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Do you feel asexuals are part of the LGBT community or not really?
Nastia
cb4260 wrote in asexuality
Question for all of you: As asexuals, do you feel part of the LGBT community? Do other people see you as part of the LGBT community? If so, do you wish they didn't? If not, do you wish they did? A little context: I think of myself as bi-asexual, but offline, people read me differently. The people who think I'm straight figure that if you're not interested in sleeping with women, you must be straight. Period. The people who think I'm gay know that I'm somewhat aesthetically attracted to women, and think sexual orientation is all in the mind, is therefore not defined by whether you have a significant other or not, so they conclude I must be lesbian, or at least bi. Part of me wishes that asexuality would be considered part of the LGBT label/community, because I feel asexuals have a lot of the same issues that queer people do (having to figure out out their own identity, coming out, etc), and because I doubt the asexual community would even have come up with the label 'asexual' or thought of ourselves as a 'community' if it hadn't been for the gay rights movement. On the other hand, many non-asexual gay people I know don't see asexuality as part of the LGBT community at all. They're very positive and accepting of asexual people, they just can't imagine not wanting to have sex, and see asexuality as a drastically different phenomenon from homosexuality. Similarly, I know some straight-asexuals who (although supportive of gay rights both in their politics and in their personal values) don't want to be considered part of the gay community because they're only attracted to opposite-gender people, and/or (espeically if they live in very conservative states) don't want to experience the discrimination that gays in their area face, or feel that they'll be more effective 'allies' to the gay community if others see them as straight. I'd love to hear from both gay/bi-asexuals and straight-asexuals on this.

Well, my university's rather extended acronym does feature asexuals in it. Still, I don't consider myself queer because I'm asexual; I consider myself queer because I'm asexual and romantically attracted to both genders.

As asexuals, do you feel part of the LGBT community?
no
Do other people see you as part of the LGBT community?
no
If not, do you wish they did?
no

aromantic/heterosexual
:-)

Same answers to the questions for me!

Heteroromantic asexual here. I identify with the queer community, because we share several of the same markers (confusion over sexuality, coming to terms, coming out) and can understand each other on a certain level. The queer group here on campus includes aces in their acronym, and I've been trying to get to a meeting since forever. They've made it known that I am quite welcome.

I tend to read queer anyway, so I tend to shy away from identifying as straight.

Personally, I see asexuals as being queer, even the "straight" ones. Because they're not heterosexual, they're heteroromantic and those are different things. But the "LGBT" community by virtue of its very name isn't the same thing as a queer community. In my mind, LGBT usually references G and if we're lucky, G and L. B and T people are not universally accepted in that community by any means. So no, as an asexual I don't feel included, and I don't see that inclusion as being forthcoming. Personally, I think everyone who is not heterosexual and/or cisgendered should band together, but that might be a minority view.

I don't think I'm in the LGBT community. if other asexuals want to think that, sure.

I grew up considering myself heterosexual, and thus, not LGBT...plus, homo/bisexuals are still "sexuals," and they sometimes have just as hard a time accepting/understanding asexuality as heterosexuals do.

so it's just my mindset. I don't consider myself such and I don't wish to be.

I think that's very much a personal choice. Just as you can be gay and not want to join a greater community of any kind, or asexual and not want to ally yourself with some amorphous group of people you've never met beyond a common orientation. I consider myself part of the Big Acronym Dealie, in part because before I knew that asexuality existed I figured I must be some flavor of bisexual (figuring that if I could aesthetically appreciate either gender, sexual attraction had to follow) and I got support there that led me to where I am. I'm not so sure I'm even romantic any more, but if anything I'm at least an ally. Are there ever asexual groups at Pride, I wonder? I haven't been to our local Pride parade, so I don't know on a local level, but it'd be nice. And some of the same GLBT groups I joined while still trying to figure out what I was had people who were asshats about the whole thing. But you get those everywhere. They were an eventual factor in why I left one particular group, but only one of a few.

A lot of heteroromantic asexuals consider themselves apart from the whole GLBTQ... community, and I can see where they're coming from with that. I don't think it'll fall so neatly into everyone being in or everyone being out of the big monolithic idea of a GLBT community. (Now I have the Hokey Pokey stuck in my head. When do we get to shake it all about?)

My age probably helps with assumptions of sexuality, but so far people treat me like some sort of weird blank slate-- if a girl likes me, she operates under the assumption that I'm at least bisexual, and the same for boys. I don't think it's ever crossed some people's minds that I might not be sexually attracted to people, just because I'm so vocal about aesthetic attraction.

