“I’d never date an asexual person” – Guest Post by NeswtQueer

​I hear this a lot.

“I’d never date an ace person.”

“I’m not sure I could be in a relationship with someone who’s ace…”

“Ace people just aren’t for me.”

Working on raising awareness and creating support in my student community, I’ve heard this from strangers, friends and people I respect. As an ace person, I get it. I understand what you mean. But it always hurts, and here is why.

The problem is that you don’t mean what you say. You mean that sex is an important part of a relationship to you. You mean that you, personally, cannot imagine a relationship working for you if it doesn’t include sex. Often people mean that they cannot imagine a casual relationship without sex. Sex is important to you. That is valid. Everyone experiences relationships differently, and people know what is important to them. It is okay for sex to be important to you in a relationship. However, that is not what you said.

“I would never date an ace person” and “I do not want a relationship without sex” are not synonymous. For one, sexual attraction can have very little to do with the amount of sexual activity a person engages in. You don’t have to be sexually attracted to someone to have sex with them. You don’t even need to be sexually attracted to someone to enjoy having sex with them. Not to even mention the vast amount of ace people who experience sexual attraction rarely or under certain circumstances ­ such as grey­ace or demisexual people.

Would you be willing to have a relationship with someone who may grow to be sexually attracted to you in time? Would you be willing to be in a relationship with someone who was only sexually attracted to you if they felt extremely close to you in that moment? For some people, the answer would now be yes.

Saying that you would never date an ace person seriously hurts. Not necessarily because we want to date you specifically, I personally would never want to date someone who valued sex in a relationship much higher than I do, but just brings echoes of all the acephobic things we’ve heard before. It brings back all the times we’ve been asked whether we can still have relationships, painful visions of when people ask if we’re robots, or plants, every time we hear “Wow, are you even capable of love?”.

“I’d never date an ace person” screams “I believe ace people are lesser due to their identity” and “I think sex is such a fundamental part of humanity that not having sexual attraction makes you less human.”

In future, pick your words carefully. You have every right to know that sex is an important part of a relationship for you, and that you would not want to enter a relationship with sex off the table. However you do not have the right to discriminate against an entire identity which houses a vast amount of people who are all as different and wonderfully unique and diverse as any other.

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Gender recognition, some basic demands

There is little I could add to this beyond READ THIS and DEMAND NOTHING LESS. Reblogging here in the hopes of giving this a wider audience.

drcable sTRANge notes

The UK government are all over the place on gender recognition at the moment, one day proposing removing the gender marker from passports and driving licences and the next calling for self determination of legal gender but without recognition for non binary people.

I think it’s useful, at this point, to have a set of demands against which we can measure any proposals and use to push for more from them. Here’s my list of what needs to be in a new gender recognition act, at the very least.

Fast, simple, self determination of legal gender for all people.

This means that you should be able to have your gender changed on all documentation, including your birth certificate(and adoption certificates), simply by completing and returning a (free) form, or through a deed poll like system.

Ireland and many other countries already offer systems like this, and it’s not an…

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The extending road to surgery (Guest Post)

I keep meaning to “retire” from trans activism. I even occasionally announce that I *have* retired. And then things like this happen and I remember why I will never be able to retire from trans activism until transphobia and cissexism are history.

Today, I am hosting a guest post written by Kay, about the recent changes to Gender Reassignment Surgery provision for women getting needed treatment on the National Health Service in England and Wales. Kay’s story is not unique to her, dozens of women are in similar circumstances. What she describes are the very human consequences of a broken and twisted system becoming more broken and twisted – NHS Gender Services for trans people have been beset with delays and gate-keeping and unreasonable demands for as long as anyone I know can remember. Now the service is in crisis and it is not the doctors, pyschs, surgeons or administrators who will be harmed by this crisis, those most harmed are the women (and also nonbinary people) who need surgery or at the very, very least need a clear fixed date when that surgery will be.

Kay in her own words below this line. (Note: Kay is a pseudonym, if you think you know who Kay is, please do not tell anyone or contact me or Kay to ask)


Going on WLMHT (also known as Charring cross) GIC’s ideal roadmap for surgical intervention at the time I got into the system (Febuary 2011) was after 2 years real life experience (RLE) one would be referred to surgery, in the case of me as a person assigned male at birth the surgical intervention I am interested in is vaginoplasty in particular a technique called penile inversion. Since starting at the clinic it has been nigh on 3 and a half years and I still haven’t got a surgery date and I am unlikely to do so for at least another year. The question stands why am I in this situation?

So by my own calculations I have so far lived 5 to 6 years in a gender that is not male, however the NHS in its erasure of non-binary identities only counted the time within which I was for all intents and purposes a woman having gotten round to formally changing my name, even though I had been going by a gender neutral name for years, this resulted in the NHS’ definition of RLE only reaching 2 years as of August last year, showing the absurdity of this situation. Then with the requirement of two psychologists to sign off on the surgery, one of my psychologists failed to turn up for an appointment, putting off my sign off date into November. From here it would normally be a 7-9 month wait for the actual surgery, which is in itself over the NHS’ 18-week waiting list rule. I want to make a point here that this section whilst sounding like a series of errors increasing the waiting time for my surgery it actually is a concerted attempt by the consultants to put one off having not to mention completely unnecessary and part of this idea that somehow a cis person might sneak through all these levels of ‘protection’ and end up having surgery and regret it at the expense of the extensive time, effort and psychological torture of having an incongruent body for the trans person.

