Asexual Representation: Why I Get So Worked Up Over It

 

The short answer? There’s hardly any Ace Representation in the media.

Yes I am an asexual so this is probably the main reason why I get so worked up over it but I have my reasons.

When I watch a TV show, watch a movie, or read a book there’s just something, for me, that I can never relate to. This need for sex. I find the scenes uncomfortable and out of the blue. I want to be able to watch a show or read a book and know that there’s a character who is exactly like me, and it’s not just speculate it’s CANON. I don’t want the author to canonise the asexuality on twitter or on other social media and not state the word in the book, for me it’s good but not good enough. I don’t want there to be certain things that indicate the asexuality but not the confirmation. I need the confirmation.

There’s a lot of problems when it comes to not canonising asexual characters by using the  word “asexual” or “ace” because you can never know if this person really is because you can never see it. When it comes so other queer characters it’s easily distinctive to who they are attracted to. If the character is gay the book/show/movie will show them with or thinking about the same gender. The same goes for bisexual characters, as they can be shown with or thinking about more than one gender. But when it comes to showing someone NOT feeling something it’s harder because how do you show it?

It’s not that hard to throw in the word “asexual” or “ace” into a conversation. For example put the asexual character in a position where another character is talking or showing sexual attraction to another character and allow the ace character to say something like “I’m too ace for this,” or even get them to respond to “How are you?” with “I’m ace” and make them snicker or something to indicate that there’s a deeper meaning to the response. There’s so many interesting ways to come out as ace, see here are a few examples. Spice it up a bit. Make it fun.

By having these asexual characters on screens and in books it allows more allosexual people to become educated on the asexual community and this may even help people who are trying to find out their sexuality. This then allows them to understand us better and not question us when we decide to come out to them. It could also get rid of some of the stereotypes that come along with coming out as asexual. And show the world that we are also human. That even though some of the ace community live without sex doesn’t mean you have to feel sorry for us. Asexuals aren’t always the quiet, or guarded, or “robot like” beings that society makes us to be. We are still human. Humans who need representation.

But the biggest reason of all: I want more characters like me. I want to be able to to connect with a character for more reasons than I connect with my current favourite characters. I want to be able to know that these characters understand what I’ve been through and what I will constantly be going through. I want to be able to know that my part of the community is being represented. In a good way.

Give Me:

  • Asexual Characters who are introverted
  • Asexual Characters who are extroverted
  • Asexual Characters who are sex positive
  • Asexual Characters who are sex repulsed
  • Asexual Characters in Queer Platonic Relationships
  • Asexual Characters who are main characters
  • Asexual Characters who are side characters
  • Asexual Characters in long term relationships
  • Asexual Characters who are virgins
  • Asexual Characters who have never been in a relationship
  • Asexual Characters discovering who they are
  • Asexual Characters coming out
  • ASEXUAL CHARACTERSS WHO AREN’T DEFINED BY THEIR SEXUALITY BUT IT IS KNOWN THAT THEY ARE ASEXUAL

It’s 2016 it’s time for more asexual representation.

Book Review: Now You See Me by Emma Haughton

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Title: Now You See Me

Author: Emma Haughton

Genre: YA / Thriller

Description: Three years ago, thirteen-year-old Danny Geller vanished without a trace. His family and friends are still hanging onto every last shred of hope. Not knowing if he’s alive or dead, their world is shrouded in shadows, secrets and suspicions. This is the story of what happens when hope comes back to haunt you. When your desperation is used against you. When you search for the truth – but are too scared to accept the reality staring you in the face…

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Disclaimer: Review contains spoilers

I decided to pick this book up because I was in a reading slump and I find Crime/Thriller novels the best way to help me out of them. And this one has definitely helped.

I loved that the book was split into two, before the return and after. The first half of the novel jumps between Danny Geller going missing to three years into the future and shows how even though everyone has grown since the missing of Danny the fact he suddenly disappeared still affects them. His best friend Hannah feels lost without him and is trying to figure out any reason why he’d leave without a trace and not tell her. She blames herself. Danny’s mother blames herself. It’s a constant blame train.

I found at certain parts the writing became slow and I found that putting it down and leaving it for a while was the best thing to do but there were parts where I just couldn’t put the book down.

So let’s talk about the obvious: Danny comes home. The minute Danny returns there’s something totally off about him, from Hannah’s previous narrative about Danny you can tell that this Danny is changed and nothing like the Danny we’d thought we’d see. At first you believe that because he’s been missing for three years, possibly kidnapped that it’s understandable, but then as the story goes on Danny gets worse. He pushes away Hannah and he starts becoming cruel. Hannah couldn’t understand how her best friend could change so drastically. And of course she is the only one to notice it, and so she has to investigate. The truth is what is the most scary of all. Danny isn’t Danny. This boy standing in front of her isn’t who he says he is. And I honestly never saw it coming. Danny returned but it was never Danny in the first place. The reveal of Danny not being Danny but a French 22-year-old named Eric was no what I expected. I honestly thought Danny had got himself involved with something so he was pushing everyone away to protect them. Could I have been more wrong? Then things start to make sense, why Danny dropped swimming, why he treated people the way he did, why he didn’t seem to really care about his exams etc etc.

