One Subject: Asexuality. 

This series focuses on different points of views and experiences. 

No one was aware of the others replies, giving varied and unbiased diversity in the answers. 

Do you feel that there is a lack of awareness towards asexuals?

How, if at all do you think this affects you as an asexual? 

What issues do you face (if any) and how would or do you deal with this?

@eurigmorgan We learned in English class that George Bernard Shaw was happily married for forty sexless years. The reaction from the class was incredulity, to say the least. I would say that awareness of asexuality is pretty much nonexistent. I bet even people who have no problem with homosexuality still largely believe that you can’t go without sex for any extended length of time without shriveling up and dying. Or going mad.

I am young enough that if I tell anyone that I am asexual, disbelief would be the response. They will say if I haven’t had sex, how do I know I don’t like it? Or thatI’m afraid. Or they would be happy to take me to bed and they would change my mind. For them the idea that there is such a thing as indifference to sex is beyond the realm of possibility.


This obviously would make dating awkward. I mean should I come out at the beginning? I really like you but don’t expect any sex. Isn’t that kind of presumptuous and crass? Or wait until she wants to spend the night? Thanks but Eurig don’t do that stuff. Shocking and humiliating. Those are my worries. Having to disclose and explain my asexuality as if it were some kind of disease or deformity. And still have it misunderstood.

Sometimes I think it might be best to forego relationships and get a dog.


@JuneBug12851 


I do feel there is a lack of awareness towards asexuals because sexuality is a major focal point of humans, our actions, our descisions, and our history. Asexuality goes against all of it. There’s too much lack of awareness simply because people don’t understand it enough to hold a conversation on it.


Its most often confused with “the desire to not have sex” or “incapability of having sex” which are both wrong. Asexuals can have sex whenever they want to, many are sexually active to some degree, and they’re perfectly healthy. Asexuals, themselves, just don’t care about having sex, usually see it as a burden, and would rather be spending time doing other things.


It’s important to remind others that asexuality is simply a type of sexuality or sexual attraction and has nothing to do with sexual capabilities or overall health, nor does it have anything to do with who you’re attracted to, or other spectrums.


The lack of understanding about asexuality affects me greatly. I’m always having people around me talk about sex, making sex jokes, or just assuming that if I’m looking at someone attractive it must be because I’m sexually infatuated with the person – which leads to friendly teasing.


The whole thing is unwarrented and a big invasion of my space. I don’t like to go into sexual details or talk dirty. It makes me want to vomit. If I find somebody attractive it’s not going to be anything sexually. Usually it’s other features. I also dont appreciate sexual assumptions about me like “Oh you want to do that, stop denying it” or “You do this and this in bed”. It may be playful to sexual people but it deeply offends me and is completely disrespectful to how I feel. Sometimes I’ll just end up walking out of the conversation.

Just dealing with ‘sexual people’ on a daily basis really gets old and tiring, I usually try to avoid very sexual oriented people. For others when sexual conversations come up, I try to stay out of them, or change the topic. 

When friendly sexual jokes are made about me for me to ideally laugh and joke back, I usually don’t, and ignore them. I’ve found correcting such people usually makes things worse, and for some reason is a cue to joke further like I’m in denial.

But also in my day-to-day life I have to deal with assumption on my general actions. If I’m walking behind a person then I must be sexually interested in them, If I’m admiring something a person’s wearing I must be sexually admiring them… It just gets old after a while.


@modernhippie95

I do think there is a lack of awareness towards people who are Asexual. 

I feel this affects me because when I tell people that I am asexual they look at me like I have 3 heads, and that I am lying. Like it’s not right, even the rest of the LGBT+ Community doesn’t even believe me, and that hurts.


The issues I face with this is that I am belittled by the LGBT+ Community – mainly the ‘LG’ part of the community. With this belittling, I just shrug and be the bigger person. Yes, it hurts, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt me as a person.