So as it stands now, I’ve been referred and seen by Mr Bellringer one of the two surgeons capable of performing a vaginoplasty in the UK, whom I then find out has resigned due to disagreements over commissioning. Having been in contact with him and requested that my surgery be forwarded to Mr Bellringer’s private clinic at Parkside hospital, Imperial NHS trust have completely failed to get in contact with me to discuss what they intend to do to rectify this situation and I assume have rejected my request for private surgical intervention. This is frankly not good enough; the statement they issued gives us essentially no guarantees of surgery dates and shows how little the NHS values trans patients.

This overall has left me essentially in limbo, I was expecting for my surgery date to be this summer, in-between the final year of my undergraduate degree and going into my masters degree which would have fit incredibly well with my plans, however I am now looking towards September 2015 before I can even start thinking about surgery. This leaves me in a situation where I am dysphoric and will be for another year, something that has plagued me throughout my undergraduate degree and I feel has affected my marks as well as the uncertainty as to when I will have surgery as I might fall out of the system and have to re-apply again leaving me to the possible conclusion that I might cancel my masters and use the funding that my grandparents left in their will for me to do so and use it on self funded surgery as I can no longer tolerate constantly being messed around by the NHS.

This has to change, I could go on about how the NHS Gender Identity Services should be reformed, but that’s an argument for another day, frankly now all I want is my surgery and those others in the same situation as me to have some dignity afforded to them, rather than having to essentially beg for life saving surgical intervention.

Going forwards I implore you to share Jess Key’s open letter, read Mr Bellrigner’s side of it get in contact with your MPs, if you have media contacts link them to this situation so that the message gets out there!

 

 

Guest Post: Aftermath

This is a guest post by someone I know who wishes to remain entirely anonymous. Please do not attempt to guess who they are, they will not be commenting and any comments trying to state who they are will be deleted and the commenter blocked from commenting on this blog entirely.

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST IS ABOUT THE AFTERMATH OF CHILD ABUSE

People know that child abuse happens. They might be a bit unclear on what exactly it is but they know that it happens and that it is bad. What most people don’t seem to really realise though is that most abused children survive childhood and grow up to be adults. Adults that could be and probably are people they know. What else people seem not to understand is that many people who were abused as children were never removed from the care of abusive relatives as children and may still have an ongoing relationship with abusive and abuse-enabling relatives as adults.

I am still in regular contact with people who deliberately and wilfully harmed me when I was in their care. I smile and play the dutiful adult offspring and act like nothing is wrong. I go home for Christmas. When people talk about how no matter what your parents always love you and want the best for you, I stay quiet and pretend it doesn’t hurt. When I need to write something like this blog post, I don’t and it swirls round and round in my head threatening to spill out of my mouth.
“I was abused”
“My mental illness was caused by child abuse”
“I cannot feel safe at my parents’ house”
These are sentences I have said aloud. But not to my parents or anyone who knows them. Not to most of my friends.

And even when I say them, people try to minimise and tell me that of course things must be okay now after all this time? Or they suggest that things can’t have been “that bad” because as a child I did not call the police or social services to rescue me. Because the teachers only saw a bright child and didn’t notice I was hurting. It was bad enough to have permanent effects on my development, mental health and my identity. That I was abused at all was “bad enough” because child abuse should never happen to anyone.
People tell me my parents were “trying their best” and maybe they were but it doesn’t matter. I was harmed. I am hurting. And I live in a society that so valorises the nuclear family that it seems like I am the only one who has to live with the consequences.

Because I cannot publically write about what happened to me. Because there is no polite way to say “Actually, my relationship with my family is fucked up”. Because never seeing the people who hurt me again isn’t a socially valid option – and seeing them without pretending nothing is wrong isn’t either.
There are hundreds and thousands of people like me. Quietly trying to piece our lives together whilst pretending nothing is wrong to save society’s ideals about family.

It hurts. It hurts pretending and it hurts when I don’t. There are so many things where I wish I could just call my mum or dad for advice and I can’t. I feel so alone at those times because I have no parental figures in my life and no way to find new ones. I have to be my own mum and dad all the time. Except when I go back to my parents’ house and plaster on a smile and talk about a carefully scripted version of my life – one without nightmares and nervous breakdowns and suicidal ideation, one where I am independent out of choice not necessity, one where I feel loved and wanted by my family. An acceptable, comforting lie. I can’t sustain it long. It hurts so much.

I feel alone so much of the time but I know there are millions of others in my position. I wrote this for them. You’re not alone.
It happened to me too.