There was even more plot twists to come into play, at first I thought there was going to be a reveal that Alice, Danny’s younger sister, was going to be the daughter of Danny’s mum and Hannah’s dad, but I was wrong to think that. But Danny does have another sister, a half one. It’s Hannah. It’s revealed that the rift that came between Paul, Martha and Hannah’s dad is because Hannah’s mum had an affair with Paul just before Hannah was born. Hannah is Paul’s daughter. And this all came to light when it was revealed that the person Hannah thought was her dad couldn’t have children.

There was some parts of the story that I wished weren’t as dragged along as they were like how Hannah’s mother died. I felt that it was really unnecessary to drag it out so long. I can understand why the author left the reveal to were it was because it put Hannah in the position of her mother and gave her the strength to save herself and Eric.

Eric subtly reveals that he and Danny do know each other and that Danny is alive somewhere and yet leaves so many unanswered questions. The reason why he decided to become Danny was because he wanted to understand what it felt to have a family as he had lost his mother at a young age and never knew his father. And it wasn’t the first time he had done it. I find this shocking because it shows that you really can’t trust anyone, the person right in front of you could turn out to be a stranger.

The epilogue was great yet I feel myself wanting more. Danny and Hannah reunite. Hannah secretly goes to France to go and meet Eric to talk about what happened to Danny and everything before Eric disappeared back to France. And to say thank you Eric makes Danny go to the hotel which Hannah is staying at and they’re reunited. But I feel like I don’t know anything on the real reason why Danny disappeared and why he never returned home. From what Eric says Danny definitely has a reason but what is that reason? I have no idea. I really wanted to see Hannah and Danny rekindle their friendship and talk about their problems and this new information about them being half siblings come into light but I guess I’ll have to figure out everything myself.

It was definitely a good read.

Asexual & Aromantic: What It’s Like In The 21st Century

Two terms, which usually are followed after the other. Asexual and Aromantic. Two words that not many people have heard of. And to the people who have and to the people who are the world is some how different for them. It’s harder.

Someone who is aromantic and asexual feels little to no sexual and romantic attraction. SHOCKER! These people exist! And I’m one of them.

Okay but what is it like living in a world that is so codependent on sex and romance? It’s difficult I’m not going to lie to you, but it’s manageable and liveable. Within a world where mainstream media can give us access to anything, the post popular and seen things relate back to sex or romance. TV Shows, music, movies, you name it there’s something within there that relates back to either of these two things. But what if you don’t experience it? It’s a pain. You can never seem to get away from someone who is talking about their love and/or sex life, even if it’s a programme or someone you know in real life. The conversation always comes up. It comes up in family conversations, in friendship conversations. Everyone wants to know the gossip about your love and sex life, which I have never really truly understood. For most of the ace and/or aro community some of us are sex repulsed or romance repulsed and having it thrown into our faces in pretty much every situation we face doesn’t make it easy on us. But do you hear us complaining? No.

The phrase “but you can’t live without sex and/or romance” is one that annoys me greatly because 1) you don’t have to have sex and/or romance to be happy & 2) if you go without either it’s not the end of the world. There are more things in the world that you need than sex and romance (like oxygen for example). Yes for you it’s nice to have these things but some people would rather not.

Allosexuals (people who experience sexual attraction) look at asexuals as a broken toy. They want to fix us. Their way of trying to “fix” us is by saying things that make us feel worse. For example: “You won’t know until you try it”, “you haven’t found the right person yet,” etc etc. Being asexual and aromantic is completely normal just like being straight, it’s just not what people see as the “norm” because of the way society looks upon sex and romance. Also asexuality is not celibacy! People who participate in celibacy have a choice, whereas people who are asexual do not have a choice. This is who they are.

The way I see it is, how is the best way to put it, you like coffee, the person to your right like tea, the person to your left likes hot chocolate, and the person sitting in front of you doesn’t like any type of hot drink what’s so ever. Do you judge them on their choice of hot drink? Probably not. So why do you instantly judge asexual and aromantics who come out to you or tell you that they don’t participate in sex or romance. Most of us are happy just the way the we are. Personally I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

What we would like is for people to leave us be, not judge us, and have more representation in the media. That’s all. We’ll leave you alone if you leave us alone. I really do hate the stereotype that asexuals and aromantics are childlike and/or are lonely because most of the time we are not. Yes we have our community jokes, like with the cake and the dragons, because it’s a way of us expressing who we are.

