Just One Role Model
I come online every once in awhile to post a random, generic message about how I wish there was more asexual representation on TV/Film. Each time I feel silly afterwards because it’s really not something that explicitly bothers me everyday. But it got me thinking; why do I keep getting worked up about this issue?
I think I finally have an answer. I don’t often mind being a part of an invisible identity, but what I’ve realized is that I do mind the subconscious effects of belonging to a group that is treated as either nonexistent or “freaks”. It’s not something I think about on a daily basis but I am a person who is deeply romantic and who wants to find a partner to love and support. When I see possibly asexual characters become sexual or hear writers brush aside the possibility of asexual characters at all what I really hear is a chorus of viewers in the world who, like me, had no idea that they were asexual instead of BROKEN, and who have one less person to look to for inspiration.
Every time I hear of a young black man representing hope onscreen or a fantastic Asian woman lifting the spirits of young girls, I feel that swell of pride. That feeling that it’s ok to be who you are and it’s ok to describe yourself without shame. When I have those moments I realize that, yes, I do want others like me to feel safe and whole and worthy of self-care. More than that though I have to admit there’s a selfish side in me that wants to see positive asexual role models in media. I want it to be fine. I want others to be fine with who they are. I want, for my own personal happiness, a pool of possible partners to build a life with. I know they’re out there, but we don’t talk about it openly. How do you suppose that conversation starts with a stranger?
I am straight passing so I’m often met with those who think they can handle me but quickly learn that I’m not kidding when I say asexual. It’s a kind of behavior that can wear someone down over time and I want better for the generations to come. I want children to learn that asexual is one of the possible things someone can be so they can feel accepted from the start. I want them to grow into adults who love themselves, and not college students who stumble onto this realization late in the game. I think all of this in a millisecond every time I lose an asexual character. I’m ready for media to take the next step forward. We’re at another tipping point for queer advancement and I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side.