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Misplaced Homophobia and Aromanticism


omitef
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Due to prevent discussion from being derailed in another thread, I've created a new thread to discuss how misplaced homophobia leads to discrimination against arospecs. The focus should be on misplaced homophobia affecting perception of aromanticism. Discussion of intersecting identities is okay, but please keep the focus on aros. 

 

EDIT: Since I don't want to make the mods move this thread again, if you'd like to start discussion focused on how misplaced homophobia affects you based on your gender and sexual orientation (as opposed to romantic orientation), please start another thread in the Sexuality and Gender section. Thank you!

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@Thom How so? What kinds of misplaced homophobia have affected you as a sapioromantic person? What kinds of misplaced homophobia have you observed affecting other arospecs?

 

Also, side note 1: usually people say transgender, rather than transsexual, since the term is a bit outdated and tends to have a clinical connotation. It's more inclusive to say "transgender," since not all trans people seek to have sexual reassignment surgery. I'd appreciate it if you reworded your post to say transgender, rather than transsexual. Thank you.

 

I've noticed that misplaced homophobia gets in the way when I try to build intimate, platonic relationships with men. I find it awkward, and almost impossible, to ask or initiate higher levels of intimacy with my guy friends. I tend to rely on them to make the first moves--I wait for them to initiate hangouts, make offers to play videogames with me, because I'm worried that they'll think I'm gay for them. To complicate matters, I'm actually queer, and have been sexually attracted to guy squishes before, so yes, in a sense I am gay for them, but my sexual attraction to them isn't the main reason I want to be close to them. It's interesting, because all of this happens internally--one could say this is internalized misplaced homophobia. But the internalization comes from somewhere. I've definitely gotten weird looks and judgmental comments from others while just walking around together with a guy friend, and I can't help feeling self-conscious whenever moments of intimacy come up.    

 

 

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6 minutes ago, omitef said:

@Thom How so? What kinds of misplaced homophobia have affected you as a sapioromantic person? What kinds of misplaced homophobia have you observed affecting other arospecs?

 

Also, side note 1: usually people say transgender, rather than transsexual, since the term is a bit outdated and tends to have a clinical connotation. It's more inclusive to say "transgender," since not all trans people seek to have sexual reassignment surgery. I'd appreciate it if you reworded your post to say transgender, rather than transsexual. Thank you.

 

 

 

As far as I'm aware, transsexual refers to people who've undergone their gender transformation, where as transgender refers to anyone who doesn't identify as their assigned gender. I can see why people would get confused since one can be more visually noticeable and for a while used more often as a term as far as I'm aware.

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@Tal Shi'ar Yes, that is one definition of it, but to quote the National Center for Transgender Equality (which I linked in my original post to Thom), "Transsexual: An older term for people whose gender identity is different from their assigned sex at birth who seeks to transition from male to female or female to male. Many do not prefer this term because it is thought to sound overly clinical." I'm not sure if you're familiar with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), but they are one of the leading organisations in America working towards furthering trans rights, so they are pretty reputable. 

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For... Well basically all of secondary school (ages 11-16) I've had people think of me as gay or had some sort of rumour going around about it. It mainly died out but the first year or two I had a few people picking on me about it, constantly making comments about it and everything... Thankfully the school dealed with it. 

Lots of people think "well they're probably not straight as they're not dating someone so... They're gay" (which I guess can be true in some scenarios). Whilst what I faced wasn't really that bad (and I suspect would of been worse had I actually been gay), I think if you live in a really homophobic area, you could get a lot more (misplaced) homophobia. 

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In my case its also not really misplaced as I am homosexual...ish. So in my personal experiences I can't really separate the two.

 

3 hours ago, omitef said:

I try to build intimate, platonic relationships with men. I find it awkward, and almost impossible, to ask or initiate higher levels of intimacy with my guy friends. I tend to rely on them to make the first moves--I wait for them to initiate hangouts, make offers to play videogames with me, because I'm worried that they'll think I'm gay for them. To complicate matters, I'm actually queer, and have been sexually attracted to guy squishes before, so yes, in a sense I am gay for them, but my sexual attraction to them isn't the main reason I want to be close to them. It's interesting, because all of this happens internally--one could say this is internalized misplaced homophobia.

 

 

Heterosexual people weirdly only into homoplatonic stuff with other heterosexuals. Just the possibility of the sexual attraction discourages them, makes them quite distant.

If we think about it, many aces are also very cautious when getting into romance or qprs with allosexuals, wanting to avoid even just the possibility of something sexual.

 

But I'm not going to be the one to preach, as I ruin my own life with the same kind of internalised crap too.

 

As a person who isn't really into men (sexually or romantically), I'm very suspicious when it comes to any sorts of physical closeness with any guy who is sexually attracted to women. (I still get into that situation, but I'm just alert all the time. Am I naive? Am I a tease? Is this what we could call a hopeless platonic? I don't know.)

Also, most aros (including me) are quite jumpy when connections get any sort of intimate with alloromantic folks. (We are talking close friendship, qpr, or maybe a sexual friendship in case of alloaros).

 

Its sad really, and I can see how it stems from amatonormativity and allonormativity... We don't really trust other people with their feelings and their ability to respect our boundaries, we are always expecting a hidden agenda. I hate it so much.

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I'm not sure if my experience can provide anything here, since I feel like I'm "not really anything" all the time, but in my experience, I get more arophobia than homophobia.

