Hah!  Yes, I have gotten into arguments about this, myself.  

When I say something like, “I think they are a canonical queer couple having an asexual relationship BEFORE OUR VERY EYES,” some people respond to that as an erasure.

And I think that stems sometimes from mis-communication, basically, that results from a lack of understanding about queer and asexual relationships.  And sometimes—and I can understand this frustration—it stems from a desire to see relationships that are irrefutably queer.  And the easiest way to do that is with a physical, homosexual relationship.  Kissing, after all, has long been used as shorthand in a narrative for “not just friends anymore” when it comes to heterosexual relationships.  So it’s natural, and fair, to immediately think of that when it comes to homosexual relationships.

I’m not heavily invested in the queer asexual vs. homosexual thing when it comes to Sherlock/John, myself.  I’d be very pleased with either one.  

But in a larger societal sense, representation of asexual relationships in media will become a bigger issue as asexuals speak up more, and clamor for a share of representation too.  I don’t really want to see LGBTA folks in-fighting over sexual vs. asexual representation, but I know it’ll happen (and in fact has).  Of course what’s really happening is the LGBTA crowd fighting over the one bone thrown to them while mainstream representation continues to lounge at the dinner table.

But another problem is that asexual relationships are so easy to erase.  It’s awfully easy to not show what isn’t there.  And ‘not there’ is how people think of it.  But maybe that perception needs to change.  Because it’s not a void for asexuals where ‘normal’ people have attractions and relationships; it’s a different kind of attraction/relationship.

In fact, it’s not even actually different.  It’s a kind—a whole spectrum of kinds, in fact—of attraction and relationship that most people have the capacity to experience.  Loads and loads of people have asexual relationships, like friendships that veer toward queer-platonic (or, for that matter, just friendships in general), or intense non-sexual attractions to people for their interesting faces or their minds or their talents.  I have friends who refer to their same-sex best friends as their “heterosexual lifemates.”  All these things have just historically gotten sidelined in favor of the excitement of sex, and asexuality gets talked about like it’s a whole separate deal, rather than something that applies probably to most people, in some way.

But people don’t know that, because those stories don’t get told, and nobody ever explains to them what the deal actually is.

I got a message last night from somebody who told me about how they recently entered into an asexual relationship with a romantic partner, and neither of them really knows what they’re doing or how to navigate it, because they have pretty much no references or basis for comparison.  Which in my experience, is pretty much par for the course for asexuals (among others).  You spend a lot of time wondering why you just don’t seem to ‘work right’ before you stumble across people and information that lets you know maybe it’s just a less common way that some people are wired.  It’s a different experience, not a lack of one, and that means there IS a story to tell.

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