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What is LGBTQIAP+?

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by

Madi Kodama

on 5 June 2015

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Transcript of What is LGBTQIAP+?

Bisexual & Asexual Erasure
What is erasure?
LGBTQIAP+ erasure is defined as the tendency to "ignore, remove, falsify, or erase evidence of LGBTQIAP+ in history, academia, news media and other primary sources". This is an unfortunately common practice; but it does not only occur outside the LGBT community. It occurs within the community, too.
Why does it matter?
It matters because every day, bisexual and asexual you are told that they themselves do not exist. When people refuse to acknowledge the existence of bisexuality or asexuality- when any identity is explicitly denied- they are "preventing the recognition of that identity and the voice is silenced, as though to say 'your voice doesn't matter, because it's irrelevant/doesn't exist.'"
What is LGBTQIAP+?
The acronym LGBTQIAP+ stands for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual plus community.






Those who are a part of the community may identify as one of the above, or as one of the many, many orientations and identities not explicitly listed in the acronym.
What does it mean to be Bisexual?
All identities and orientations on the Kinsey Scale exist upon their own spectrums. The generally accepted definition, as quoted by the Bisexual Resource Center, is a person who "...people who recognise and honour their potential for sexual and emotional attraction to more than one gender." This umbrella term includes but is not exclusive to people who identify as biromantic, and/or bisexual, but is not exclusive to those identities alone.
Bisexual Erasure
Bisexuals experience the some of the worst erasure within the LGBT community- many people, even within the community, are affected by the misconception that bisexuals either haven't made up their minds yet or are too scared to come out fully- this is something we are scorned for, because we should just 'pick a side already'. Unbelievably, some are under the impression that bisexuals are fabricating a sexuality because we're greedy to get a better pick of the crowd. This in particular is a ridiculous claim; it is essentially the belief that we want to have more sex. All of these beliefs are inherently connected to biphobia, and create a hostile environment even within the LGBT community: what was created to be an open space for all LGBT people.
Asexual Erasure
Asexuals experience the same degree of invisibility, if not worse. Those that identify as asexual are constantly informed that there is something wrong with them, that they are irrelevant because they do not wish for the physical act of sex. This is, in my opinion, because sex has always been thought of as a basic human need- many people simply cannot understand how someone could live without it. Not only this, but- contrary to LGBT identities such as gay, lesbian, and transgender, asexuality rarely has a mention in any educational context. This can make it even more confusing for asexual youth who may not understand what it is they're feeling, and perpetuates the idea that there is something wrong with them.
What does it mean to be Asexual?
As with bisexuality, asexuality exists upon its own spectrum. According to AVEN, the most generally accepted definition of asexuality is a person who "does not experience sexual attraction." This term encompasses the wide realm of identities such as asexual, aromantic, and grey-asexual.
It is especially harmful to bisexual youth, who may not know what it is they're feeling- they might go onto an online forum, or come out to other LGBT friends and be met with hostility from people who are supposed to be accepting of all.
Call to Action
Just by being aware of and acknowledging these identities, you are helping. By not denying our literal existence, you are helping. It helps create a safe space for sexual and asexual youth, letting them know that they are acknowledged, accepted, and most importantly, not alone.

My goal is to work closely with the LGBTQIAP+ Society at this school, in the hopes of education the students and staff, helping to remove some of the misconceptions and hostility surrounding bisexual and asexuality.
Sources
www.asexuality.org

www.biresource.net

Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, Jane E. Sloan (1996)
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