 

Some years ago, when I still loosely identified as somewhere on the pan/bi leaning to lesbian spectrum of my sexuality (I didn't know the word aromantic yet, so all I really knew was, that I wasn't quite ace and not really hetero. I was still very much in the process of figuring myself out), cis guys always seemed to ask weather I was lesbian, whenever I turned them down. (I really don't know, why this is a thing they ask? I guess they need a reason or something :facepalm: )

 

On the very few occasions I responded with "kind off, yes", they'd leave me alone. They'd be a bit grumpy and upset, but it seemed to be a valid reason to them and they accepted it.

But on the much more likely occasion that I said "no, I don't think I am", they usually asked "what my fucking problem was, then". They phrased it differently each time, of course, but that's the essence. I couldn't care less, if a random guy who wanted to hit me up said this, but if a friend did, I never knew how to respond and I felt horribly broken.

One of my friends even said "You told me your not lesbian, so what is wrong with you then?" and "I though you were just a tease, who thought you could get all the attention, but are to chicken to actually follow through". I had a talk with him, after I figured out that I was aro as fuck and we are good, now (he was just hurt and since I couldn't give him a proper answer back then, he became confused as well), but yeah, that's why I'm really quite jumpy around cis romantic men now. And it's sad and shitty, because I like my guy friends a lot. I think they are awesome and I'd really like to bond with them more...

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I'm quoting this here because it was posted in another thread even after mods said to stop derailing the thread. I've spoken to the mods and they say that they can't move individual posts, so this is the next best thing I guess.

 

Quote

@Natkat

True even straight people can be somethimes attacked on the assumtion they are gay.

what im saying is I think aros in paticular may somethime be easier assumed to be gay (even if they arnt) because of lack of interest is seen as a proff that we arn't straight (so we must be gay), or the way we make friendships are somethimes out of the traditional friendships model that makes people questionate us.

 

like at one of my previous school there was a guy he was not femenine or anything neither had he ever said he was gay. however he did not care for sexual or romantic relationship. when the other guys talked about women he simple said he was more interesteed in money and getting a new car. and yeah then he hanged around me alot who was the only visible "queer person" in the class but funny enought I was way less bullied for being gay than the guy I mentioned above.

 

apperently people thought "no mention of interesteed in relationship with women (and neither with men), no mention of sexual interest in women (neither with men) + hanging around bi guy = gay person".

 

the thing is alot of people dont even know we exist, so they will easly asume we are straight or gay depending on how we interact with the genders around us.

 

 

 

I find that a lot homophobia is caused by two things: 1) fear of the unknown & 2) willful ignorance (of course there are people who just outright hate anyone that isn't straight and cisgendered without even a comprehensible reason) . People are scared of what they don't know, which is perfectly natural. However, these people refuse to educate themselves, and so they get stuck in a state of perpetual fear, which they take out on others. It truly boggles my mind that people refuse to expand their worldview with the experiences of others. I believe that this willful ignorance is one of the causes of misplaced homophobia. People can be so stuck inside their narrow worldview that when someone comes along and doesn't fit it, they try to force them to fit. Of course there may be people who are ignorant, but are willing to learn. It's best to never be aggressive towards aggressor as it gives them another reason to hate you and it can to plain old ignorant people into willful ignorants. 

 

I would like to stress that no group is immune to willful ignorance and fear of the unknown; not even the LGBTQIA+ community. It can be difficult to not be angry towards people who hate you. There are people in marginalized communities who are so stuck inside their own little bubble, that they struggle to break free and see the world as it is. While I believe that safe spaces are important to marginalized communities, it is also important to never refuse to leave these safe spaces. All it does is make you narrow-minded, and breeds fear within you; making you no different from the people who hate you.

 

As for myself, I have never experienced misplaced homophobia. Maybe it was the fact that I tended to hang around people who didn't care what others thought of them. I went to an all boys school in middle school; a place where homophobia and misogyny run rampant (even outside of school, my cousin calls all boys schools "all gay schools" which is just outright offensive to people of all sexualities and flat out wrong). However, I believe that this is the reason why I never received any misplaced homophobia (seems rather contradictory right?). When there are no members of the opposite sex around, if you have no interest in dating, nobody is going to notice. 

 

In regards to others, I feel like people of the same gender in a qpr (or whatever you want to call it) are more likely to receive misplaced homophobia than people who aren't. However, I feel like people who are perceived  as male in a qpr are more likely to receive misplaced homophobia, as there is a stigma in male culture against physical affection between two men (regardless of whether they are men or not. If these people see them as male, they'll treat them as such).

 

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On 7/7/2016 at 8:43 AM, Zemaddog said:

(regardless of whether they are men or not. If these people see them as male, they'll treat them as such).

 

No. There are people who refuse to see trans women and CAMAB nonbinary people as their actual genders and insist that they see them as men, but that doesn't mean that trans women or CAMAB nonbinary people actually are men or are treated that way. Same goes for butch lesbians.

 

Meanwhile, transmasc people are often mistaken for women out of transphobia and cissexism, but we're treated way better than trans women and are often just as misogynistic as cis men.

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16 hours ago, morallygayro said:

No. There are people who refuse to see trans women and CAMAB nonbinary people as their actual genders and insist that they see them as men, but that doesn't mean that trans women or CAMAB nonbinary people actually are men or are treated that way. Same goes for butch lesbians.

That's exactly what I mean when I say, "regardless of whether or not they are men". I was very particular with my words. I know that there are people who see transwomen as men and transmen as women. Which is why I said "perceived as men". I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the "...or are treated that way", but I'm going to take a guess and say that it's about how transgender people are seen by society in an extremely (even that may be an understatement) negative light. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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7 hours ago, Zemaddog said:

 transgendered people

To be pedantic, there's no need for the 'ed' on the end of transgender; it's an adjective so when you get used to the word the 'ed' some people tack on sounds really weird :) (it's like you're saying 'talled people' or something).

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