Anonymous

I now consider myself as Asexual with leanings towards homo-romantic. It was hard to understand that myself so to get others to understand it is almost impossible. Although there is a better understanding of asexuality, this understanding and acceptance is still in its infancy. I believe personally, just like bisexuality, and to some degree homosexuality, the more exposure there is out there the better. I heard recently that some groups are trying to amalgamate Asexuality with Bisexuality and I feel this will only lead to more confusion. It is, and should be, considered a sexuality in its own right. 

​Poetry As A Form Of Therapy

By @Aunty_Vicki

Have you ever been though traumatic event?  I have, several in fact. Initially I was offered traditional counselling for several months. Rather than explore the details of the events, the article below aims to educate others with some of the things I learnt along the way to recovery.

Traditional counselling as I understood it, was a process of me just talking about what came to mind about the event and how it has impacted on my life since. The counsellor asked few questions, mostly just allowing me to talk about what was on my mind during the session. Sometimes the counsellor asked open-ended questions about how to repair the damage, or things like “where to from here?”. They would ask questions that would make me think about how I was going to get my life back to relative normal (pre-event), or as close to it as possible. While this method is good for what is on the surface, or conscious part of my mind, it still left a lot buried deep in the subconscious mind.
One day, several years later, something still buried in my subconscious was bought back to the surface by what is known as a “Trigger”. This is an action or event that causes a physical and or physiological reaction. In effect, I was bought back in time to the original event, with all the original feelings of the trauma that I had been though before several years earlier. It was like a “Groundhog Day effect”, as I see it. To all intents and purposes, I was in the same state as the day of the event, back at square one.
While this trigger event had happened and I was feeling like I had lapsed back to the traumatic events, I was also following my path of transition (which I will discuss later). However, much to my delight, I discovered the poet within me. At last I had found a safe way to assess my subconscious and let out those ingrained feelings that had been locked away. Using verbal images to relate what I was experiencing and what was running through my mind, what I had felt then and now.
As my poetry skills developed, I started using a wider variety of writing styles, different rhyming patterns. Some poems didn’t rhyme, others only line 1 and 3 rhymed, or line 2 and 4. What styles work for you is up to you. My counsellor became interested in my poetry and from time to time, I would email some of them to her. Some of my poems are published in articles, social media and other websites, for other people to learn more about from what. 

Poem: The Flower

Growing up in a family tree

Some finding the atmosphere happy, thers wanting to go bush

A wild rose has a sweet scent and many thorns

hybrid plants are a mix

Aesthetically pleasing but incomplete with missing scent or other features

Could the same be true of other living creatures?

I am a flower in a way

Coming into bloom

As my body continues its path of change

Bits of me rearranged, Am I a Rose? 

Perhaps a Poppy when in red

on ANZAC Day

Honouring those who gave their all for the freedom we have today

So, can I be myself, Loving all in full bloom

or am I to be plucked and put in a vase on a shelf?

