A personal announcement, emphatic thank-you, and cheers to Fedora.

A quick thought stemming from something mentioned prior to my initial post; as an asexual if I were to have only heteroromantic relationships for the rest of my life then it's not something that would ever be apparent to anyone other than me and my partners- the general public, friends, and family would all probably assume everything was typical unless they started prying for details. I think this is probably what enables us to avoid much of the hatred and discrimination experienced by the broader LBGT community and is perhaps why many don't feel a need to 'come out' about it in any significant way, or perhaps in seeing that hatred and discrimination feel safer staying silent about it unless they happen to be in non-heteroromantic relations.

For me it comes down to feeling that the more of us who are visible at various points of the spectrum the better, my hope is that someday in the future no one will ever have to feel

queereka's myths and misconceptions faq[/url]] the pain of feeling less than a person because I didn't have adequate information

for example. Thank you all again for embracing members from all over the sexual, affectional, and gender spectrums and providing another safe place for us.

Hypatian wrote:

What about folks who feel... er... less constrained forms of sexual attraction? Do these categories make sense to you, or is it sort of like "Wait, what? There are people like that? How could that be?"

I think, for me, it isn't something I can truly understand. I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to feel no sexual attraction whatsoever. I think it's similar to the discussions about dysphoria. Intellectually, I can recognize it; I can imagine it; I can sympathize with it; but I have no cognitive framework for truly understanding it. If that makes sense.

krev82 wrote:

The main difference between my friends and relationships is in what I'm willing to emotionally share with each of them, how close I'm willing to let them get on that emotional field - relationships get much much closer. I think the best analogy I can come up with off hand is that you may love your closest friends but you're not in love with them in the same way that you're in love with a romantic partner. Contemplate whether the only difference between the two is the desire to for-boogle, I submit that there's more to it than that.

This does make sense to me, thank you. Wording it that way made me stop and think about relationships of my own. Even though sexual relationships, they were also romantic relationships. A level of emotional sharing you reserve for that person. Thank you for clarifying.

Another thought for discussion. I wonder how many people who identify as bi-sexual actually are homosexual and heteroromantic or vice versa? Are they truly bi-sexual or just confused about what they actually are?

[redacted]

Hypatian said what I was trying to say far more articulately.

This is particularly a hot-button thing because bi people regularly have their "bi-ness" doubted by people. "You're just too scared to really be gay", "you're really straight but you want to be trendy", etc. That's not a good thing at all.

If somebody says "I feel X", trust that they feel X. Otherwise they wouldn't be saying it. Their understanding of their feelings may evolve over time as they figure themselves out better, but it's never cool to try to reduce one kind of feeling to another. It's incredibly demeaning to the person whose identity is placed in doubt. "Oh, nobody really feels that, you're just deluded." Nasty.

(And note: Even when that's not what you mean, whenever you say anything like "Couldn't X just be a kind of Y?", that negative commentary is what people with X feeling hear.)

Hypatian wrote:

What about folks who feel... er... less constrained forms of sexual attraction? Do these categories make sense to you, or is it sort of like "Wait, what? There are people like that? How could that be?"

They totally make sense rationally, and I'm as accepting of pretty much anything that's safe, sane and consensual but I'm unable to empathize, particularly the further you get from my own, middle of the bell-curve, straight cis hetero guy sexuality. Like, I can grok being gay, you know? That's a similar enough form of my own sexuality, just with a different target, right? Once you go into less common sexualities, taking asexuality as an example, I simply have no idea what that's like as an experience. Likewise for trans and dysmorphia - I can understand that it exists, but it's difficult to know what it's like.

Hope that makes some kind of rambling sense. It's not that I'm asking "How could that be?", so much as "I wonder what that feels like?"

edit: Yeah, I dunno, this is delicate stuff I guess, don't want to offend anyone... Not sure how to relate here, that's all : )

Mex wrote:

edit: Yeah, I dunno, this is delicate stuff I guess, don't want to offend anyone... Not sure how to relate here, that's all : )

Made humorous sense to me, but I was afraid to say so in case your remarks offended someone.

My friends and I have had many late night conversations about sexuality. One of them was wondering if homophobia is actually a person who is in fact bisexual but doesn't know it. It would make sense as to why so many people say that homosexuality or any sexuality on the spectrum is a "choice" instead of it being a part of who you are.

Either way, it makes me sad to know that so many people don't straight up accept other sexualities on the spectrum - I'm not saying anyone here isn't accepting. But I've had experience with people that, as Hypatian said, doubt a person who is bi or asexual.

