be traced back to certain influences, but that doesn’t mean it invalidates them. Me and my two older siblings have a lot of things alike, traits which are completely absent in our youngest sister, who is extremely different from all of us. We moved constantly, right up until she was born, at which point we pretty much settled in one place. That constant movement could definitely account for a lot of the things we have in common. It would probably be quite accurate for someone to say that I only like my siblings as much as I do because they were my only long-term friends, or that I would miss people more if I hadn’t gotten so used to leaving them behind. No one would use that to invalidate parts of my personality, or act like my close family ties are something that I need to get over and abandon once I deal with my “traumatic” past.
That’s a very specific, personal example, of course, but it works with larger scale things as well. If someone can tell you the events that led up to them becoming a Christian, for example, it is their testimony, and is generally received with great delight and praise by other Christians. No one challenges them and tells them that their conversion is invalid or fake because it was prompted by a certain set of circumstances.
Like I said, I don’t think that my sexuality is the result of poor self-esteem or insecurity (especially since it turns out that I can feel attracted to someone while at the very same time angsting about how sex or physical contact won’t ever happen because I suck so much) but if it was, that wouldn’t make it any less a part of me. People are a product of their pasts, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, or something that needs to be hidden.