Cast aside, pruned and sent to a compost heap

While others dress alike as sheep

In good time you too shall bloom,

in between times,

I hope this poem lifts you up high into the sky,

you are already a soaring butterfly
At last I was beginning to feel better as I continued my path, the poems in effect, disposing some of my baggage. The poet within then started writing about pleasant experiences and observations, a wider variety of subjects, from simple things like the beauty of a sunrise, to potential futures in parallel universes, a model of my ideal world, and how to improve the world in which I physically live.
I found the 3rd person narrative method to be useful, looking at myself as if I was looking from the outside inwards, rather than trying to look from the centre of what I had experienced, outwards though the clutter of triggers, painful emotions and memories. With this technique, I have disarmed most of the triggers, although I know some of them will be there in the background for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, some of them are still in the foreground too, and will more than likely be a part of me for the rest of my life.
Transitioning has also created a few triggers. Being gender-fluid, my gender state changes at random intervals, hours, days, weeks, months and so on. The most common of these triggers is being addressed by my original birth-name and birth-assigned pronouns, which is a Transphobic and Dysphoric trigger; which is often described by Transgender people as “dead naming”.
After test driving many new identifying names, I legally changed my name and gender a few months ago. Test driving a name can be likened to method acting, where you make a number of people you feel safe with, aware of the new name you have chosen for yourself and identify with, and ask them to use it during the test period, to gauge how it feels to be addressed as you identify. This way you hopefully find a “best fit” name that you and those who you value in your life can address you as. I went through several test names over a number of years before formalising my name as it is today. In an ideal world, I would have gotten rid of my original birth-name completely, instead my birth-name is now a middle name and is only to be used to refer to my qualifications when applying for work, paid and voluntary, saving many trees and a lot in reprinting fees. Anyone trying to use my original name for any other purpose is likely to be given either a gentle reminder of “My name is Vicki and I am a she”; or sometimes slightly stronger words if they are winding me up; other people I simply ignore until they address me correctly.
Depending on the nature of the event that has you in counselling, a new name is appropriate way of leaving the unpleasant parts of your past behind you. Sadly, the catch is, those who have known you the longest will find it hardest to adapt to your new name; where as new contacts will only know you by your new name that you identify as. Some people move city for that reason after completing their transition, to leave behind their birth-assigned lives and avoid the dead naming.

The Cipher

Smiling images,

near and far,

Reflection,

Perception,

Encoded from conception,

Something to relate to,

This method is old,

not new.



More of my poems can be found here on Facebook:https://t.co/5LgZPmNumO.

A remarkable interview with a Gender fluid, Transgender (Male to Female), Intersex XX (primarily female with a few male characteristics) and Asexual

dunedin3.jpg

How old are you now?

46 in physical years old, 10 years living full time female

Where did you grow up?

Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand

Many of the readers won’t know the area you were born in so could you describe it, especially the attitudes towards LGBT, if any

Dunedin is an interesting place to visit, some call it the Edinburgh of the south. It is a lot different today compared to when I grew up. Beaches, flat and hill suburbs with a wide range of people from different back grounds. I think today it is more LGBT+ friendly than it used to be. In the 1980’s most LGBT+ Venues were in somewhat of an underground mode, word of mouth was the way to find out where they were.

How do you identify yourself sexuality or otherwise?

Gender fluid, Transgender (Male to Female), Intersex XX (primarily female with a few male characteristics) and Asexual

When did you first discover about yourself?

I knew at a young age that I was different, but did not know the words Transgender and Gender fluid back then. Hard to put an exact age on it, my best guess at when, somewhere between 2 and 4 years old, well before primary school.

Tell us a little about your early adult life?

Too painful to relive in detail. Suffice to say, I was stuck in the closet until I moved city to where I live now.

vicki 2Who did you tell first, and how did they react?

Who did you tell first, and how did they react?

One of my high school friends, who was out as Gay. I learned a lot from him. He was very accepting of me and introduced me to some of the local venues ( bars and two night clubs). That was in the late 1980’s while I was still a student at Otago Polytechnic, studying Business Computing. At that point in time, the Homosexual Law reform had gone though, but most venues were still in what you might call “Underground mode”, somewhat word of mouth, with the exception of one night club, which was openly LGBT, but open to all. My sister who I was flatting with during my Tertiary days had an some idea that I could be gay, she was a bit surprised when I changed from Gay to Asexual and then later Transgender. I wonder if she ever picked up on my Lesbian side.

The first person I told that I am Transgender to is a now ex Girlfriend. She was very supportive and I learned a lot of skills from her, the kind of things that mothers teach daughters, make up, hair styling, dressing, walking in heals, in a sense “how to pass”. She gave me the confidence to go out in public with her, dressed female. Part of me will always love her for that.

What was the reaction from your family?

