Posted by: Shula Asher Silberstein | 1 June 2011

I Will Not Shut Up

I should be working right now, but I’m fucking pissed off so I’m going to go ahead and get it out of my system. This blog is going to be a lot rawer and intense than most of my blogs are, so if cursing or anger offends you, stop reading now.

This morning I posted a link through tumblr to a blog about asexuality. As usual, one of the responses I got on my Facebook page was, “We know you’re asexual. Stop talking about it.”

Let me make this fucking clear RIGHT NOW. I am NOT shutting up about asexuality until everyone else fucking shuts up about the causes that are important to them, about their relationships, about their broken hearts, their loneliness, their love for their partner, their joy.

In case anyone is sarcasm impaired, I don’t actually want people to shut up about those things. But I have the same right to share my life and my opinions as everyone else. And yes, I know people have a right to say what they want. But do not say it on my page any more.

I don’t get what makes people so fucking uncomfortable about asexuality that they feel a need to try to stop people from talking about it. When I post about gay issues I don’t get this reaction. But both off and online, the response to asexuality is “we know who you are, so stop talking about it.”

Do you? Do you really know who I am? Let me tell you a few things.

I’m normally a positive person, so I don’t share these aspects of my life because I don’t want to be a whiner, but now I’m going to, just so we’re all on the same page here.

I’ve cried myself to sleep before because I am asexual, okay? It hurts when people day in and day out don’t get who or what you are and constantly tell you that either you need to be fixed or that you have no right to talk about your pain because your life is supposedly easier than theirs. My heart has been broken because I’m asexual and because my idea of love, romance, partnership, etc isn’t the same as most of the other people’s that I meet. I’ve gone to LGBT spaces and had people ask me how much I masturbate because “we all know asexual people do themselves.” I’ve gone on dates and had people I really, really clicked with tell me, “I’m sorry, but since you’re asexual, it won’t work” without even giving me a chance or letting the relationship develop to the point where we could figure out whether sexually things could work out between us. I’ve been told more times than I care to remember to get my hormones checked or to stop being a Puritan or a thousand other things that have nothing to do with me. I’ve been told that the word “asexual” is inappropriate to use around children but that “LGBT” is okay even though it totally ignores and erases me.

And that’s only a fraction of the pain I’ve experienced in my life because I’m asexual. I actually like myself and don’t want to make it sound like my sexual orientation is a tragedy. But sometimes, being asexual hurts, and a good portion of the hurt comes from being invisible and misunderstood.

So, no, I will not shut up about asexuality. I will not be quiet and let people think I’m sexual or think my life is easier or whatever the fuck it is they think.

I am asexual, and I don’t care how politically correct or incorrect it is, I will always talk about it.

If you have a problem with that, you don’t need to know me.


Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I agree with you. I haven’t gotten the “just shut up, no one cares” response very often, but I have gotten it. And I very much relate to the series of misconceptions people carry around about asexuality. Also interesting is how often people who shame us and erase us use shaming and erasing sentences to remind us how oppressed we are not.

    And to the person who says “We know you’re asexual. Stop talking about it,” somehow I doubt that the whole purpose of whatever you talk about is not to say “guess what, I’m asexual, lookit me!” Is it really that difficult to just not pay attention to a post if it does not interest you or doesn’t feel relevant to you? We do that all the time when people tell Facebook all about what food they just ate or what sports team just won. Somehow I think if it was a different subject that the person was trying to silence, other people’s comments would scold that person into shameful silence. What if it was news about someone’s child that this person objected to? “We know you’re a parent. Stop talking about it.” Nobody would get away with that. “Since I don’t really care about your kid, stop posting pictures of him and talking about him, even though this is a huge part of your life.” But if it’s asexuality, people think it’s not only permissible but NATURAL to dismiss us. Put us in our place, I guess–shame those of us who decided to speak up and remind us that our voices don’t count.

    Don’t think so, guys. We aren’t going away, no matter how uncomfortable we make you. Get over it. And maybe some of what we’re posting about, linking to, and discussing might actually help you do that.

  2. […] Meowing at the Moon: I Will Not Shut Up This morning I posted a link through tumblr to a blog about asexuality. As usual, one of the […]

  3. Just stumbled on this blog, and I never knew asexuals had these kinds of problems. I’ve been happily A for a couple years now, and the only annoying part I’ve had to endure is explaining it to people that either hit on me or ask if I ‘divide into two’ (No, really, that’s the most regularly occurring question about it).

    Thinking on it, I’ve only had one argument about it, with a person who denied that asexuality was ‘a thing’. It ended when I told him to look it up in a dictionary.

    But, really, I don’t understand how people could have such an issue with asexuality. Maybe it’s because I’m classed as ‘aromantic’, but, eh.

    But, support and power to you. Don’t let people dictate who you are, and if they decide to walk away because they’re ‘uncomfortable’, then let them wallow in their own ignorance and paranoia. Time has a habit of improving how these things work out, and inevitability plays a part in making people more accepting.

  4. […] trying to silence asexuals in more or less the same place. Stephanie Silberstein just posted about her experiences with being told to be quiet more or less every time she speaks out about asexuality, and I confess […]

  5. Posts like this are why I follow your blog. You really hit the nail on the head here :)

  6. Sometimes it all gets overwhelming. It’s ok to let frustration out every now and then.

    Never shut up. Silence is what they want. You are doing good work and I admire that. You are making the plight of asexuals known and bringing attention to problems faced by asexuals everywhere.

    Keep fighting and I’ll keep cheering on


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