“Queer” is an inclusive term for everyone who’s not exclusively heterosexual or cisgender. It’s meant to encompass the range of diversity in the gender and sexuality spectrum. This certainly is inclusive of those who identify as asexual.
The A in LGBTQIA stands for “asexual.” It’s a common mistake to believe the A in LGBTQIA stands for “ally,” arguably due to appropriation. While allies are advocates for the community, they are not part of the community, as they lack a queer identity. Still, allies have greater visibility than asexuals.
Of course, many people use the acronym LGBT or LGBTQ. Very few publications or organizations use LGBTQIA. Indeed, many in the community are befuddled by what they dismiss as “the alphabet soup.” The acronym has certainly grown in the last 50 years as we have found new words that better describe the intricacies of our various identities.
While it certainly takes less breath or characters to just call our wonderfully diverse population the “gay” or “LGBT” community, it effectively erases the diversity. At times, it may be useful to use “queer” as an inclusive term to discuss issues that broadly affects our population. Yet there is still a lot to learn from those marginalized within our community, and in naming them we begin that process.
#21AceStories is meant to be a first step.
The Advocate asked the same four questions to 21 asexual individuals from all around North America. The diversity in the group reflects the assortment of experiences asexuals live. Some of the asexual participants are in relationships — monogamous, nonmonogramous, and polyamorous — while others are living single lives. Some participate in certain forms of sexual activity, and others are sex-repulsed (a term among asexuals meaning they do not have sex). Some masturbate and are even performers in pornography while others don't engage in any type of sexual activity.
In the first installment of #21AceStories, we asked asexual people about the biggest misconceptions they face. In the second installment, our asexual participants educate us on the differences between asexuality and celibacy. In the third installment of #21AceStories, asexuals discuss if they date, how they date, and why they date.
In this, the final installment of #21AceStories, we asked our participants if they felt included in the LGBT community, and their thoughts about being queer individuals.