Even now, some of the family are still adapting to me living female, while others are happy for me to be me. The first Christmas I wanted to dress as true me(female), I was told to get changed into male wardrobe or no dinner. If there had been somewhere open to go else where, I would have, so I put a male layer over what I had chosen to wear, had dinner and relocated to my accepting brothers house for the remainder of that trip of visiting my family. Upon arriving at my brothers house, I removed the male layer & redid my make up, I was upset, dysphoric and if I had not been so strong, I might not be here today to be doing this interview. Part of me was also quite annoyed at my families inability to grasp this simple truth;” I am me regardless of what I am wearing”.

How did you deal with it?

I drew a line and said this is me, I am still me no matter how my body, orientation or wardrobe changes.

What about work, were they OK, are they aware about the situation?

One employer knew I crossed dressed, and had no issue with it. Another employer called me gay, but also had no issue with it. At a hotel where I became bar Manager for a while, they were phobic and less than politely got rid of me for want of better words. My stock takes were too accurate and showed up “skimming” by other staff members.

So what’s the next step for the future?

At this point, legal name change and reassignment of gender on my birth certificate. I am at my best living female, My fluidity currently means I have “Butch” and “Fem” days, but still identify as being female. After the legal things have been done and I update all my documentation (Drivers license, Lease, bank accounts, Utilities and so on), I will then return to work search. I have tried applying for work before all the legal framework is in place and the results were disappointing, My Identification was deemed not to match who I am. I intend to reapply with the new documentation. My birth name is too dysphoric to be addressed as all week long at work by customers and fellow staff members. It took 9 years and several previous “test driven” names to find a name that felt like a good fit. “Vicki” is who I am today and in the future, I have no doubt of that. My original birth name <Dead Name> has but one use as a “Middle Name”, to avoid the cost of reprinting all my qualifications and getting all my references rewritten in my new name.

What about when people don’t know how to react or speak to you, how do you deal with that?

Somewhere along the line I lost count of how many times people asked “what are you?” My answers have included “offended at the question”, ” a human being” , “female if you are asking how I identify”, “LAFT” (Gender fluid Transitioning Asexual Lesbian) and from time to time “what are you?” as an answer when experiencing dysphoria.

vicki 1.jpgDo you think talking about it in general helps others became more aware, and do you think being visual about yourself actually helps or educates anyone out there?

Do you think talking about it in general helps others became more aware, and do you think being visual about yourself actually helps or educates anyone out there?

Yes, talking about my experience and transitional path helps others to understand what have been though. I try to concentrate on the positive side, but I can say that it is not always “plain sailing”. By being my true self in public, I feel somewhat like an ambassador, Showing the positive side of being diverse. Last year I helped with many street appeals including the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and other voluntary work, being the positive face that shows I care about all people equally I also sent submissions to a few Parliamentary Select Committees on various Law Changes in progress, including the Equal Pay Act Amendment Bill. From what I post online in various locations, I hope other people beginning their path can learn from my experience.

Due to the accusations of gay men being transphobic recently, do you have any issues with gay men’s attitudes towards your sexuality and gender?

From my first impressions of the question, I am surprised that it is not pre op trans men that complaining.While over the years I have observed transphobia in many forms; more recently, it is the issue of deadnaming (refering to birth name rather than name that I live as) and used and birth assigned pronouns that comes to mind. Having said that, this is not necessarily transphobia as much as that they met me when I lived male and are still adapting to my name and pronoun change. In order to try to avoid making similar errors in pronouns, unless told other wise, I use other peoples pronouns that they have told me to use, or for a stranger, gender neutral pronouns and best match their gender to how they are presented.

I always like to ask a topical question, what are your thoughts on the political climate in regards to lgbt and the right wing in your country right now?

Life is getting Better Together here, Gender Diverse was added last year to the department of statistics official figures.

Any last thoughts

There is a lot more that I could say about my life. In the last year or so I have done a lot of voluntary work in the form of street appeals, condom packing, Marshal for the Pink star walk, Mock Juror for the New Zealand Law Society and so on. Yes an asexual person helping with condom packing.. not as weird as it sounds; while sex might not be my thing because of the nasty experience I mentioned at the beginning, for those who enjoy it, I have one message for you, “love safely, diseases don’t discrimate”. Thank you for this opportunity to share with you, my inside view of my life.