While at ECCC I went to a panel about non-binary sexualities in comics, and we agreed that wibbly-wobbly should be a label for sexuality. But I actually really appreciated one woman on the panel - who was tired of people saying she was a fake lesbian because she just so happened to fall in love with a man - that she decided her sexuality was just queer. It all made sense that it covered everything.

Yeah. The labels are silly in some ways... they make it easy for us to forget just how much variety there is in human experience.

But, at the same time they can be pretty useful and important. If somebody knows what asexual means, it's a heck of a lot easier to just say that than to have to explain everything to people.

Also, having these various categories makes it easier for someone to say to themselves "Oh! I identify with that a lot, that makes sense!" and figure out a bit more easily what it is that they're feeling. That makes it a lot simpler to figure out the fine details in yourself. (As long as you don't get stuck on the pigeonholes, anyway.)

So I think the categories will remain around a long time after the (being hopeful, here!) point at which we stop being so uptight about what categories are valid.

Hypatian wrote:

Yeah. The labels are silly in some ways... they make it easy for us to forget just how much variety there is in human experience.

But, at the same time they can be pretty useful and important. If somebody knows what asexual means, it's a heck of a lot easier to just say that than to have to explain everything to people.

Also, having these various categories makes it easier for someone to say to themselves "Oh! I identify with that a lot, that makes sense!" and figure out a bit more easily what it is that they're feeling. That makes it a lot simpler to figure out the fine details in yourself. (As long as you don't get stuck on the pigeonholes, anyway.)

So I think the categories will remain around a long time after the (being hopeful, here!) point at which we stop being so uptight about what categories are valid.

This is really well said.

I think if people stopped thinking of labels as binding contracts, things'd be a lot better. People are discovering new things about themselves all the time. When someone says "I used to not like tomatoes, but now I really love them!", no one gets worked up into a frenzy about how the person in question is a liar or a fake tomato-hater. I don't see why sexuality should be any different.

The labels are useful as shorthand, but they should never define someone with permanency and completeness.

Less categories, more adjectives.

SixteenBlue wrote:

Fewer categories, more adjectives.

Moar grammar!

The more I stop to think about it, the less sense the labeling makes to me. I mean, I blame the Puritans for most of the repression and outrage and disgust at human sexuality, but regardless of root cause, Western society - at least North American society - has a real problem with live-and-let-live. I'm not quite sure why people can't like and love and f*ck other people and have that just be the ways things are. If you want to l/l/f me and I'm not into that with you, I'm not quite sure why I can't just say, "No thank you" and then we go on with our lives.

Chumpy,

My opinion and sincere hope:

I think some of the point is to help people identify their own experiences. The word can become a focal point of conversation. That is a way the label becomes a tool to share and unite and enlighten, rather than a tool to partition and segregate. It's a tool, and up to people to wield responsibly.

Rallick wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

Fewer categories, more adjectives.

Moar grammar!

DAMMIT. My wife is always bugging me about that!

MrAndrewJ wrote:

Chumpy,

My opinion and sincere hope:

I think some of the point is to help people identify their own experiences. The word can become a focal point of conversation. That is a way the label becomes a tool to share and unite and enlighten, rather than a tool to partition and segregate. It's a tool, and up to people to wield responsibly.

Labels are tools to share, unite and enlighten, but the problem is that even those within other labels segregate. There are many people that think bisexuality is a cop-out and that asexuality isn't a thing. I've had the unfortunate experience to come across them more than once. Sometimes gays and lesbians frown upon the bisexuals because they won't pick a side, or they think asexuality can't happen because it's natural to want to reproduce, etc.

It's really unfortunate that this happens, and I hope it will change as more and more people get comfortable and come out.

Hypatian wrote:

This is particularly a hot-button thing because bi people regularly have their "bi-ness" doubted by people. "You're just too scared to really be gay", "you're really straight but you want to be trendy", etc. That's not a good thing at all.

If somebody says "I feel X", trust that they feel X. Otherwise they wouldn't be saying it. Their understanding of their feelings may evolve over time as they figure themselves out better, but it's never cool to try to reduce one kind of feeling to another. It's incredibly demeaning to the person whose identity is placed in doubt. "Oh, nobody really feels that, you're just deluded." Nasty.

(And note: Even when that's not what you mean, whenever you say anything like "Couldn't X just be a kind of Y?", that negative commentary is what people with X feeling hear.)

