How have you dealt with gatekeeping in the asexual community? Or, how have you avoided being a gatekeeper?
Gatekeeping is often on my mind and yet I still haven’t found a satisfactory way to respond when I am confronted by it. I usually close the website, take a deep centering breath, and just go on with my day. There’s something so exhausting about beginning a dialogue and opening up myself to being wounded by what was written. If I find myself in a pattern of avoidance I might confront the problem by writing a related post, but always in my own time. I linger on feelings, which eventually form into words and ideas. Sometimes those simmer for weeks. It doesn’t look much like the “active” activism many of us value, but it feels a lot more honest.
I attempt to avoid gatekeeping by thinking of asexuality as one, self-identification, framing identity as what is useful or meaningful to a person before everything else and two, through a queer theory lens that sees identity itself as in flux, shifting, unstable, and perpetually becoming (drawing on Kath Browne and Catherine Nash here). I’ve found it’s a lot easier to keep space open when I think that way.
What are your tips and tricks? What’s been working for you?