Is any visibility a good visibility?

asexual political organizations (with AVEN being the major one) have been trying to accomplish a goal of getting out there, getting visible. these organizations are mainly educational tools that assert the legitimacy of asexuality as another orientation. the idea is to facilitate social change (perhaps it’s too early to talk about political changes, or is it?), mainly attitudes about asexuality, but also mass media products. it’s true that most social movements can be successful only if they run within the domains of the dominant culture, and I agree with that. other movements are successful only if their interests and goals align with current political goals of any region/country. again, couldn’t agree more. but then, every movement is different and deserves a debate on its own. a labour movement clearly needs the latter to get what they want. but what about the asexual movement? what’s more important – the dominant culture or the politics? or maybe both! i dont know the answer to those questions, but i can tell you one thing – neither might work out perfectly well for it to achieve its basic goals. let’s just take a look at the AVEN website. it’s a good community, it definitely has amazing resources for many of us who are digging some ‘original data’, but the overall idea of the website is to be like everyone else. they are trying to fit well in the heteronormative environment. they are seeking to be normalized. so fitting in the dominant culture might not be the best solution. what about aligning its goals with the political culture? a few weeks ago, Joe Parrish, an US democratic candidate, comes out as an asexual, and when he was asked what made him come out right now, he said ‘‘Hey, there’s someone like you running for office and it may interest you to know about it’. hey Joe, that’s great, but why in the world do you want to be like everyone else? you aren’t that special anymore. he further says, ‘I might be only one using the term asexual at the moment, but what’s in a name, right?’. Joe at the same time questions stable identities so i give him a credit for him trying to appear all Foucauldian. but Joe is our good candidate. no, i dont just mean a democratic candidate. i mean he raises a lot of awareness. but boy, he has to be careful with his vocabulary. WE DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!! we want to be visible and distinct!

the missing link

we introduced the concept of asexuality in the literature over a decade ago. an online network was created around that time. people gathered online and discussed their lives, their experiences. but we divorced ourselves from any movement and any oppressed community. we remained silent and still very much invisible. yes, we are visible to ourselves, but we aren’t visible to policy- and law-makers, to employers, to our friends and families who desperately hoped we’d marry one day and bring children into their lives. it’s always about them. it seems like it’s never really been about us. but hey wait, it’s not all that depressing. a bunch of researchers also got interested in this topic, wrote dissertations about it (that’s my plan too), but we’ve been struggling so much to conceptualize asexuality, let alone develop a decent theory. yes, a theory. no, thank you, we don’t need your queer theory to explain asexuality. or feminism. hell no! we need a theory of asexuality, a theory that explains our desires (or lack of those), our settings, our interactions, the consequences of our lives, the oppressing forces that don’t let us live freely with out identities, the tools to end this oppression. i mean we could use a bunch of different theories in combination, but that doesn’t quite do the job. maybe it’s still too early to talk about these things, but we can’t abandon the field either. we have to keep building up as much information as possible (if David Jay gave up, we wouldn’t have had a community). we need more sociological research to drive asexuality away from medicalization. i have faith that sociology can do this for us. we don’t need humanities and cultural studies to give us a theory, as that was the case with queer theory and sociology of sexualities. our theory will be born in the minds of sociologists. and i am ready to begin my journey!