Asexual/aromantic, here. I don't consider myself part of the GLBT community, as I don't find it any easier to identify with GLBT folks than heterosexuals (nor, in my personal experience, have GLBT folks found it any easier to identify with me--quite the opposite). This isn't a perfect simile, but to me, putting asexuals in the alphabet soup feels a bit like trying to lump atheists with eastern religions because they're all Not Christian. We may have that common difference, but that doesn't mean we're really going to relate.

personally, i think the glbt community can and should be wonderful allies for the ace community. i consider myself part of the glbt crowd, being "queer" and non-heteronormative, but it's not a big deal to me.

i think if you can make connections with persons in the glbt crowd, wonderful. if you would rather keep yourself a separate entity, good for you. taking advantage of the glbt community helps keep me sane in a university where i feel rather alienated because of my inability to fit in with a heteronormative society.

uhm. and stuff.

apologies for the ramble. tis rather late here. but i think you get what i mean, yes?

Whee, long comment to follow. Sorry, I have a lot to say, I guess. :)

I consider myself asexual and queer, a label I use instead of trying to explain the vague cloud between aromantic and biromantic that I inhabit. I have weird feelings about my personal inclusion in the LGBT community, and sort of feel half-part of it. I know that some of my other LGBT friends see me as part of the community, but my mom does not; she's still not convinced that I can label myself at all at my age (17) and has often asked why I care so much about queer/LGBT issues. But she has such a small understanding of those issues that it's way beyond my patience to try and explain why I feel apart of it, since she can barely understand the acronym and LGBT = gay to her.

I've been interested in LGBT rights since before I ID'd as queer, and during the period of time I ID'd as bisexual I remember feeling a little disappointed I could no longer declare that I, a straight person, was an ally, though it was short-lived because I never identified strongly as straight. I do have some guilty feelings at times, like wondering what kind of right I have to identify as queer or LGBT. Where I live, the LGBT movement is very tiny, and I only just joined the GSA at my school this year. The people are very nice, but I don't know them well yet. I'm not out to them yet, mostly because I'm shy and because I get tired of explaining asexuality.

I'm not going to lie, I always get sort of hesitant about conversations on the ace community and the LGBT community, because it seems like everyone has very strong feelings and the same things get rehashed over and over, and everything is based on personal experience. Which I totally can understand. It's hard to want to collaborate with a group if in person they have rejected you. My personal stance is that if you want to consider yourself part of the LGBT continuum, go for it; if you don't, that's cool too.

On a more objective basis, I *do* see there being a benefit to some sort of allyship with the broader LGBT community. Regardless of the arguments of "them" being about having sex and "us" being about not having sex, the LGBT community has set up a forum for talking about sexual orientation (though I've heard that this too is a point of contention among aces) that provides a starting point for asexual visibility, which could be helpful. And of course, all of this is just my personal opinion. Love to hear anybody else's. :)

Bi-greyasexual. I consider asexuality to be both a part of the LGBTQI community and not a part of it. On the one hand, we're not straight, and so we do share a lot of the issues that other non-heterosexual people have to face, non-normative. But on the other hand, the asexual community also has different issues than the gay community. Lacking in sexuality is different than having sexual attraction to the same sex. If a person were asexual and they went to the LGBT center (I imagine, i'm not speaking from experience; again I'm biromantic, but correct me if I'm wrong), they wouldn't need quite the same information that a gay or lesbian or bisexual person would need in regards to adjusting and accepting their identity, or dealing with relationships and society perceptions. Some things are similar, but many things are not. Still, I would argue for asexuality to at least be included in the dialect of the LGBT comm, despite the knowledge that asexuality is also a separate thing. I mean, transgenderism is part of the community and gender is very different than sexuality. It could still help us to be part of a queer, non-heterosexual community, due to our non-heteronormative sexuality. Banding together of the minority sexualities and all that for a common cause.

Wow, you just made the same point I did about trans people. See my comment below. I was apparently typing it while yours was posting.

I just had this discussion with someone last night.

Overall, asexuality is a sexual orientation the same way atheism is a religion. Sort of not at all. I have sometimes been known to say that asexuality is a "sexual orientation of 'no,'" not "no sexual orientation," which is my way of saying it's not like you just have a void or are undecided where sexual orientation is concerned. You are actively very unlikely to be attracted to anyone (though of course it's important to be fair and scientific about it and say you can't "know" it will never happen; you just don't expect it to). Asexuality is sort of off the chart of sexuality since it is NOT an active orientation--it describes the "zero" set, so to speak.

