Question of the Week: September 6th, 2016

Do you feel that your aceness is connected to your gender or gender expression, or do you feel that they are unrelated?

It’s no secret that ace communities are mostly composed of women and non-binary people.  But this question is not about objective correlations, it’s about your subjective experience.

For me, I would say being ace has little to do with me being male.  However, being ace has affected my gender expression slightly.  I am simultaneously more aware of my gender expression and care less about it.

About Siggy

Siggy is a physics grad student in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and makes amateur attempts at asexual activism. His interests include godlessness, scientific skepticism, and math. While not working or blogging, he plays video and board games with his boyfriend, and folds colored squares.
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6 Responses to Question of the Week: September 6th, 2016

  1. Student says:

    I’ve never felt a strong connection to my identity as a woman, but when I was younger I felt the pressure to be desirable to men. For example, I would try to come up with reasons why I would be a good girlfriend (hilariously, these would sometimes overlap with expressions of my aromanticism… I remember circa middle school having a case of not-like-other-girls-itis and thinking “well I don’t care about ROMANTIC gifts such as flowers, so I’m more mature and I want MEANINGFUL gifts”). Once I realized I’m asexual and aromantic I started unlearning that and I started feeling more comfortable with my preferred, fairly gender neutral style of personal presentation. I think I stopped shaving any of my body hair after realizing I was ace, but even if I have that timeline mixed up, that realization did make me feel more comfortable not shaving.

  2. dcbilliot says:

    I’ve also never really felt a strong connection to my identity as a woman, but I don’t think I really started questioning that identity until after I started questioning whether or not I was asexual. That might just have a lot to do with the fact that I probably didn’t know anything about non-binary identities until after I got more involved in the asexual community, though.

    And sure, I definitely think that identifying as asexual has helped me become more comfortable in my body (in a way) and has helped me get over a lot of self-hatred about not being girly enough or what society expects of me. I don’t feel the need to wear makeup all the time anymore or even shave as often as I used to. I definitely don’t feel the need to dress up as much, anymore because most of that just isn’t me or who I am or who I see myself as.

    However I think since I’ve learned about asexuality and started identifying as such, it has also made me feel even more disconnected with being a woman. I find myself wishing I didn’t have breasts, and sometimes even a vagina, because I don’t like the idea of people sexualizing me. And I think that I’d be happier without them. But also that could probably also just be a societal problem and less of a me-problem.

  3. 8faces says:

    I don’t think my asexuality has anything at all to do with being nonbinary. On the other hand my kinks started to emerge way back in childhood, so they might have hijacked the development of sexual attraction… I don’t know.

  4. Rachel says:

    This is one question that I’m still trying to disentangle for myself. I think that my aromanticism and asexuality definitely feed into my gender expression, namely my general apathy toward performing femininity. The performance of Womanhood ™ is heavily tied up in the performance of heterosexuality, something that I have never had the desire or the ability to fulfill.
    Gender itself is stickier. I’ve only recently figured out that I’m agender and quoigender simultaneously (it’s complicated), so I used to identify as female because “cis-by-default,” but now I stick with identifying as female out of convenience. So I think being quoigender, and thus very apathetic to gender as a concept, ties into how I perform gender expression as well.

  5. Nowhere Girl says:

    Definitely yes. And in my case I have no doubt that asexuality comes first, examples of transgender behavior result from asexuality, not the other way around.
    I don’t really call myself transgender – partially because I know people with really strong gender dysphoria (though I know that transgender is a broad spectrum and prefer that view to the one endorsed by some “TRU transsexuals” – that anything that isn’t clinical transsexualism is just transvestism and weirdoism) and I wouldn’t like to be seen as someone who attempts to “steal” their term, partially because I’m not even an FTN (female-to-neutral) transgender – I clearly identify as a woman and consider it important. But I wouldn’t call myself cis either. It all grows out of a need to stress that I’m not a hetero- or -sexual woman, to be non-ugly, but at the same time sexually unattractive.
    It’s a complex issue. I often feel that if I could choose, I’d prefer to be socially a woman and physically a genderless human being. But I’m not naive and realize that if it were so, my identity would probably develop in a very different way and I could be subjected to some extreme pressure – I was able to stop undressing in front of anyone, including parents and doctors, around the age of six, intersex people could have to literally physically resist to be able to do the same.
    I could go on about it yet more, but I’m tired, so perhaps it’s enough. Anyway it gives an idea of how I experience gender.

  6. andowyn says:

    I don’t believe it’s related at least in my case. I am attracted to men, but I don’t want to be “handled”, if that makes sense. But, I have a question: how many aces have played their assigned life role before recognizing that they were aces? I have 3 children & thought something was wrong with me because I don’t like intimacy. I performed my wife’s duty because it was expected, but was repulsed by the act.

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