Today I read a blog post in which the author referred to asexuality as a slight deviation from heterosexual norms. The post was written by an (apparent) member of an LGBT community and was in part an argument about why asexual people are not queer or legitimately part of LGBT+ communities.
I was less struck by the “you don’t belong” message and more by the “slight deviation” part. I found that language incredibly dismissive of my own experience. My lack of sexual attraction has probably been the single most powerful part of my life experience and my identity–even before I knew it existed and had a word to describe it. In no way would I describe this fundamental difference between myself and hetero people slight.
How does one measure deviation from the norm? What exactly is the unit of measurement one uses to determine if someone is outside enough to qualify as queer?
One argument could be made that asexuals deviate from the hetero norm even MORE than, say, lesbians. Being a lesbian means that you aren’t attracted to the gender you’re “supposed” to be attracted to. Being ace means that you not only aren’t attracted to that gender, but in fact, you aren’t attracted to anyone sexually at all. If we’re going to insist on measuring deviation, well, that seems like twice the deviation to me.