But just like atheists aren't "undecided" about religion, asexuals aren't "undecided" about sexual attraction. And if there were some kind of panel needed that represented "all" religious perspectives, I'd think it'd be important to have that "zero" set represented; I'd want an atheist's perspective to be included along with the others'. Same with asexuals--we do represent an important, though small, slice of the world's perspective on sexuality. We represent being outside the experience, but because of that, we're still part of it.

Because of being the "zero," we aren't "technically" in the mainstream sexuality community OR the alternative sexuality community. But I think we stand to reap some benefits by allowing ourselves to associate with the LGBT movement, because we all share similar issues over not being the norm, and we do struggle for understanding and awareness and equality and acceptance of unconventional partnerships. Take for instance the fact that transsexuals, the T in LGBT, are not expressing a sexual orientation either. They're expressing a gender issue. There are gay trans people, sure, but even straight trans people are "associated" with gay people because their experiences of oppression and misunderstanding of their sexual orientations are related to their gender difficulties. I think we kinda belong to the LGBT group as much as transsexuals do, which is "sort of."

I do have a concern, though, that sometimes awareness just becomes overt celebration of sexuality itself. It involves a lot of preaching to the choir. You attend Pride and you're probably already "on their side," so theoretically you don't mind seeing a big papier-mâché vagina go by on a float. But the people who NEED to hear the message of equality and awareness are going to be offended by the blatant displays of "fags" in leather and whatnot. They get the idea that this is what gay people are, when in fact it's just the more flamboyant, comfortable, outgoing members of that community using the Pride celebration as a vehicle for enjoying their sexuality and expression of it.

If I were gay, I wouldn't want people to think the bull dykes screaming chants including the word "pussy" were representative of how I feel. If what the LGBT community is aiming for by celebrating Pride is LEGITIMACY, they might be hurting themselves by making their most well-known awareness celebrations so blatantly offensive to the more conservative communities (who, to be fair, are the ones they're really trying to win over). The quiet, normal, comfortable gay guy at the office who doesn't talk about buttsex all the time is probably assumed heterosexual by everyone he works with. (We're the same way; unless it comes up for some reason, asexual people are often just assumed heterosexual, and some people would even argue that heterosexuality is the default. Straight until proven gay! I did a video about that recently in my YouTube video "Letters to an Asexual #4.") The normal ones are invisible and the "deviant" and "flamboyant" ones are assumed to be the norm. And because of that, associating with the LGBT community could set us (and them) back somewhat depending on who we're talking to. . . .

I'm neither bi-asexual or straight asexual; at least I don't regard myself as such, but I believe it depends on how you choose to relate with LGBT to be assocated with them. For discrimination situations, yes, it may be apt to be regarded as LGBT and in line with them but on other issues, such as sexual activity, I wouldn't consider asexuals LGBT. I consider sexuality in multiple fronts, so there are the heteros, LGBT asexuals and phasers, people who go through periods in their lives where the sexuality shifts. I wouldn't lump them in with LGBT either. Overally, I like asexuality being on its own.

I don't feel part of the LGBT community but I really like them...?
Personally, it's hard for me to feel affiliated with any organized group.
I suppose I would draw the line between asexual and any-sexual, so, No.

Personally, I would never think of myself as queer (it would feel really strange to use that word about myself) or allied to the gay community. I'm a strong supporter of gay rights but don't feel any closer connection to gay sexual people than to straight sexual people. If there's a division, I see it as being between sexual and asexual, and so I only consider myself a part of the asexual community. Of course, it's not always as black and white as that, but for me, I'm very much an aromantic asexual and so I don't count myself in with sexual people, whether straight or gay. I don't really think of myself as straight, gay or bi (though my very occasional crushes are always on men), more as "none of the above".

Everything Lady Chaos just said. With chocolate on. :-)

Asexual aromantic here.

I'm not GLBT but since I'm not straight, I do ID as queer.

I've had mixed experiences. Specificlaly labeled GLBT groups don't seem to want me and it was in a talk on the normalcy of homosexuality that I was told asexuality was abnormal and didn't exist. Swell times.

But groups labeled with the extended acronym GLBTQIA etc have been welcoming, on and off line. And my queer friends are my strongest allies. The first person to coin the term asexual to describe me was a bi friend.

Hey, Aunt B!

I'd definitely echo everything she just said, except I'm not aromantic.

Some queer groups are welcoming to asexuals, others are not. It just really depends on the level of exposure members have to the idea of asexuality as well as how they feel about having allies (if they're cool with having allies attend events, they don't have to spend time arguing over whether or not you're "really queer").

