And yes, it works.
This weekend, my local QSA had a meet-up, and then we all went out to a popular gay club for a fun night of dancing and drinking (for some). It was supposed to be straight night, but not many straight people showed up. So we had the run of the place, while the few people there who were not from our group mostly just sat around and watched us.
My friends, of course, alcoholics that they are, had me buy them drinks. While I was at the bar with an officer of the group offering an extra set of hands, an older lesbian lady started asking us about our group, where we were from, and whether we were all gay. She pointed at the officer and said, “You’re straight, aren’t you?” He laughed, and said, “How did you know?” (She had probably been watching him dance with his sort-of girlfriend.) Then she pointed at me.
“So what are you?”
“What!? Are you kidding me!? What’s wrong with you? Do you have a vagina?”
I laughed. It was a reaction I’d come to expect, but it’s not something I can respond to, especially when faced with such a bold, baldfaced, honest reaction. She was quite loud about it, too; I wondered briefly exactly how much more tact she would have shown if she had been sober. There was really no other appropriate response BUT to laugh. She went on about it for a little while longer, and then offered a stuttering apology.
“I’m sorry, that was mean. I’m the last person who should be saying something like that.”
The QSA officer chimed in, “Yeah, we’re all about acceptance here, man.”
Still laughing, I told her it was okay, and then the drinks were ready, so we took them back to the group. I told the other asexual girl (oh yes, there was another one!) what had happened, and we had a good laugh; she wondered if that lady would even remember what asexuality is in the morning. If so, hey, at least one more person knows we exist. If not… oh well.
Anyway, it was really nice to meet a fellow asexual in person, finally. We had a good, long talk about cats, college life, and not having sex. Hopefully later on in the semester, we can co-ordinate an effort to raise visibility from within the QSA. Now that there are at least three of us (there’s another girl around here I’ve been chatting with via email, though she hasn’t been to the QSA), they will probably take us more seriously this year. I’m thinking perhaps I’ll join a panel, and do some tabling on Coming Out Day… However, the group is pretty unorganized, so I’ll probably have to do most of what I want to do by myself. Any suggestions for how to raise awareness, as well as ideas for meet-ups, are quite welcome.