I completely agree with you Hypatian. I was not meaning to discount anyone or claim anyone does not know who they are.

I guess I was trying to convey the fact that myself and many others, I feel, do not know about things such as homoromantic or heteroromanic as compared to sexuality. If this was common knowledge or talked about more often, it may help a few people out. (if that makes sense at all?)

Goodjers are the... Bestjers!

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

live-and-let-live

The important bit.

+1

Congrats Krev, and thanks for the insight and discussion everyone. I agree that labels are a double edged sword, but they also allow us to express ourselves more specifically and, more so in this forum, intelligently.

Rallick wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

Fewer categories, more adjectives.

Moar grammar!

Aw, you know just how to talk to me.

Dominic Knight wrote:
MrAndrewJ wrote:

Chumpy,

My opinion and sincere hope:

I think some of the point is to help people identify their own experiences. The word can become a focal point of conversation. That is a way the label becomes a tool to share and unite and enlighten, rather than a tool to partition and segregate. It's a tool, and up to people to wield responsibly.

Labels are tools to share, unite and enlighten, but the problem is that even those within other labels segregate. There are many people that think bisexuality is a cop-out and that asexuality isn't a thing. I've had the unfortunate experience to come across them more than once. Sometimes gays and lesbians frown upon the bisexuals because they won't pick a side, or they think asexuality can't happen because it's natural to want to reproduce, etc.

It's really unfortunate that this happens, and I hope it will change as more and more people get comfortable and come out.

I ran into the "No True Scotsman" exclusionary behavior when I went to punk shows a lot. Everyone kept tightening their definition of what a "real" punk was, mostly in reaction to people they wanted to exclude. A lot of times it comes down to "I'm the special one, not you," which is an unfortunate human tendency.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Western society - at least North American society - has a real problem with live-and-let-live.

Just to quibble: This is not a distinctly Western or U.S. phenomenon.

Anyway, I'm still proud that people feel GWJ is a place they can safely talk about these things and let the walls down about who they are. My continued thanks for those who have graced us with such sensitive truths.

Hey everyone

I didn't want to post "me too", and absolutely wanted everyone else to have the support they were getting. They deserved it. So now, this is still about reaching out to you.

I'm going through two things right now.

One: Gender has always been a fluid thing to me. It was always like that. Here's me right after college, in the late 90s, as I was likely found bored at home or out with friends, or at concerts. I ran a web site about a group called The Trash Brats. Through that, I effectively started adulthood around a wonderfully diverse group of people.

Although the scope is considerably smaller than what Clock and Hypatian are going through, I would gladly share any helpful experiences over the last two and a half relevant decades.

In putting myself back together, that photograph will probably be me again in the very near future. I've been taking a lot of steps in that direction already. Trying to hide it didn't work anyway.

My other struggle is for another time. Bad things happened. I've been scared. Just know that you've helped. Seeing you take charge of your happiness and lives has been important this last year. Thank you NSMike, Fedora, Clockworkhouse and Hypatian. I hope I didn't miss anyone.

Anyway, this is about telling all of you that you're not alone. That's for every single person who reads this. You might be going through your own version of things, but you're not alone.

Finally: No one here is invalidated by anyone who says anything stupid on the Internet. Whether the people mean well, are being jerks, or just lacking knowledge, they don't invalidate you. They don't change the matter that your experiences are real, the experiences matter, and you also matter.

I've been online in some way since Q-Link in the late 80s. I've spent just about as long subject to slurs and even real violence, online and offline. I know the hurt and fear their words can cause. Even that isn't invalid for you to feel. You do want something better. I have also seen the good. I do know that living happily is a powerful form of proof, and a powerful way to be heard.

Every one of you deserves so much happiness. Please see that in yourself and please have it. You're valid. You matter. That's true no matter what.

-Andrew

(((hugs)))

Tanglebones wrote:

(((hugs)))

+1

Cool beans. Feel free to drop by over in the "How to be a Woman" thread. The title is kind of femme-centric, but the intent is certainly not to exclude masculine, gender-fluid, or other folks.

Big ups Andrew

Thank you Tanglebones (again) and Fedaykin98. (Edit: And CarrotPanic)

Thank you too Hypatian. When time allows again, I'll go see what is happening in there. Sometimes, joining those conversations have turned things awkward.

Awesome, Andrew! Only the best words and smartest of internet sayings for you and for everyone else reading this.

Reading this thread makes me feel good.