So this week, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw this image cross your feed. The spirit of the bag and the support the producers of the bag intended is really great.
There’s just one kind of major problem: A is not for Ally.
Don’t get me wrong, allies are great. Awesome. Some of my good friends are allies. (Okay, only like two because my group of friends is hella queer, but whatever.) But allies aren’t queer. They probably aren’t ostracized/attacked/raped/murdered for being an ally. People don’t need to be convinced they exist. People don’t need their existence explained.
Know who is queer and was dropped off this bag in favor of allies? Asexuals. Agender individuals. Aromantics.
I’m not going to spout all the ways asexuals/etc are ‘more worthy’ of being included. I shouldn’t really have to (but if you have questions, feel free to ask). I’m not going to scream for a boycott (according to Pink News, a percent of purchases is donated to the Human Rights Campaign). I’m just frustrated that once again asexuals/etc are ignored. Or maybe not even that. They are unheard of. But ours is a growing voice, and we won’t be silenced. I won’t be silenced.
Finding this identity has helped explain a lot of things about myself, my interaction with others, and how I see the world. People shouldn’t have to wait until their in their late twenties and thirties to figure out that they are not alone and they are not anomalies or freaks. Erasing the presence of aces on the bag is just keeping other people from realizing truths about themselves.
What’s really disheartening is that, according to Pink News, “the Human Rights Campaign … collaborated with American Apparel in creating the clothes.” I don’t know if that applies to the bag as well, but if so, HRC needs to get on the ball.
Please remember that the A in LGBTQA+ is for a lot of things, but “ally” isn’t one of them.
If you want an idea of the outraged reactions to this erasure, you can check out this BuzzFeed article, which also includes American Apparel’s weak response to the backlash. (It’s pretty pitiful.)