Content warning: this post mention# sexual assault. If this is triggering for you, please proceed with caution.
Last week, LGBT+ Police UK put out a statement supporting asexual people.
We stand with #Asexual people, they are valid and welcome. Asexuals are part of the “plus” in #LGBT+ and are an accepted part of our community. Some asexual people use #Ace for brevity. #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/05WC1Av2mX
— LGBT+ Police UK (@LGBTpoliceuk) June 19, 2020
This has caused a stir, with some journalists complaining.
So, is it important that police publicly support asexual people? Actually, yes, it is. Asexual people have faced a number of social issues that are rarely acknowledged.
Asexual people and sexual violence
Statistics have been hard to come by when researching this. However, some asexual women have reported being raped or sexually assaulted. Known as ‘corrective rape’, asexual women and lesbians, have been raped in order to ‘fix’ their orientation. According to Sarah Doa Minh, corrective rape happens in different parts of the world, including the U.S.
In her 2014 book, An Invisible Orientation, An Introduction to Asexuality, Julie Sondra Decker, recalled being indecently assaulted at the end of a date when she was nineteen. The date proceeded to kiss her without her permission.
Asexual people who get married also need to know they are protected as well. Marital rape is a crime in Western countries (as it should be). Asexual people need to know that they have a right to not be coerced and/ or raped by a spouse.
I haven’t found any data based on asexuals in Australia, which in itself, I find problematic. But going by what has happened overseas, it’s something that people need to be aware of.
Queerphobia and LGBT asexuals
Some asexuals are are attracted to the same – sex and/ or are transgender or gender non – binary. These individuals can face similar, if not the same prejudices and discrimination that other LGBT people face.
Asexual people with a same – sex partner may face the same issues when in public with their same – sex partner. Some may be harassed or violently attacked, like gay, lesbian and bisexual counterparts.
Other services need to get onboard
While it’s good that police departments are supporting asexual people, other community groups also need to get on board.
Too often, asexual people are disbelieved by mental health services. They may even have their lack of sexual attraction pathologised. As a result, real mental health issues may be minimised or ignored.
Mental health workers may not be sinister. They could just be misinformed, thinking it’s a fad, a symptom of a problem, or a phase that people ‘grow out of’. While not always malicious, these assumptions are unhelpful and asexual people looking for mental health support do not these misconceptions to add to and exacerbate real issues.
Homoromantic, biI ro mantic, pan romantic and transgender and gender non – binary people need to be able to find mental health services that can assist them too. I find it scary that since same – sex marriage has been legalised, state and federal politicians and lobby groups have pushed to have anti – discrimination laws back-pedalled. While it’s the argument has been used to protect, conservative cake bakers, there has been some push to allow counsellors to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds.
Like everyone else, asexual people will need access to different services. This means health, social services and law enforcement. The fact that a police department is willing to protect asexual people is quite comforting.
If you’re in Australia and you feel you need to get support, you can contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
Or you can call 000 (or national emergency number) for emergencies.
If you’re from another country, feel free t9 comment with any contact details of services. In your area.