The term exclusionist refers to people who believe that asexual and aromantic people are not or should not be part of the LGBT+ community. This is often due to the claim that the the LGBT+ community is for people who are "same gender attracted" (SGA). People who are for the inclusion of a-spec people are called inclusionists and the argument between the two groups is often called "ace discourse" or simply "discourse".
Because exclusionism is fairly widespread, there are many different types of exclusionist ideology. This ranges from the belief that asexual people should make their own community to the belief that asexual people do not exist. The following list will cover the most common exclusionist beliefs.
The word cishet was originally used by trans people to refer to someone who is cisgender, heterosexual, and heteroromantic. However, it was adopted by exclusionists as a dogwhistle referring to members of the asexual spectrum (ace-spec people). Originally, it was only used that way to mean heteroromantic asexuals or aromantic heterosexuals, but for some exclusionist it has come to mean aroace people (aromantic asexuals) or even all a-spec people. Some exclusionists claim to be accepting of transgender a-spec people and people who experience same-gender attraction as well as being a-spec, but exclusionists may also harass a-spec people regardless of their other identities.
Denial of Asexuals
Some exclusionists will claim that asexuals do not exist, for a variety of supposed reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Asexuals are frustrated about being unable to find sexual partners
- Asexuals are straight people who want to be "special" or invade LGBT+ spaces
- Asexuals are gays or lesbians who do not admit to their orientation because of internalized homophobia
- Asexuals are children too young to experience sexual attraction
- Asexuals are sexually repressed or have hormonal disorders
Many claim that demisexuality and other ace-spec identities do not exist because "it's normal to not want to have sex with everyone you see", completely missing the point of ace-spec identities or misinterpreting their own unrecognized demisexuality as a universal experience.
Similar claims are used against members of the aromantic spectrum, such as claims that aromantics are men unwilling to form emotional attachments and only interested in very short-term sexual relations like one-night stands. They may also make fun of aromantic terminology, such as queerplatonic relationships, and aplatonic aromantics. They may claim that aromantics have no friends or do not understand friendship.
Some may claim that asexuality and aromanticism only act as quasi-modifiers to one's attraction, denying the existence of aromantic asexuals.
Denial of Oppression
Exclusionists will often claim that asexuals are not a part of the LGBT community because they supposedly do not experience oppression. When presented with evidence of asexual oppression, they may either outright refuse to admit that it happened, such as trying to gaslight victims of corrective rape by claiming that said rape never occurred or claiming that the oppression experienced was in reality misdirected homophobia or misogyny.
Demonization of Asexuals
Exclusionists often go out of their way to mock, discredit, or defame asexuals. They may claim that asserting the existence of asexuality inherently sexualizes all other LGB identities. Similarly, they may also claim that minors cannot identify as asexual based on the belief that asexuality is an inherently sexualized identity. They may claim that asexuals prey on young children, convincing them that they are asexual. Some exclusionists may have identified as asexual in the past before realizing that they were not asexual, and be convinced that every asexual experience is the same.
Exclusionists may also claim that allosexual is a slur used against them because it groups LGB people with straight people. They may also claim that the existence of the term allosexual is shaming people for wanting sex.
Exclusionists may pose as asexuals to troll asexual forums or other ace spaces to make posts about how asexuals are superior to allosexuals and that experiencing sexual attraction supposedly makes allosexuals "dirty". When some people do not realize that such posts were made by trolls, their reactions may be spread in exclusionist circles as supposed proof of all asexuals being homophobic in reality.
There is a large amount of overlap between exclusionists and other bigoted groups. Many exclusionist originally took part in so-called "bisexual discourse" in which they excluded bisexuals using many of the same or similar arguments. Along with biphobia, exclusionists also gatekeep the LGBT+ community against pansexuals and non-binary people. Exclusionists often dislike anyone who does not strictly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; as such, many dislike the usage of the word queer, as they believe it to be too inclusive of people they believe should not be part of the LGBT+ community. They may also claim that queer is a slur that should not be used at all. Exclusionists may also be transmedicalists or trans-exclusionary radical feminists.