I have met at least one homosexual who threw the same crap at me as heteros always do: "You're not asexual, you're just sexually repressed"

I know there are jerks everywhere, but I don't think any homosexual guy would tell another homosexual (guy or girl) that (s)he's that way "just because he hasn't met the right person of the other gender" or some similar idiocy.

So... I don't think asexuals fit into the GLBT community.

(Deleted comment)
Sadly I'm not surprised. Seems like bisexuals and asexuals get a lot of the same crap-- "you'll grow out of it" and such.

You get pricks everywhere. A fair few LGB people are mean to the Ts, and often overlook them.

However, the people I know who are prepared to spread awareness and fit asexuality in with their own experiences and systems of doing things? Queer/LGBT+ groups.

Well, you have a point, there.

I suspect it depends on the asexual.

If you're asexual and aromantic, then unless you choose to be "visibly out" by broadcasting your status, there's no actual reason why anyone else should ever know about it. I think this is a fundamental difference between the LGB queer group and Aromantic Asexuals. If someone is G, B, or L, and wants to have a normal-ish romantic and sexual life, most likely they'll want to be able to go out for the evening with a partner or partners, hold hands, kiss, show affection in public, etc. In a world full of intolerance, there are only some "safe places" where people can do that. Even in supposedly free and liberal Western Europe, there are places where openly gay people will routinely suffer abuse and discrimination.

An AA on the other hand doesn't really stand out in any way from "the greater mass", even their permanently single status is unlikely to register with anyone other than close friends and relatives, and to the best of my knowledge no-one's ever been set upon by a mob or chased out of town for being single. Not having a partner just doesn't raise the eyebrows of bigots in the same way that having the "wrong" kind of partner does.

On the other hand, someone who's Asexual but non-hetro romantic may encounter exactly the same kind of problems that sexual LGBs do - holding hands and cuddling someone of the same gender (moreso for men) will set the gay-haters off regardless of whether the gesture was between sexual or asexual people.

So the answer to the original question, as I see it, is "probably yes" for romantic, especially homo- or bi-romantic, asexuals, but "mostly not" for AAs.

I'm gay-romantic. Personaly, I feel I belong to the LGBT community. the only difference I have with gay people is that I don't practice sexuality. By all other aspects, I'm gay: personal attation, social behaviours, interests, etc. I feel at home on the gay scene. I certainly feel uneasy on the straight scene. Only one gay person has ever objected to my permanently single status. Much more than one straight people have.
As for other asexuals, it is up to them whether they feel close to the LGBT community or not. If you're not gay-romantic, I guess may will feel you do not belong to the LGBT community.
However, I think that the very fact of being different and facing discrimination makes us much closer to LGBT than to anything else.

Queer and proud!

The LGBT community as it stands is not perfect for the needs of ase people - but then it isn't for bi or trans people either, but it's always improving and refining and people under the umbrella meet and group and find places to be strong/happy.

Warwick uni had an ase position on their LGBTUA+ society that was empty when it was first made, but after a couple of years a whole community with separate socials and education events has grown up.

Queer groups know what presumed-heteronormativity and denial of your experience is, and they've fought/are fighting definitions of mental illness. Considering about half of our community is at some level interested in the same sex and about a quarter and gender-interesting, I think that LGBT spaces are a good place for us to get a foothold, to belong, but remain autonomous, like the trans (and to some degree bi) community do.

I don't think an "LGBT community" exists either. As a person of trans experience, I see trans issues as related to LGB issues in some ways, but in general are vastly different from LGB issues. I do not consider my trans status to be something with makes me part of a "community" with LGB people.

I'm not asexual, but I think in general issues of sexuality and sexual orientation can be related and that there is much cross-over. I also think that issues can be very separate. I don't think it's necessarily one thing or the other. There's commonalities across experience and with the realities of living in a society that does not represent one's experience in the dominant culture (sexual attraction assumed; heterosexual attraction assumed, etc.).

Also, since gender identity isn't sexual orientation, and the post is about non-attraction/attraction/etc., I'm confused as to why the "T" is included along with "LGB." Seems tacked-on.

I guess it's like what other people have posted here in the comments: gathering LGBT together not meant for making a cohesive group, but rather for banding the minorities together in the hopes of increasing their visibility.

In this case, I suppose asexuals could fit into the group, but only to say that we are not part of the majority. Same thing goes to the trans group.

As asexuals, do you feel part of the LGBT community? Not at all.
Do other people see you as part of the LGBT community? Probably not. XD
If so, do you wish they didn't? They don't.
If not, do you wish they did? No. Honestly, that's like asking, "As a left-hander, do you wish people would see you as a right-hander?"

