I wish self-esteem campaigns would focus less on “everyone is beautiful” and more on “who the fuck cares if you are beautiful or not”
Mr Takei, I would marry you in a heart beat
MILK BUBBLE TEAAAA
I have heard from a lot of people even within the Asexual community that coming out is not important. This assertion is ridiculous and based on the idea that it’s either no big deal or not nearly as difficult as coming out as gay or bisexual to someone.
Here’s the thing, not everyone has the same experiences as you do and coming out - no matter what their orientation may be - varies in difficulty from person to person. Some people who are non-asexual non-heterosexual have more difficulties than other non-asexual non-heterosexual individuals do in coming out. Some have a relatively easy time with it. The same goes for asexual people.
What is the purpose for coming out? Well, the automatic ‘default’ orientation people assume anyone to be is heterosexual. However, people who are not heterosexual often don’t want to be misidentified. They want people to know who they truly are, not what people assume them to be or want them to be. Once people come out as non-heterosexual, they may or may not have a better ability to meet people like them, open up a dialogue about their orientation, and overall become more comfortable with themselves.
However, coming out is not easy for everyone. It is especially not easy when your orientation conflicts with others’ wants and desires for you. These wants and desires are usually based on heteronormative values, values which also conflict with asexuality in different ways and similar ways that they conflict with other non-heterosexual orientations.
It is for this reason that ‘coming out’ for some asexuals is important and/or difficult. There is still risk involved including risk of harm and risk of rejection.
For myself, it is mostly that some of those who I have been open with about my orientation expect me to change for them. They expect that this is a phase and that I will eventually settle down, get married, have kids, the whole deal. These are things I don’t want or need in my life.
In addition, my asexuality conflicts with my parent’s religious views and my mom thinks it would be selfish of me to not want to get married and have children.
As an asexual I’m not always comfortable being open about my orientation because not only do I fear people will dismiss me but also that they’ll threaten me. I have been threatened a few times with sexual assault because I identify as asexual, not because I am female. I have felt unsafe around people who have dismissed my orientation but have not overtly threatened me.
In terms of getting psychiatric help or medical help for anxiety and illness, I am worried that my orientation will be quickly dismissed and made a symptom if I openly talk about it. Why? - because it has happened to other people in the community and because asexuality seems to conflict with a lot of strongly upheld notions in the field of psychology and medicine.
This is just me and not every asexual is like me. Not every asexual feels the need to ‘come out.’ Not every asexual thinks coming out is a difficult thing to do. Others are just like me and have genuine fears when it comes to ‘coming out’ as asexual. Some have more fears than I do, justified by much worse experiences.
Assuming asexuals have no need for ‘coming out’ is problematic in multiple ways. For one, it treats asexuals as ‘straight’ when they’re not. Two, it assumes asexuals collectively face no problems at all by identifying as asexual. Three, the whole idea that asexuals don’t need to ‘come out’ directly contradicts the idea forced upon the asexual community by non-asexuals (ehem Dan Savage) for asexuals to be open about their orientation in relationships with non-asexuals.
Coming out is a process and it is very important to some people. It can have both negative and positive consequences for people who do come out. Therefore, this process is something that should not be controlled by other people but by the individual, and its importance should not be determined by other people but by the individual.
Selling textbooks back to college
Everything about this post is perfect. Because growing up is for losers.
(Obvious trigger warnings apply to the whole post, although there’s no graphic discussion of anything. If you don’t want to see this on your dashboard, I will be tagging everything related to this project with ”resources for ace survivors,” so you can blacklist that. )
I’ve decided that one of my summer projects is going to be assembling a resource list for asexual spectrum survivors of sexual assault and rape. I’ve seen the lack of such a resource mentioned several times online, and also had several conversations in person about the necessity of such a resource. Although we don’t have any official numbers (that I know of), anecdata suggests that it’s not uncommon for aces to be sexual assault survivors (and to receive rape threats fairly regularly). It’s also not uncommon for ace survivors to be afraid of reaching out for help (because of fear that their therapist will try to “cure” their asexuality, because they don’t know where to find resources, etc.). So resources need to exist.
That said, this is probably a ridiculously huge undertaking, and if I did all of it by myself it would A. probably not be as good as I’d like and B. not have as many resources as I’d like, since (despite what my professors think) I cannot read everything in the world.
Here’s where you come in:
If you have suggestions for things you’d like to see on the list (how to find therapists, lists of helplines, how to deal with PTSD on your own if you can’t get therapy, etc.), please let me know. I really want to tailor this to what people would find most helpful. Heck, if it would be helpful to include information on how to supportive of someone who’s a survivor, I can see what I can pull together.
On the other hand, if you have suggestions for any resources that should be included in the list, please let me know. I don’t know of any resources specifically for ace survivors, but if you know of any good resources (whether general audience or LGBTQ-specific) that could be adapted, I want to know about them. Also, I know how to find support on college campuses, but not a lot about community resources, so any information on that would be greatly appreciated.
If you are a survivor and are willing to give advice or share anything that you think others would find helpful (even if it’s something as simple as “this is how I deal with panic attacks”* or “I wish I had known ____”), my ask box is open and anon is on. I can also turn on submissions, if that would be helpful. I will not publish asks without your explicit permission. (Also, I reply privately to non-anon asks.) Alternatively, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I understand how hard it is to talk about this stuff, and no one should feel pressured into sharing anything. Only contribute if you feel comfortable doing so. (And if you don’t want to contribute but still want to talk to someone, my ask box is open.)
Basically, I’d like this to be the best resource possible, and since all of you are brilliant, I figure that anything you contribute will be brilliant. If you contribute in any way, I will include you in the list of contributors to the resource list (unless you would prefer not to be identified, in which case I will still include you as “anonymous”**).
If you would be willing to signal boost this post so that more people can know about it and contribute, that would be greatly appreciated. I’m not going to pull the “if you really care, you’ll reblog” card, ‘cause if you really care, you’ll take care of yourself, whatever taking care of yourself means to you. Again, if you don’t want to see this on your dashboard, I will be tagging everything related to this project with ”resources for ace survivors,” so you can blacklist that.
So, yeah, I think that about covers it. LET’S DO THIS THING.
*I recently learned that lying down and putting an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas, if you don’t have an ice pack) on your face (specifically across the bridge of your nose) will often help with panic attacks, because it triggers your “dive reflex,” which slows down your heart and respiratory rates. SCIENCE.
**Alternatively, I can make up a
sillyfabulous pseudonym for you.