Classification of Sexual Identities outside the LG Community

Talks with S


The main focus of the topic in debate is usually about accepting the gay and lesbian community into our society. In this discussion, the bisexual and asexual community is although somewhat touched upon, the struggle seems to be of the acknowledgement of the LG community only. While some may disagree or somewhat agree with my view, I personally believe that this holds true for most of us. After the readings for this class, I am embarressed to say, that I myself did not know the basic classification of Asexuality. I knew it existed, however, I had never thought about it. Last week in class, we talked about broadening our thinking and not asking a child to choose his or her sexual identity at an early age. We discussed about not asking a girl who her “boyfriend” was and hoping that in the future one may ask a girl “ If she was dating someone?” with the open-mindedness of the answer referring to a girl or a guys name. Now, I feel that this question shouldn’t be asked at all!

Talking specifically about Asexuality and Bisexuality, the main issue is their acknowledgement as “real” sexual identities and then their full-fledged acceptance into society. According to Angelides, “Bisexuality has been persistently refused the title of legitimate sexual identity.” Till today, some regard it as a sexual identity invented by others for fun, for a popularity stunt or because of an imbalance of ones hormonal state. Similarly, Asexuality isn’t acknowledged as a “real” sexual identity either. According to Prause and Graham,  “We live in a world that assumes that everyone experiences sexual desires.” Thus, the first step for society should be to acknowledge the existence of bisexuality and asexuality as legitimate sexual identities.

My research on various random online databases helped me conclude that: some think that asexuality and bisexuality shouldn’t be dignified as sexual identities because bisexuality promotes sexually transmitted diseases, while asexuality leads to various ‘personal disorders’. According to Prause and Graham, asexuality can lead to hypoactive sexual desire disorder. In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association stated that, “absence of sexual fantasies and desires for sexual activity, leads to marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.” The association also states that this could potentially lead to extreme stress and then depression.

Although I feel that bisexuals have not been given the same acceptance into society as gays, and lesbians, I do not disregard the inclusion of “bisexuals” as the letter “B” to have been included in the LGBT Group.  However, this LGBT Group or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Group that was formed a few decades ago, doesn’t traditionally acknowledge asexuality as a sexual identity. Around 1996, the letter “Q” referring to “queer” was added to LGBT, thereby making it the LGBTQ Group. This new letter “Q” stands for all sexual identities outside the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual identities, and was no longer based on gender but rather sexuality. This included: gender-queer, pansexual, auto-sexual, asexual and other identities. In some societies, the LGBT Community may be referred to as LGBTI where the “I” refers to Intersex, or LGBTHI where the letter “H” refers to a ‘new’ third or ‘some other’ gender known as “hijras” that do not identify themselves as a gender that is already known to society.

A few weeks ago in class, we talked about “how far we had progressed towards acceptance and acknowledgment of the inclusive model.” As many students mentioned in class, we have progressed somewhat, after all we are able to have this conversation in an academic format among young adults. However, we may not even be aware of all the sexual identities people may associate themselves with. My suggestion would be educating the youth about this. When I asked several of my friends to define asexuality, they could not. They were unable to define it in even loose words. The concept of not feeling sexually aroused by another human is something that exists, however, many of us, are not even unaware of it.




A. Graham Cynthia and Prause, Nicole. Asexulaity: Classification and Characterization.

Angelides, Steven. Introducing Bisexuality.

3 thoughts on “

  1. I agree that awareness should be spread about all the specific types of sexual identities across the US. I myself have not heard of many of them and have not even heard of changing the term LGBT to LGBTQ or LGBTI or LGBTHI. There are so many terms probably not even yet identified. Identity itself is a very confusing topic and many people are unsure about how to label themselves. With the growing terminology, maybe people will more easily be able to identify themselves and feel welcome in a group with other people just like them. In terms of progression, people are becoming more accepting of terms they are aware of, but people just haven’t heard of some of the newer terms. Once awareness is spread, I feel people will be even more open after understanding where other people are coming from.

  2. Talks with S: Early in your post you say “My research on various random online databases helped me conclude that: some think that asexuality and bisexuality shouldn’t be dignified as sexual identities because bisexuality promotes sexually transmitted diseases, while asexuality leads to various ‘personal disorders’.” Can you please edit this to add your citations for these “random online databases”? It’s important that we provide traceable evidence for the issues we are raising.

    Secondly, why do you think asexuality hasn’t really “caught on” in mainstream culture? I think bisexuality is fairly well known and while many people may dismiss it as “just a phase” or a way to not admit you are gay (as our readings reported) it does challenge the understanding of sexual identity/orientation and desire as static. I get why this could be seen as threatening to some. Where is the “threat” in claiming “asexuality” as an identity? Is there one?

  3. Dear Ms. Troka: Sorry for the inconvenience. I did not mention the sources as I did not use any particular information from what all I read. My results were my personal interpretations after reading certain personal stories and doctored reports.

    However, the readings and video I watched (and then interpreted) are as follows:

    (1) Bipolar and Bisexual – Living with Labels

    (2) Among the Asexuals

    (3) New data strengthens view of HIV threat for gay black men

    (4) Safer Sex for Bisexuals and their Partners – Fenway Health

    (5) Asexuality a sexual orientation? (video)

    Furthermore, I dont think asexuality is a threat, however, it is a concept that most people (99% of the population) don’t identify themselves with. It isn’t the “norm”, and most people don’t deal well with change. The concept of asexuality is a relatively newer concept than that of LGBT, that has changed our traditional view that everyone has sexual tendencies, or that everyone has the desire to pursue another individual sexually. Similar to asexuals, all minority groups face bitter consequences of lack of acceptance into society immediately. I believe that acceptance of asexuality as a sexual identity will occur ultimately, but the time frame for this to happen seems blurry in my eyes. For now, we need to educate individuals as to what asexuality exactly is. Even privileged people like us who are able to attain high forms of education were unaware of a concept called “asexuality.”

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