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Helping a friend understand how heteroromantics aces belong in LGBTQ+ spaces


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So I would love to help a friend understand that heteroromantics aces do belong inside the community but I cannot find the right words. Their argument is that since that person can be in a straight passing relationship then he/she doesn't have to be subjected to hate from non-queer people because only them (the person in question and their partner) know about it and it is intimate so the outside world doesn't need to know. So since they do not experience hate or are being called anything because they are persons from opposite genders then do not have to suffer the same hate that a gay/lesbian couple will do.

So I want to make them understand that even though they are in a straight passing relationship, they do belong. That they don't have to experience the same pain to feel accepted. But I want my argument to be something that I can feel it is more than my opinion and has a base that I can make them understand. 

Any help will be appreciated since I know that they do it from a place of concern for safety and they words "why would you put yourself in a dangerous situation by outing yourself when you don't have to, your private life is between you two, not for strangers. So you are risking your safety for what?". They speak bluntly but it is how they always been and they don't mean disrespect, just want to learn the reasons. So anyone that can help me will be very very appreciated.

(I posted here instead of AVEN because I hadn't have a good experience with AVEN and I trust the opinions from here more)

Edited by Blake
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Just because being asexual is fundamental different from heteronormativity (which in fact means heterosexuality*); aces (even heteroromantics) have fundamental different experiences, struggles, fights than heterosexuals. Heterosexuals can not completely understand asexuals, the same way asexuals can not completely understand heterosexuals

Aces don’t fill the “norm” which is “man and woman feel attracted to each other and have sex BECAUSE they are sexual ATTRACTED to each other. 

being accepted in lgbtqia+ is not a competition of “who gets more discriminated”. It‘s not „oh I join the club of discriminated or hated people“ or a „trophy“, it’s just a place for people who exist in a way beside the normativity... a way they should be able to exist in without being ashamed for what the are (I guess some heteroromantic aces could feel ashamed in the relationships with their partners, when they can‘t be „enough“ while being ace, but I don’t know for sure as I am aro as well)

coming out is necessary to be completely understood and can „free“ the person somehow (I personally think a lot about being ace and not being out means, that I hide it somehow even if I don’t want to, I can’t talk about what bothers me and this is not a good feeling)


hopes this helps, my battery is at 3% so I can’t write anymore haha


*of course heterosexual queers do exist and are valid and queer (especially bc this is an aro forum and aros are queer, but not only bc of aros). Just talked about heterosexuality bc that’s the most common way asexuality doesn’t fit in 

Edited by Acecream
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You can use analogy to explain. If tomorrow, a gay person in couple say to a single gay person "you don't belong in the LGBT+ community because you are not in couple and so you are straight passing", would they think it is acceptable?

You can also say that there are different ways of being oppressed. Risking verbal and physical agression by walking in the streets with a loved ones is of course one of the biggest and most dangerous, nobody denies that. But there is also the feeling of not being normal, of being alienated in a society that don't understand, being lost in a world that denies our existence... In ace in particular, some of them could deal with marital rape when they are not aware of their identity (because their partner can shame them from not wanting sex and as they fee broken about it, they will force themselves to please their partner to prove that they do love them). Coming out as an ace can be a way to say to people who are not aware of their sexuality, or people who are struggling with it "We exist. We are valid. This society makes you feel broken because you don't have sex but no one should force you". It is also, of course, a way to be true to yourself if it somehow come in the conversation, and you don't want to lie.


Finally, I would point out that being LGBT+ should never be define about how oppressed we are. If tomorrow, homophobie disappear, will gay people feel like they don't belong in the community anymore? I don't think so. Because there is more to our identity than oppression. It is a different way to react in this world, the need to talk about our experiences with people who can relate, sharing jokes, memes, anecdotes. Of course, fighting for LGBT+ rights is very important, but I think if we let this be the only thing that define our identity, we are forgetting that there are good aspects about it too, that oppression is not a part of our identity, it is something we struggle with because of our identity. I don't know if I express it well.




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  • 1 month later...

Side note: Bi people get hit with a lot of the same BS from inside the queer community. 

