capncosmo: Bridge is sad (Woe)
[personal profile] capncosmo
A lot of people talk about "asexual oppression" in only the vaguest of terms, mostly in arguments over whether is exists or not. I'm not going to come down definitively either way (or maybe I will?), but let me share with you a specific example in the "for" category.

Last night I had a dream. It was a really great dream. Somehow I had gotten into a relationship with a person from my past(identity redacted), and she and I had a really great kiss. Some lesbian woman whose identity is lost to me gave us a thumbs up, and it was really great. Then it got a little less great as we had to hide our relationship from her mother. And then it went for a nosedive when she suggested we have sex. Dream me panicked, trying to make excuses, so much that actual me woke up and was awake (which, if you've never seen me trying to get up, I don't do "awake" until I've been standing in the bathroom getting ready for 10 minutes).

Obviously, given that it is past my bedtime now, this dream stuck with me, and I haven't been able to shake it. And it isn't the first dream I've had like it. There was the one five years ago, where everyone was talking about how a close friend of mine and I had had sex, except we hadn't. (No, really, dream-him confirmed it.) There was the one before that where I had found myself the unwilling mother in a virgin birth, and everyone kept telling me I should really just fess up until I ended up dead. There was the one from nine years ago where I ended up locking myself in a tiny bathroom just to get away. Every sexually-themed dream I've ever had has been a nightmare.

Not all of my nightmares run this way, but the ones that really disquiet me do. The ones that I can't get out my head for some reason I don't understand do.

This is just my personal trauma, and, mercifully, an infrequent occurrence, but putting it all together in my head today, I thought about the argument over if we're oppressed, and whether or not we should be seeking more visibility.

You guys, I don't think we should let hypothetical death threats that may or may not materialize scare us into being willing to live with the nightmares, or the regrets, or the silence, or the lies.

I was reading a blog post from a girl who'd known she was A and who knew she wasn't alone in it since she was 13. Thirteen. I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I'd known what I wanted from interpersonal relationships at 13.

I probably wouldn't have gotten into the whole "I love you just please don't come near me" mess. I probably wouldn't have spent so much time being so very sad. I definitely wouldn't have had to go over every single one of my adolescent relationships just to discover there was way more going on there than I had ever noticed in half of them. (Although, I only proceeded to embarrass myself hopelessly in front of one of them, so I guess I was only serious about them :Db)

But still, I figured it out eventually, and with a relatively small amount of heartache, so I guess it worked out okay?

Except why do we have to live in a world where the best we can hope for is "I guess it worked out okay"?

I don't want to turn my back on the suffering of these other people, no matter how small, because pain is pain. I want visibility to stop even the tiny things, like the well-meant comments and the casual erasure. And, of course, the big things too. I want everyone to stop suffering.

I got an e-mail the other day from this woman who was completely distraught, and while I did the best I could, her answer still broke my heart. She said she admired my courage to be myself, and wished she had it too, but it was just too hard for her not to keep living the lie.

Why are we happy with a world where people end up having to live lies?

on 2011-01-20 05:36 am (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] skye
What I get from this is that you think that visibility would help because it might help more people to both have a label to identify with early on and better accept people who do use that label. And I agree, visibility would help. But the thing is, not being visible is not the ace's only problem. I'm not saying that you're implying this, but I do see it implied or even said outright quite often. But it's not. Even when people both understand fully what 'asexual' means and even accept that such people exist, there still are some very wrong assumptions and very hurtful attitudes that they can and do take that can be extremely painful. Though it means different things to different people, since asexual people have different life experiences just like with all other orientations, "asexual oppression" definitely exists.

on 2011-01-26 06:48 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] meowingatthemoon.wordpress.com
I personally have never understood the argument that "we should stay silent so that people can't openly express hatred". To me, this argument is not only based on fear, but supports the idea that the haters and bigots are right, that we are sick or broken and should be ashamed of who we are.

I say becoming visible is definitely worth the risk. Like you said, the alternative is a life full of lies. The self-destruction and self-hatred that comes from this is far worse than anything a bigot can do to us.

I don't think there are really many people who are going to murder me for being asexual, but honestly I would rather die as myself than live to an old age as a lie.

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