There’s a lot of problems when it comes to “coming out” as aro/ace because where most people haven’t heard of either terms they believe it’s made up or that we’re just scared to do either. When it most cases it’s not the truth. And then because of this and the way society is aro/aces feel pressured in certain situations. Aro Aces have existed for centuries if you look closely it’s just the world has decided to ignore that we exist because it is not seemed as “normal”. Well guess what allos sex and romance isn’t a life or death situation. You can live without it. This is the new “normal”: asexuality and aromanticism exist it’s time to get used to it. 

Take Back The “A”

I have a question; what does the “A” in LGBTQIA stand for? Your answer could be one (or more) of five things:

  1. Ally
  2. Asexual
  3. Agender
  4. Aromantic
  5. I don’t know

If you said 2, 3 or 4 than you are 100% correct. If you said 5 than that’s okay maybe this blog post could educate you a little on the matter. If you said 1 then I am afraid that you are wrong. Are you thinking “what Lauren there’s no way I could be wrong! A stands for Ally.” Well I’m afraid it doesn’t. The “A” in LGBTQIA stands for “asexual”, “aromantic”, and “agender”. The reason why the “A” doesn’t stand for “ally” is because everyone in the community is in someway been oppressed, allies who are heteromantic, heterosexual, and cisgendered are not in anyway oppressed, whereas people who are aromantic or asexual or agender are.

But why is this important to me?

Note: As I am cisgendered and not very educated on the agender community I feel that it is best if this blog post is mainly about asexuality and aromanticism which I am more educated on and leave the agender side to someone who is agender and/or more educated with the matter.

I am an aromantic asexual.

“But what does aromantic and asexual mean?”

The definition of someone who is asexual is the following:

  • “Someone who identifies as asexual (shortened term: ace) feels little to no sexual attraction towards any gender.”

The definition of someone who is aromantic is the following:

  • “Some who identifies as aromantic (shortened term: aro) feels little to no romantic attraction towards any gender.”

The reason the “Take Back The A” movement is so important to me is because the aro and ace communities are mostly unknown or forgotten about. How many canon! asexual and/or aromantic characters can you name? And now compare that to the number of canon! gay or bisexual characters you can name. You see the difference. I can name at least 10 gay or bisexual characters. Here’s some examples

  • Connor Walsh – How To Get Away With Murder
  • Oliver Hampton – How To Get Away With Murder
  • Clarke Griffin – The 100
  • Magnus Bane – The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices
  • Alec Lightwood – The Mortal Instruments
  • Helen Blackthorn – The Mortal Instruments & The Dark Artifices
  • Aline Penhallow – The Mortal Instruments & The Dark Artifices
  • Ethan – Teen Wolf
  • Danny Mahealani – Teen Wolf
  • Mason Hewitt – Teen Wolf
  • Cosima Niehaus – Orphan Black

Okay you get the idea I know a lot of canon! gay/bi characters. But now let me list the asexual or aromantic who are canon!:

  • Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead
  • Raphael Santiago – The Mortal Instruments

That’s all I can list. Don’t get me wrong representation is great! We need more representation from all of the LGBTQIA community because there isn’t a lot of it but most of the representation of the ace and aro community is speculated except those 3 characters I named above. Daryl confirmed by the writer, Raphael confirmed by the author via twitter, just for your information asexuals aren’t always aromantic and vice versa so someone can be gay AND asexual. romantic orientation doesn’t always have to equal sexual orientation. Yes when it comes to the ace and aro community most of us are both asexual and aromantic but some of the community are biromantic, heteromantic, homoromantic and so on.

I want more people to understand the terms “asexual” and “aromantic” and what they mean and the fact that they aren’t a bad thing. Just because we don’t experience one or the other, or even both it doesn’t mean we can’t be happy. Asexuals can still have sex if they want to, and either can be in a relationship if they wanted to. People can be happy without sex and/or a romantic partner. It’s recently come to my knowledge about “Queerplatonic Partners” (QPR for short). It’s the equivalent to a romantic and sexual relationship without the romantic and sexual parts, but it’s up to the people with the QPR to decide what they find comfortable doing with each other. It’s a long life partnership.

What I want from the “Take Back The A” movement is people to stop looking at aromantic and asexuals as broken or weird and see that it is normal to experience what we do and that the world doesn’t have to revolve around sex or romance. People can be happy as they are. And please NEVER say the following things to someone who is asexual or aromantic:

  1. You haven’t found the right person yet
  2. You’ll never know unless you try it
  3. Asexuality and/or Aromanticism doesn’t exist
  4. It’s just a phase
  5. You’re just scared
  6. That’s unfair on me (making the asexual or aromantic person feel guilty about not doing something like sex for example)

I swear if I hear one of those six things ever again said to someone who is ace and/or aro I will release my dragons.


For more information about asexuality and/or aromanticism I recommend these sites (most in which have information about both aromanticism and asexuality):

And there are many others out there. I hope this blog post either educated you on some topics or made you understand the importance of the “A” in “LGBTQIA”.