Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Aces Count As Queer

A short interlude in between parts one and two, a clarification of sorts.

Aces, or people on the asexual spectrum, count as queer. In other words, asexuality is a legitimate form of sexuality. Being Ace is as legitimate a way to be Queer as being Gay is.

[Pic is a hand holding a couple of playing cards done in purple ink. You can see the ace of spades. On the large spade in the middle is written "Some people are asexual." Under that it says it tiny print: "Deal with it."]

The only time a person who is asexual in any way does not count as Queer is if that individual person does not choose to identify themself with the term “Queer”. That is the only way. No other person besides the person themself can kick the person out of being Queer or in any other way erase them from having a sexuality or having their sexuality be considered among the ranges of human sexualities. Nobody but the person can do this, or any related thing.

I am using a singular ‘them,’ a singular ‘themself.’  Spell check doesn’t like it, but I do.  This is one of the ways the people who reject gender binaries are doing this rejection within language, fluidly.  There are other ways, also.  It is good to ask people how they like to be referred to in terms of pronouns.

The reason I am talking about Aces here is because I have recently been shocked to find out there is this thing called Ace-hating.  I should be old enough not to be shocked that there is anything called whatever-hating anymore, but every dang new thing I hear about whatever-hating gets me in the gut.

[Black and white photo here of a hand-lettered sign being held up. Sign reads: "Asexual love is real love."]

Aces, it seems to me pretty clear you’re as Queer as I am, Queer as a three dollar bill, and as long as you like the title, party on. If you don’t, no pressure, you’re Ace and that’s ace and goodspeed. :)  But now I'm curious: for those on the ace-spectrum out there who may read this: does Queer seem like a good fit for a way you'd like to overarchingly identify, say as Autistic is to Disabled? I know it does for some I know, which is why I wrote this. I wrote it for them. But I am interested in hearing from people I don't know.

Ace-haters, no hate allowed here.  So PM me.  You can get to my FB through my profile.

Thank you for listening.



  1. Ibby, I love you for this post. People just don't get it. They think that its not that I'm asexual, just that I'm broken and haven't "met the right guy (or girl) yet". But especially the "queer" community, because it is so based around sexuality, the idea of a-sexuality seems counter-intuitive. Anyway. Hugs.

  2. Thanks E! Those are silly people doing that to you. Queer isn't about sex, it's about not letting people erase you for how they don't like your business around topics they or others may see as being loosely related to it. AND not letting people erase your friends or friends of friends. NO ERASURE.

    One thing I just noticed is that I muttonheadedly went around inviting people to talk about a thing regarding themselves that isn't that safe because there's haters. So also I want to thank you for saying. It is brave to say hey that's me let me tell you what I think when there's haterade being whirled around, even if other people are right there saying the haterade is wrong and uncool. Even then, because we all know what things are like.

    So that is just one more way in which you rock.

    Will you please please please come up to me one day and secretly tell me that you are you? I will not tell anyone who you are, but I totally want to know you IRL.

    1. Awww Ibby, if I am ever in your state, I will. I promise. One day I want to meet the lovely bloggers who I've come to know so well online. One day it will happen. Maybe I'll get up the guts to go to an autism conference or something. But I promise, if we are ever in the vicinity of one another, you'll know.

  3. I am as shocked by your are when I find out people hate other people simply for who they are.

    1. Srsly! Get ready for what I am about to post right now that happened to Melanie... a shocker of hilarity!

  4. Note that Elizabeth Hassler caught me in an overstatement but wrote it on FB instead of on here. However, I want to give her credit.

    I'm making it sound like Queer isn't about sexuality *at all*. But what I meant to say was that it's not *all and only* about sex. I meant something more like, I am queer even when I am not doin-the-deed. It is a thing I AM. And sexuality is a thing you can have by being asexual, because it's more about your relationship to the world telling you what to do in the realm of sexuality, but I made it sound like I meant it had nothing to do with anything, like it could be about peanut butter and unicorns.

    One tip-off for me that asexual is a way to be queer is how easily I can relate when E speaks of the nimrods telling her she just needs to meet the right person. Familiar much? That's a Queer Thang.

    Thanks Elizabeth Hassler! Feel free to write on here! I welcome you and your sharp mind!

    1. Ibby, I am fond of you! And I don't have a Google account or a blog so I am identified here with an account I don't even use anymore, but it's Elizabeth Hassler, so.

      I'm not asexual, but I am, like, sex agnostic. This confuses people who DEFINITELY believe in sex for their own lives, and has previously caused me to throw workshops with titles like "Taking the Sex Out of Sex" and confuse people further. But yeah, sexual policing happens to bodies whether you're into sex or not. Especially it happens to disabled people, because it's a(nother) way bodies are controlled. And we know from experience that leads to eugenics and yuck, so I've seen a lot of disabled activists spend a lot of time insisting everyone is into sex -- even disabled people! Which, um, not everyone, 'cause there's that person over there saying they aren't and maybe we should listen. And anything that uses "the human condition" as its linchpin argument isn't really radical enough for me anyway. But I understand why people make it, and that context is why I think it's neat and super-important that a place like NeuroQueer can manage NOT to say sex is always queer's foundation while also not saying queer is about peanut butter and unicorns instead of sex (which happens way too often both in academic contexts and when people just want their marriage rights, damnit, and throw all kinds of queer bodies under the bus to get them). Yay!

      God, isn't that paragraph a mess? I might guest-post: watch out!

      P.S. I could do the captcha, but it was hard, and so it occurred to me that commenting here is currently not so accessible to people with vision disabilities of any kind. So, there's that.

  5. Gah! I didn't know there was a captcha! I can never do those! Someone tell me how to get it offa there!!!

  6. Somehow a whole paragraph of the essay comes up as wingding font. I cut and pasted it into word and here it is, just in case I'm not the only one who can't read it:

    :) But now I'm curious: for those on the ace-spectrum out there who may read this: does Queer seem like a good fit for a way you'd like to overarchingly identify, say as Autistic is to Disabled? I know it does for some I know, which is why I wrote this. I wrote it for them. But I am interested in hearing from people I don't know.