Sometimes explaining my identity to non-queer folks means giving definitions that aren't entirely accurate—little white lies that make coming out easier. And I sometimes wonder if these half-truths amount to a betrayal of the community.
I find I tend to use different language to describe my identity depending on who I'm talking to. There are "layers" of specificity and detail I will use depending on whether I'm talking to another aspec person, another queer person, or a non-queer person.
It's hard to understate how pivotal the Asexual Visibility and Education Network was in shaping the modern asexual community, including much of the language aces use to describe their identity. But what about before AVEN? What did it mean to be asexual? This essay is my attempt at tracing the history of the usage of the term "asexual."
The language we use to talk about relationships is steeped in amatonormativity, and that can makes it difficult for some of us to find the words to describe our relationships without using the esoteric language of aspec communities.
Being disabled is expensive, but not just because of the state of the US healthcare system. Often money can buy spoons, but all too often the financial decisions made by disabled people who are trying to budget their spoons are condemned by non-disabled people as irresponsible.
Neurotypical people tend to use labels like "high-functioning" and "low-functioning" to broadly classify autistic people. Here's why I think these kinds of labels are ableist.
Trans folks talk a lot about how we conceptualize gender, but I don't think enough attention is paid to how gender is influenced by the culture we're brought up in. We generally think of gender as an innate identity independent of external factors, but the basic premise of what gender is varies widely between human cultures.
There's a lot of discourse both inside and outside of queer communities about microlabels. To many non-queer people, they represent an epidemic of excessive sensitivity and political correctness, but many queer folks also have misgivings about microlabels. This is my attempt at parsing out the good and bad of label culture.
The common messaging among neurotypical people is that a disorder is an abnormality, a disease. Most neurodivergent folks, however, perfer to think of their neurodivergence as natural variation of human developemnt. So what is a disorder, and what purpose do disorder labels serve if not to other neurodivergent folks?
Casual banter among queer folks complaining about systemic oppression is often interpreted by non-queer people as an attack. This kind of defensiveness is tone-deaf and derails the conversation, but it's indicative of a larger pattern of miscommunication between queer folks and allies who are theoretically on the same side.