The LGBTQ+ community has been growing over the years, as many people with many different genders and sexualities that previously had to remain in the shadows have now been given a voice to speak out and be proud of who they are.
This includes, lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and many more types of person.
However, there is a growing heated debate around one particular subgroup of people within this community, and it involves the growing number of people who identify as Asexual.
This debate has got fiercer over the years, and now many people within and even outside the community question whether asexuality is a part of it or not.
In this article, we seek to explore this issue and see exactly what it is all about.
What Is Asexuality?
Asexuality is the complete lack of sexual attraction to others, or the low or absent interest in sexual activity or sexual desire.
Many people place asexuality in the sexual spectrum or as a sexual orientation, but the lack of sexual desire also makes this placing quite controversial to some heteronormative people and even some asexual people themselves.
Before anything is said, it must be noted that asexuality is completely different from continued of abstention from sex, like celibacy.
These are not asexuality because the person engaging in them does not lose interest in or pleasure from sex.
The abstention from sex normally comes from a person or individual’s personal, moral, religious, or social beliefs, but their sexual orientation is still continuous and enduring.
While asexual people will still engage in sexual activity or play with others, but this is often motivated by similar reasons to people who abstain from sex – moral, religious, social, or personal – and often it is because they are still romantically attached to a person who may enjoy sexual pleasure, or they want children.
Asexuality wasn’t really that visible in the public eye until very recently. Alfred Kinsey created a scale called the ‘Kinsey Scale’ for sexual orientation in 1948, but the scale only focused on past sexual behaviour, not sexual attraction.
It wasn’t until 1994, when people responded to a sexual orientation survey in the UK for a research team in the wake of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In this survey, 1% of the population responded that they ‘never felt sexual attraction’. Since that time the number of visible asexual people has been growing and it now a community has been built for them.
Is Asexuality A Part Of The LGBTQ+ Community?
Most people would say: ‘Yes, being asexual means that you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.’
This is because, whereas anyone belonging to the traditional binary of heterosexual and heteronormative behaviour – straight men and women relationships – is considered a part of the societal norm, asexual people are not.
Since this would make them ‘gender non-conforming’ – so to speak – a lot of people think that they should be welcomed into the LGBTQ+ community with open arms as they are non-conforming with what society perceives they should be.
This is the same with a lot of non-conforming sexualities that are not a part of the standard title of LGBTQ+, including genderfluid people, intersex people, non-binary people, and other types of allosexual and asexual people who may be struggling from discrimination, trying to adapt to a world not built for, or people struggling to define their sexuality.
The Debate Around Asexual People Being A Part Of The LGBTQ+ Community?
Unfortunately, while the majority of the queer community is incredibly accepting of people struggling with gender and sexual identity, there are also a few people who are hostile to certain forms of gender identity or sexual identity being in the community.
While it is accepted that heteronormative people can be allies, but not a part of the community, there is still a fierce debate about an asexual person’s place within the LGBTQ+ group.
The reason normally boils down to the argument of whether asexuality is a sexual orientation or not.
There are a few people who think that because asexual people have a limited or non-existent interest in sexual activity, that they are not part of the LGBTQ+ community because it is defined by sexual identity, and not having a sexual identity means that you don’t belong in a community defined by your sexuality.
This is not just a problem faced by asexual people, though, as trans or transsexual people face a lot of criticism from this group as well. This is for similar reasons in that trans identities are focused more on gender identity than sexual identity.
Yet, for most in the community, this is not the case. Most people are of the mind that LGBTQ+ is defined by its inclusion of those that fall out of the norm of social standards for gender and sexual identity.
Since heteronormative people don’t really struggle with their gender or sexual identity much or at all throughout their lives, they do not understand the experience of a non-conforming identity.
Asexual people do struggle with their sexual orientation and despite it not being the norm even for the non-conforming community that is LGBTQ+, that is only all the more reason to embrace it wholeheartedly.
Should I Go To Pride As An Asexual Person?
Absolutely. Even if you present as a heteronormative, heterosexual, or generally a person considered part of the standard binary at pride, you should still go to show your support for the community.
Being supportive of LGBTQ+ rights or an ally is hugely important. The world can be a scary place for most heteronormative people, and it is 10 times as scary for a LGBTQ+ person.
By showing your support, you are showing that it is okay to be who you are, even if you are not ready to come out yet.
If you are asexual and open about it, then you should also go to pride and be proud. Almost no one should give you grief and if they do, laugh it off and remember this your day as well as theirs.
Asexuality is considered a part of LGBTQ+ family and community. While there are some naysayers and those that don’t consider it as such, they are a small minority and not reflective of the whole.