Et quand pense les A - méricains ?
Un document PDF
sur les raisons de s'associer aux LGBT, disponible sur le site d'Awareness Week
Quitte à renvoyer vers le lien, je copie-colle, et peut-être une bonne âme traduira pour les non-anglophones.
Asexuality: its place in LGBT
It is often heard that, besides belonging to a minority, asexuals have nothing in common with the LGBT movement, and do not share any of
the issues or disadvantages that the latter faces. In fact, asexuals also suffer greatly from heterosexism in society.
Asexuals are currently even more invisible than other LGBT groups. Like others in LGBT, many asexuals feel isolated, all alone and frightened. Many grow up confused and worried, unsure of themselves and their sexuality, and feel they are made to deny their true nature. Like other queers, asexuals are more likely to suffer from depression.
Most asexuals presently have no known and obvious support group to turn to;asexuality is currently under the radar and less easy to observe than other
orientations, and this contributes to the lack of understanding about asexuality and the lack of belief in its very existence.
Many asexuals have lived for years in shame and embarrassment about their
orientation, thinking that their asexuality does not live up to the expectations ofsociety, friends, family and their partners.
Like others in LGBT, the greatest damage to asexuals is often done by well meaning people – family and friends - who simply assume they are heterosexual. Therefore, asexuals have a common cause with other LGBT members, in wanting to challenge the prevailing heteronormative presumptions.
Some asexuals have first hand experience of homophobia. It is often assumed, by the ignorant, that if someone is not attracted to the opposite sex, they must be homosexual. Some asexuals have therefore been subject to gay taunting, to homophobic bullying and to physical assault. Asexual women are sometimes threatened with rape to “make them straight” – just like lesbians often are. Many asexuals therefore feel they have a vested interest in gay rights.
Finally, of course, many asexuals are either trans or romantically attracted to the same sex, so are naturally a part of LGBT anyway.
In fact, surveys suggest that only just over a third of asexuals consider themselves to be romantically straight and that asexuals are also much more likely to be trans or gender-queer, compared to the rest of the population. Members of the asexual community are almost always, therefore, extremely queer-friendly.
But surely asexuality is not even an orientation at all - it is a lack of orientation!
First, whether or not you choose to classify asexuality as an orientation, asexuals are people, and they need the recognition and the support of a friendly, open-minded community as much as anyone else. Orientations can be negative as well as positive. When someone says they are homosexual this does not just mean they are sexually attracted to the same sex – it also means they are not attracted to the opposite sex. Similarly heterosexual people are not attracted to the same sex. Asexuality is wholly negative, as far as sexual attraction goes, but that doesn‟t make it any less an orientation. Finally, if asexuals have no orientation because they are attracted to neither gender, does that mean that bisexuals have two orientations because they are attracted to two genders?
LGBT is a sex positive movement. How on Earth can asexuals fit in ?
It is a common misconception that asexuals have some kind of puritanical dislike of sex. While this may be true in a few isolated cases, many asexuals are actually quite sexually liberal in their politics. Most hold the view that consensual sex is a wonderful thing, for those who enjoy it.
Ultimately, sexual freedom for everyone is what asexuals really want to promote too. Freedom includes the freedom to have none.
What other similarities are there between what asexuals and other LGBT folk face?
Asexuals are frequently told that their orientation is invalid and that they need to cure themselves by having sex with the opposite gender. They are also told that they are unnatural or 'inhuman', that they are broken and need 'fixing', that they are incapable of love or intimacy, that their relationships are not real relationships, that they hate the opposite sex, that they must suffer from psychological traumas, that their asexuality is the result of childhood abuse or a hormonal imbalance, that their orientation is a choice or social rebellion or 'just a phase', that they are too young and immature to decide these things, that they just haven‟t met the right opposite - sex person yet, that they are too ugly and undesirable to get an opposite - sex partner or that they are just not trying hard enough. None of these claims stand up to any more scrutiny than they do when levelled against other LGBT people.
Shouldn’t straight asexuals at least be excluded from LGBT?
Heteromantic asexuals, much like other asexuals and others in LGBT, have had their relationships, sex lives, lifestyles and identities questioned, doubted, ridiculed and pathologized. They often grow up feeling all alone and that they are the only one who feels like they do. Further, since ignorant people often assume that anyone who doesn‟t go after sex with the opposite gender is gay, straight asexuals too have frequently suffered from homophobia and heteronormativity in society. They need a safe space as much as anyone else. Moreover, being straight or being able to “pass as straight” are clearly not litmus tests for non-inclusion in LGBT, as many trans people are straight and many bisexual people have opposite sex relationships only.
Has any asexual ever lost their job for being asexual -like many people have for being, say, homosexual?
To my knowledge, no. Most asexuals are fully appreciative of the fact that they have not suffered exactly the same way and in every respect as other members of LGBT and that very many - or most - LGBT people have had things far, far worse. However some asexuals have also suffered greatly and some other LGBT members have been relatively lucky. Everyone‟s experience is different. In addition, asexuals currently have an extra disadvantage: their orientation is not widely known or believed to exist, so that it‟s much harder to find support or similar people to empathize with.
What else is there to say about this?
There are some homosexual, bisexual and trans people, particularly those born in progressive countries, who have been fortunate enough to have never suffered severe discrimination. Yet many such people still feel they are part of the LGBT community and want to march in Pride parades. After all, the LGBT movement is not just about fighting discrimination and gaining rights. It also acts as 'safe space' to bring people together, provide support and to promote awareness and understanding. Many asexuals hope to be a part of this.
3. The role of LGBT?
Why might an asexual want to be involved in LGBT? As noted above, many asexuals suffer from isolation, lack of understanding, homophobic abuse
and from the widespread heteronormative presumptions - much like other members of LGBT. Many asexuals therefore recognize that LGBT people are their natural allies and that their best bet is to join in and help fight all forms of prejudice and misinformation.
In the final analysis, what we all want is the acceptance of who we are.
Why the LGBT movement in particular?
A key part of LGBT is about critically examining the prevailing societal norms concerning sexuality and gender. This is what many asexuals aim for, also.
How has LGBT helped asexuals?
Pride clubs are often the first point of contact for people coming to terms with their sexuality. Some people feel isolated on arriving at university and have an enormous sense of relief at meeting, if not people exactly like them, people who are friendly and open to the idea of non-traditional sexual preferences, and who encourage self-exploration. Further, LGBT organizations have made an important contribution to the visibility of the asexual community: many Pride marches around the world now include asexual representatives.
Some campus Pride groups are even adding A - for asexual - to their acronym.
What about the history?
There have been asexual members of LGBT from the early days, even if most were not open about their asexuality. On the other side, the influence of queer politics and the questioning it enabled were present at the foundation of the first online asexual communities in the early 2000s. Many asexuals recognize that the existence of the LGBT movement, and the progress it has achieved, can take a large amount of credit for the environment in which, today, asexuals can meet each other and talk openly about their orientation and their issues.
Many asexuals, therefore, would like to be a part of the LGBT movement and hope that their presence can make a valuable contribution.
It’s time we recognised each other as natural allies.