Some people just don't seem to get that you can pass as straight (or cisgender), but still have to deal with issues due to lack of understanding and acceptance of your sexuality/gender.

We shouldn't reduce the queer community to a contest of "who's the most oppressed".  Everyone has unique struggles in life, and just because someone else is in a worse situation doesn't make your problems less real.

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  • 2 months later...

I'll speak on this topic here as someone who is a heteroromantic ace. And I believe it's a choice whether het aces, aro aces, or het aros identify as lgbt+ or not, or straight or not in the cases of het aces and het aros.

I will first acknowledge that I strongly support the community and will stand up my friends and siblings who are queer in some way. They have also been very supportive of my sexuality despite it being different than their own experience, more so than most straight people I have known.

Personally, I do not consider myself to be lgbt+ just because that term heavily implies same gender sexual or romantic attraction and/or gender not being the one assigned at birth. I also don't consider myself to be straight because that term heavily implies heterosexuality.

I respect people who feel differently about and they ought to respect this about me. I do have different experiences than straight people and don't have full privilege there, but I just don't experience oppression and discrimination that people who are lesbian, gay, bi, pan, trans, or enby people do.

Edited by EmilyWritesSomeStuff
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first of all: yes, its a choice for every single person. and as you are heteroromantic asexual and I am not, I think that you might – of course – have more interpretational sovereignty than me here^^ But just some thoughts of mine: being a choice DOES mean that nobody is allowed to exclude all heteroromantic aces from lgbtqia+ spaces as long as the person 
doesn't say, they are not queer, doesn't it? so, heteroromantic aces do belong into queer spaces as long as they don't say they don't...
and I don't understand this thread as "why every heteroromantic ace belong in lgbtqia+ spaces" but as "why heteroromantic aces do belong in lgbtqia+ spaces – as long as they feel they do"

yes, you talked about you personally, but I just wanted to add this  :) of course your feelings are valid and I don't want to say anything against them!
I beg your pardon if this was somehow encroaching or invalidating your feelings. this was not meant to be about you!

the rest is more in general about aspecs being queer...

lgbtqia+ spaces are not and should not be about oppression. they should not be discrimination olympics, they should be safe spaces for queer people, spaces in which normativstes (hetero-, cis-, or allonormativity) can be broken, spaces in which queers don't have to feel "different" or "strange". yes, many people in lgbtqia+ spaces face oppression and yes,  others face more oppression than het-aces (even if discrimination against aces DOES exist (eg disease mongering…))

yes, I see that lgbtqia+ spaces ARE fulfilled with A LOT of allonormativity, and a lot of them are aspec unfriendly, but this is something the community should work on. this is not our fault and no argument to exclude het-aces collectively from lgbtqia+ spaces...

and, last but not least (this isn't really the topic here but I just wanted to add it): aspecs are queer (yes, if they WANT to label themselves as queer). I just walked through the city a few days ago and just realized how everything is fulfilled with allonormativity, you can't escape from it, and how much the whole world tells you that "you are not the same" and that's literally the definition of queer? I do not feel as if the way I am is "normally accepted" or "considered normal" in this world. I do feel queer. but yes, in a different way than allos
(as I am aroace and by now I do consider my aromanticism as more important for my queerness than my asexuality, this might be a very personal view which doesn't say anything about heteroromantic aces, I don't know...)

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5 hours ago, Acecream said:

But just some thoughts of mine: being a choice DOES mean that nobody is allowed to exclude all heteroromantic aces from lgbtqia+ spaces as long as the person doesn't say, they are not queer, doesn't it?

I'd say it is the same thing as being gray vs being "completely" aro or ace. Some people in the spectrum will still identify as alloromantic or allosexual, and nobody can say to them "you are wrong, you are aromantic or asexual". But there are still gray people who identify as aro or ace and we can't say to them "no you are not, get out of the community".


I think a-spec are in this position because some feel like they belong to the LGBTQUIA+ community, other don't. But I think that regardless of that, the LGBTQUIA+ should work to be more acceptable for these who wants to go in there spaces. And of course that in return, we should not force the label on those who feel the opposite.

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