I don't feel like I'm a part of the LGBT community, and I don't feel like I should be or need to be. I'm totally okay with any sexual orientation and all of that, but I don't feel like I'm a part of that community and I don't desire to be.

My sexual orientation is heterosexual, and my sexual identity is asexual. That's how I define myself. I'm a woman who's attracted to men, but I'm not sexually attracted to anything or anyone. I totally lack a sex drive and have absolutely no desire to have sex. I still like to have crushes, date, and even kiss men. I just don't want to have sex with them...or anything/anyone else, for that matter. I don't get fancy with the terms ("aromantic" and whatnot) because I don't care that much. I am who I am: a heterosexual asexual.

I'm a homoromantic asexual. Ive always thought there were two different strands to sexuality. You are either sexual, demisexual or asexual which uis strand 1. You either like men only, or women only or both men and women, or nneither men or women (asexual aromantic, uninterested in relationships or whatever). I think homoromantics and biromantics can face the same discriminations and problems as homosexuals and bisexuals so in that sense they can belong to the LGBT group. I personally keep away from GLBT because I am constantly told they are "highly sexual and aggressive" which fustrates me as its harder to find women who like women or both men and women in the asexual community as there are few around. I don't think straight or aromantic asexuals can identify with the GLBT movemement as strongly but then again that is a matter of personal choice. As for transexuals I'm at a loss to know why they are tagged on as that is not a sexuality issue but I can understand they are a minority too.

lesbian

(Anonymous)

2010-03-23 01:03 am (UTC)

i consider myself very much lesbian yet people do ,just like everyone else here, i get shit about it even from my girlfreind i get it i think that asexuals should be included in the GLBT community cuz really all it is is a group of people that has a sexualty that is not "normal" or what is supposed to be normal i think that all of you have a good point to like i said i get that shit to from everyone to and i agree with you guys and i think th GLBT community should accept really anyone

I know this is kind of old so I'm not sure if this thread will be read but it was actually what google found me when I was looking for someone discussing this issue :)

I really with that LGBT would just turn into Queer Community because it's so much more all encompassing. (The other option being continuing the alphabet soup LGBT is turning into, which I can never remember and I think has gotten pretty absurd at this point. Are we at LGBTQQ and.... something?) I am asexual and feel that I have always been asexual. I've also pretty much always been aromantic, but that part of my sexuality has been a bit more fluid. While I've never pursued relationships of any sort out of... worry? that the asexuality part would be an issue, I used to skew slightly heteroromantic while I now most definitely skew homoromantic. But I'm still close enough to the middle that were a situation to ever come up with someone of either gender I think I'd be open to the possibility at least. If I was less aromantic on the spectrum, I could just identify as gay/bi/straight and leave the asexual part until it became an issue with someone, but since that's the.... predominate orientation that doesn't feel right either.

I think a lot of the reason asexuals wind up outside the realm of community is because you're completely right, they have to deal with the ideas of coming to terms with a sexuality and when or whether to "come out," people doubting they really are what they say they are. But there's different rights that they don't have to fight for in the same way. Someone who is 100% aromantic asexual will never be beaten up for this issue, because it's just not a visable thing. Most asexuals have no need (for themselves) to fight for marriage equality. I think being a "closeted" asexual puts a lot less psychological stress on a person and just doesn't disrupt their lives in the same way. So not only do less asexuals feel the need to form a real community because they can more easily seemlessly blend in with the masses, I almost feel that some of the LGBT community, if they understand at all and don't deny the issue just as much as the "mainstream," almost resent the lack of struggle.

Then there's those I'm sure who willingly don't want to align themselves with the LGBT community. But since I do feel like there's a lot of issues we have in common, I'd love for it to be more included. I only been telling people for a year or two that I'm asexual, and never gotten into the shades of asexuality with anyone not within the community, but I've toyed with the idea of just identifying myself a queer to anyone out the lgbt community and leaving it at that unless they want more info. That lets me align myself more fully with the LGBT community, which I'm occasionally peripherally involved in (the marriage equality march for one). Some people will just assume that means I'm gay (and unless they're someone interesting in setting me up, I don't really care if they do). I haven't found that straight allies identifying as such have been all that useful, but I am from the NYC area so I'm sure these things differ by region.

But I've always been one willing to take on the discrimination of other groups anyway because as long as anyone is treated unequally, we all are. So if identifying in one way just forced me to fight harder for equality on any level, i'm okay with that too.

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