Most people can recall the first time they felt some form of sexual attraction. For some people, it was their middle school teacher and for others a beautiful celebrity that sparked that sexual buzz. However, for others those feelings just never manifested or they never felt the need to act on them.
Asexuality is a spectrum defined as ‘not experiencing sexual attraction’, within this sexuality, there are gray sexuals, people who experience attraction on a spectrum from full blown sexual attraction and no sexual attraction. Even if an asexual feels sexual attraction, many do not feel the need to act on it.
Asexuality is still widely ignored in the LGBTQ+ community, sometimes even dubbed the ‘forgotten orientation’.
In everyday society, asexuals are not considered normal, they are ostracized and in the community that is supposed to welcome them they are not ‘queer enough’. Many people struggle to come out as asexual given the lack of education around this sexuality and the rejection they face.
Countless people laugh and claim asexuality is a myth or begin a tirade about how asexuality is ‘impossible’. However, a group that suffers from these prejudices along with other forms of discrimination are asexual people of color.
In the LGBTQ+ community, people of color are already marginalized because white people dominate the conversation and many times do not take into consideration how different POC’s experiences are from theirs.
In the Hispanic and Latinx community, women are many times over-sexualized and stereotyped as ‘hot and spicy’. We seem to exist for others pleasure and our worth is placed on our sexual appeal and prowess. If you’re an asexual woman you suffer from this objectification more than other Latinas.
How can these women realize their asexuality in a world that tells them they should always want to have sex and should always be available for men’s pleasure?
“I’m a Latina and as a lot of Latinas my body is pretty curvy, so people would say I’m really sexy. Growing up, I had to listen to a lot of guys say disgusting stuff because of my body type. Besides that, my friends used to say to me that I could “have any man I wanted” and often asked me why wouldn’t I have sex with anyone. I thought there was something really wrong with me,” Maria Jose said.
Similar to Latin culture, there is also a lot of pressure to be sexual in black culture. Especially, black men who are expected to have many female ‘conquests’ and black women are expected to be sexual from a young age. Attraction to black women is seen as something exotic, dubbed ‘jungle fever’ and ‘freaky.’
“It took way too long to feel right with myself though because the only black women I ever saw on TV were extremely sexualized and exoticized,” said Charlotte Brown.
“Losing my virginity always felt like a ‘when’ more than an ‘if’ with the way black women are portrayed in media and I dreaded the day that I would have to be that physically intimate with someone to avoid being alone.”
“But I’ve learned that it’s alright. I am totally fine with never getting married or being in a romantic relationship and thanks to the online asexual community, which is how I discovered that asexuality was even a thing, I’ve been able to accept myself and understand my feelings fully,” she said.
There is little known about asexual Native Americans given the lack of representation they already receive in the LGBTQ community. Thankfully, Daryl Tuchawena was willing to talk about his experiences being asexual and Native American.
“I am a full-blooded Native American descendant of the tribes Navajo and Hopi, growing up I was expected to act and behave like a blushing bride to be. Most Native women are seen as very sexual people and if they are married they are seen as submissive to their husbands. Growing up I never understood these roles and always ran around with boys or men in the group, I was always afraid that if someone found out I was a girl then I would be treated differently,” said Tuchawena.
There is no one set experience for asexual people of color, everyone has a different experience and not all races or ethnicities are even featured in this article. The important thing is that we acknowledge the different experiences and challenges this marginalized group goes through and make their struggles known, both the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike.