Gabriel is a second year environment and sociology student and the ANUSA Queer* Officer. They really love cats and going catspotting in their free time.
To me, being asexual (or ‘ace’) means that I am not forced to base my relationships on sexual attraction. I can seek relationships in my own way, whether this be romantic or something else.
In greater society, when someone says ‘I’m asexual’, you might think, ‘but that’s what plants are’. Well, stop. This article is not about common misconceptions on asexuality – sorry, my plant arms already covered your mouth to stop you from ever speaking.
Ace positivity and representation is severely lacking in popular media. I know this from experience – when I was trying to find my own identity, the only place where I found other aces was on Tumblr. Other parts of the internet were not much help: forums like the Asexual Visibility and Education Network were filled with internet trolls, arguing about asexuality not being real or valid.
Searching asexuality on the internet usually brings you either videos about misconceptions or intrusive sexual questions. The media attempts to be helpful, but falls drastically short. I do not want another Buzzfeed article on ‘14 times on Tumblr asexuality jokes were great’. Do not show me another ‘Asexual Myths Debunked!!!!’ video. We are not a science project; we are young, frightened people, trying to make sense of our experiences. That’s why I want articles on how great it is to be ace, on positive ace representation. I need ace celebrities and writers to share their experiences.
If you are going to represent aces, please do not just give me a heteronormative story of how an ace person fell in love. Don’t tell me that ace people are broken and will be ‘fixed’ the moment they are in a relationship. We get to decide whether we want a relationship or not, and whether that relationship needs to be sexual. Why do we need to fall in love? Why can’t we just be? We do not want your pity, because it is not needed.
Within our own queer community, there are those who tell us not to take up space and resources, because we have not experienced the ‘right’ oppression. When did the oppression that I face become the measurement for whether I am queer enough? Only I get to decide that.
Our experiences are valid. I am queer enough. I deserve space and to see affirming depictions of my identity.
So please give me regular and positive ace representation. Give us all positive representation. Also please give me cake.