If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you will probably have noticed that the biggest new fandom online is no longer anime or BBC dramas and sci-fi shows, but “social justice”. The essence of the online social justice movement was originally promoting tolerance, freedom, and equality for all people regardless of race, sex, orientation, national origin, handicap, etc. As a movement, it has worked to raise awareness online about the struggles of marginalized groups and encourages people to question their attitudes towards social issues.
However, there is a point where the blind acceptance for all things different borders on ridiculous. People have become so obsessed with being politically correct that they believe that as long as someone identifies as something, it is true, and anything outside the mainstream is “oppressed” in this online social justice wonderland. Ever heard of “otherkin”? Otherkin are people who “identify” as animals/characters/mythical creatures. I mean I think that’s fine, what you do in your own time is your business, but according to some of these “otherkin,” lack of widespread acceptance of their kind is contributing to mass otherkin oppression. They’re not facing society-wide hostility, discrimination or potentially deadly hate crimes or anything, but none of that matters because they are facing the worst kind of oppression: being mocked on the internet. Shit.
But that’s not the worst of it, every day there are newer, even more mockable “oppressions” coming out. Let me introduce you to transabled and transethnic people. Transabled people are able-bodied people that “identify” as disabled. Seriously, it must be so difficult for them to be burdened with living in a perfectly working body with no physical ailments, wanting to be disabled but unable to be. Transethnic people are mostly white people who “identify” as an ethnic minority. It’s just another case of special snowflake syndrome: whiny privileged white people seeking out status as an “oppressed other”.
Online, minority status has become something to be desired. Everyone wants to join the super special secret queer clubhouse and turn genuine issues into trendy fashion statements for bored suburban brats who want sympathy and attention despite never having faced any real discrimination in their lives. I actually found a straight white middle-class teenage girl on tumblr that identified as “trans-autistic pangender asexual demiromantic trans-Asian cat otherkin.” Yeah.
One made-up identity that really grinds my gears is “demisexuality.” A “demisexual” person is someone who can only experience sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed. Demisexuality, apparently, is a form of the asexuality. I don’t deny that asexuality is a legitimate orientation, but when I see people identifying as “demisexual,” I just see people trying to claim minority status by slapping a label on what is actually a very common inclination. I know it is very controversial to question any orientation on the internet, but there is a point when the labels like this get ridiculous. Demisexuality was made up only a few years ago while all other sexualities have been around for thousands of years, and it is not even recognized as a sexual orientation by any credible organization and it is not included by the LGBT community. On top of that, claiming “demisexuality” as an orientation just doesn’t make any sense! Sexual orientation is in relation to the gender to which a person is attracted to. Choosing to only have sex with people you have an emotional connection with is just personal preference, nothing more.
I will be the first to admit that the first time I heard of “demisexuality” on tumblr I got excited because I’d never realized that I was a part of the LGBT+ community. I felt special because I wasn’t just a boring “cishet” anymore. Honestly, I can understand wanting to be special and I reckon that’s one of the reasons that the concept of “demisexuaIity” is so popular on tumblr: it’s something that most people can relate to. Despite forming a strong emotional connection with a partner before sex being a societal norm, people are so desperate to squeeze themselves into minority groups that they try to pass off wanting to get to know someone before sleeping with them as a sexual orientation. But seriously guys, it’s not cool.
Back in reality, there are millions of people outside of tumblr who would kill to be a boring old “cishet”, and it is so massively disrespectful and offensive to discredit their struggles by waving a rainbow flag and yelling “DEMISEXUAL PRIDE!” Everyone experiences sex and sexual attraction differently; having a slightly lower libido does not warrant a separate orientation nor put you on the same level as the millions of people around the world who suffer daily for theirs. In my experience, the “demisexual” community consists exclusively of straight people trying to piggy-back onto the LGBT movement.
We are in no way oppressed for our preferences, and to claim otherwise is downright insulting to people who are actually under the LGBT+ blanket and suffering for it. Also, you look a bit silly.
Whilst it’s fun to laugh at for its sheer ludicrousness, the concept of “demisexuality” among other ridiculous made-up orientations does have a damaging effect to legitimate oppression. People are dying right now, becoming homeless, and living in dire poverty because of their sexuality. When you appropriate the suffering of the LGBT+ community, you are stealing voices from people who do genuinely need help and support. Just because everyone is shouting at once doesn’t mean there aren’t still real voices to be heard.
The fact that I will almost definitely receive hate comments for this only further proves my point: that people would rather fight for recognition of their own bullshit identity than take a stand against the oppression of real ones.