Subscribe to our weekly round-up of the LGBTQIA+ world and support queer creatives to kick start their career 🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈

Anti-trans movement has a new target: The asexual community
Queer Gaze Asexual

Anti-trans movement has a new target: The asexual community

Yasmin Benoit She/her Black, asexual, aromantic, woman Model and award-winning aromantic-asexual activist

I’m a Black, cisgender asexual woman who has regularly been targeted by the anti-trans movement. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) have become emboldened in recent years, inspired by the likes of J.K. Rowling and facilitated by the transphobic moral panic sweeping the UK.

They claim that their concerns are for the safety of cisgender women and are therefore calling to extend sex-based rights in the Equality Act. However, this is primarily to do with blocking trans people from women-only spaces.

So why are they now also targeting the asexual community?

As an asexual public figure, I’m an easy target for abuse.

Take one look at my social media’s comments and replies - you’ll see a lot of trolling comes from anti-trans accounts.

Most of them are older white women who have sent racist, sexually explicit, sexist comments and tried to get me fired. Some of them have written defamatory articles about me and spread harmful rumours.

Their reactions towards me are yet another example of how protecting cis women really isn’t their concern, and neither is combating sexism or inequality.

Instead, they prefer to target already marginalised people, employing the same ‘groomer’ rhetoric that has been used to hurt the gay community and shame women for many years.

There has recently been a rise in acephobic conspiracy theories directly tied to both transphobia and the inclusion of asexuality within the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.

After Stonewall announced they were partnering with me to create the UK’s first asexual rights initiative, anti-trans people began sharing baseless claims that puberty blockers were making trans children asexual.

Asexuality has a long history, even if it was difficult to document at the time - as was the case for many other identities. It isn’t an orientation that was ‘made up’ to explain a supposed medical side effect.

An attack on one of us, is an attack on us all

It all shows that anti-trans movements might have started by attacking the trans community, but their intention was always to take it further.

You need only look at who it’s funded and fueled by - primarily European and US Christian Right organisations, and Russian oligarchs - to see why.

Anti-trans people demonise asexual people for the same reason - they’re prejudiced towards our difference because our very being challenges the patriarchal status quo.

The fight for LGBTQIA+ equality is a shared one, and so is our oppression. That’s why an attack on one of us is an attack on us all.

It might have started with an anti-trans movement, but it’s quickly spreading across the community. We must stand with trans and ace people now.

SHE/Her Yasmin Benoit is the British model and award-winning aromantic-asexual activist. She is a board member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network and co-founder of International Asexuality Day (April 6). Black, asexual, aromantic, woman  Yasmin Benoit Model and award-winning aromantic-asexual activist
Get the Queer Gaze in your inbox each week with our free weekly newsletter or pitch to write an edition for us now.

The idea is simple.

Support queer creatives to get into the newsroom - and then help them change it.

One of the most significant barriers to starting a media career is getting those first and early commissions. We deliver that to our creatives, while you get award-winning content from fresh marginalised voices.

We ask every creative to rate our process. 90% gave us a perfect score on our communication and approach. The retro, our unique way of editing their work, has an average rating is 9.8/10.

Our approach is award-winning and industry recognised across multiple platforms, including our newsletter and podcast scheme - but we can't do it without you.

We believe there’s a better way to be seen, heard and celebrated. Join us to change the media for good.