identity politics leave little room for agency; a thought.
i don’t know why, but it only just occurred to me that in referring to myself as a “queer ace”, as i sometimes do, i may be inadvertently giving off the impression that i don’t think that aces are inherently queer…? that “queer” modifies my aceness rather than encompasses it…??
i mean, logically speaking, since “queer” describes my asexuality as much as it does other aspects of my sexuality (and even my gender), “queer ace” is kind of redundant? like saying “queer lesbian”, “queer bi person”, etc?
but then again it’s not, because in referring to myself as a “queer ace”, i am deliberately highlighting both my ace identity and my queer identity simultaneously. why? in part because while some aces ( / lesbians / bi people / etc) may identify as queer and some queer people may identity as ace ( / lesbian / bi / etc), not everyone embraces queer as an identity alongside or in addition to another identity (or identities).
but i do. unapologetically.
and thus for me personally, “queer” feels just as right being paired with ace as it does being used on its own as a standalone identity.
that said, i know that people will polarize and politicize my queer ace identity, reading their personal flavor of ‘discourse’ into it just as people have long since been doing with my bi identity, my pan identity, my non-binary identity– literally every intersectional facet of my queer identity, of which there are many.
no matter how i refer to myself, no matter what identities i embrace as my own, those words– those identities are forever being taken out of my hands and used against me to further someone else’s agenda… often by the very people whom i share a common identity with.
when used on its own, it almost feels like a safety net. almost. somehow, it feels harder for people to polarize or manipulate my identity if said identity is so open-ended that people are more likely to ask follow-up questions that then put at least some of the agency over my own identity that otherwise would have been taken the second words left my mouth back into my hands.
“almost” because in this fucked up world that we live in, if people don’t ask follow-up questions or i refuse to answer them, assumptions quickly take the place of actual fact and said assumptions always result in people seeing what they want to see in me rather than seeing the actual person that i am.