What is it like to be gender fluid?

vicki 4Ever wondered what is like to be gender fluid? Lets start with a simple definition: Orientation and / or Gender changes over time. 

For me this path began long ago. My parents way back when assumed me to be straight. Over the years they have since learned that was not correct. Though the early years of my life, I created an illusion of being a straight male, while knowing deep inside me that I was meant to be female. Back in the early 1970’s not many people talked about Non Binary Orientations such as Transgender, Gay Lesbian Bisexual and so on in the household I grew up in.

image

Somewhere along the line, a lesbian couple bought and moved into a house up the street from where I lived. When people talked about them, it was with homophobic tones and derogatory terms; so at a young age, I learned that anything outside of the binary norm was somehow considered “wrong” for want of better words. Back then I couldn’t understand why, they were friendly people, who unlike some other neighbours, didn’t throw wild, loud parties most weekends.

vicki 1At my primary school, I was frequently labelled a girl; Ironic really as that was who I was inside, even then. Later I was labelled as gay, queer and other phobic terms by other kids at school; something that would follow me right though to the end of my 7th form (UE) as it was known back then. There were rumors at high school about the gender of some of the teachers, ranging from Gay to Bisexual to Lesbian. In hind sight, one or 2 of my teachers were probably Intersex as well.

As the years rolled on by, the gender of people that I was attracted to started changing. Inside my self, I still yearned to be female, but had no idea how to explain that to my family, or doctors and so on without ending up in some sort of institution; so I remained repressed and silent about who I felt I was.

In the early 1990s, I was diagnosed as having depression, hardly surprising given that I had been repressing my true self for so long. Looking back, my Depression was a symptom of the need to transition. After I moved city, I came out as gay, although my parents tried to tell me I was Bisexual. While the Homosexual law reform was passed in 1986, there was still a lot of stigma and homophobia around in 1991. Even up here in the city where I live, which was socially about 5-10 years ahead of my birth town as I call it; within the LGBT community there was a lot of infighting between genders. This also lead me to hold of my transition even longer.vicki 5

While I made friends with some cross dressers and transgender people, some were more accepting than others. Some of those friends went on to transition before I did, others reverted to dressing male full time. All during this time, I managed to remain friends with people from different genders and back grounds. This gave me hope that one day we would all be united in equality and recognised rights and learn to accept this simple fact; we are all human and all have our own unique qualities.

Over the years I dated a mix of people from different genders trying to find my ideal match of someone who would accept me as being me. 10 and bit years ago, I started the first steps towards my transition, Cross dressing firstly just behind the scenes, then later as my confidence grew, out in public. I began to live “out” full time, each day feeling more comfortable dressed “female” rather than “male” / gender neutral, learning the important things like walking in heels to how to apply make up and so on. I started to “test drive” names that felt like a good fit as to who I am. After 9 years and many names, I decided to test drive the name “Vicki”, the name I use today. I had finally found a name that was a good fit.


After a nasty experience, I became asexual overnight, and still am to this day to a large degree. My fluidity to this day means that some days I am more “fem” for want of better words than others. 

After extensive research including side effects and asking my doctor about being put into the Hormone Replacement therapy program, I was referred me for an assessment, prior to starting hormone replacement therapy. At the initial Specialist appointment, My first prescription was written. The day started the treatment, I felt like I was one giant step closer to true me. Several months later, after blood tests, the specialist adjusted the prescription levels.


Over the last 10 years I have gradually introduced “Vicki” to friends and family. Those who have known me longest are finding it hardest to cope with, while new friends are more readily accepting as that is the only way they have known me.


Now I am at the point of legal name change and reassignment of gender to female, from my birth assigned gender; Its a big step; the loss of “male privilege” means statistically, any future job is likely to have a lower hourly rate, than if I had remained male. I think the price is worth it to be addressed as I identify, along with the pronouns They, Her, She and Miss; ideally my gender shouldn’t effect my hourly rate; within my life time I hope that will be true for all people of any gender.

I have left a bit out of the above, The battles with Gender and body dysphoria, The unpleasant parts of being out which are being dead named, or addressed by birth pronouns, rather than how you identify and so on. Those readers who are Transgender will know what it is like, for everyone else, imagine being addressed as your opposite gender, eg Tom being called Jane and those are just random names to show you what it is like. That is a form of bullying and can significantly affect a persons well being if addressed by it many times a day, all week long.

 

Since Vicki wrote this article for Pride matters she finally got her name and gender changed legally May 26th 2016 as the effective date.

An interview with an asexual

The next interview is with an American lady who recognises herself as Asexual

First of all tell me about yourself?

Hi, I’m Samantha, or Sam for short. I’m a 20 year old college sophomore in Illinois! Now I am horrible at telling people about myself, but I love pie, penguins, and puppies.

 

Exactly how do you identify yourself sexually and otherwise?

I’m a hetero-romantic, demi-grey asexual.

Many people will not understand the term demi-gray, could you please explain?

Hey, so yeah demi-grey. So Demisexual is where you need a close bond with your boyfriend or girlfriend to experience sexual attraction towards them, however grey-asexual is where you are in the middle you can experience sexual attraction but you also don’t. For me I am both, I need that bond but I also can not achieve the sexual attraction.

Many of the readers won’t know the area you were born in so could you describe it, especially the attitudes towards sexuality that is different to their own?

Well here in America, we recently just made same-sex marriage legal. However, a lot of people do not understand asexuality and they believe it is celibacy when it’s not. But the U.S.A is indifferent about the LGBT+ community. 

 

Tell me about how you discovered you are asexual?

I discovered I was asexual October 2015, me and my friend were looking at the different types of asexualities when I came across demi-sexual and grey-sexual, I knew immediately that was me. 

 

Was it a confusing time when you discovered how you feel sexually?

It was a confusing time for me because I never really experienced the sexual attraction towards my boyfriends, and I was confused about why. I always said I was just celibate but now I know. 

How did you cope with it? 

I was really confused but then I joined Facebook groups and I coped well. I was really happy and I call myself an “asexual dragon”. 

 

Have you told any friends of family?

I have told my friends, not my family. 

 

How have they reacted?

My friends thought it was cool. My friend Jenny said “I knew it Sam! I kinda figured that you were asexual!”.

 

What are your thoughts on relationships, are you in one, or see yourself in one in the future?

I am scared to be in a relationship who is heterosexual due to the fact that I do not know how they will react once I tell my partner I am asexual. 

 

I overheard someone saying that it is unfair for an asexual to date someone who considers themselves as heterosexual or homosexual, how would you respond to that attitude?

We are either hetroromantic or homoromantic. If we want to date someone who is homo/heterosexual then who cares! I really don’t know how to answer that to be honest. 

 

Did you get any negative reactions?

I get a lot of negative reactions that I still cannot believe I received. I received it from a “friend” and I thought he was okay with it, but he wasn’t. 

 

Was there (and is there) much support for asexuals?

I don’t know, I mean, there are tons of groups but from what I’ve seen the LGBT+ Community is really not supportive too much, and I hope that changes soon.  

 

Do you think there could be more done to help people be aware about asexuality?

Yes there should be things done for the asexual community. Get the awareness out that we are here and we are freaking awesome!

 

Are you involved with any projects or groups at this moment in time, and what are you hoping to achieve from that?

My friend Jenny and I are trying to spread awareness about the LGBT+ Community and we are trying to get people involved, however, it’s really hard due to the fact that my campus can be homo/bi/trans/ace phobic. 

 

There also is a rumour that asexuals don’t have sex, and that is false; some do have sex, and they have families. We also are not plants, we do not reproduce by ourselves. So yeh 🙂 that’s me!!! ^_^ 

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