Unlike, I gather, a lot of queer resource tumblrs, I follow a bunch of religious tumblrs too, and a bunch of blogs that focus on the intersection of the two topics. Which means following people who have to engage with ex-gay ministries or the rhetoric of hating the sinner but loving the sin, or the supposed “compromise” that gay people are allowed to feel romantic desires or even sinful sexual desires toward the same sex, but must live in permanent celibacy. And that’s how I first saw this study, because it’s conclusions, even if they are broad, are really important to challenging the notion that getting gay people to repress their sexual desires and not act on them is okay.
And I think it’s equally relevant to why the discourse of asexuality is very, very harmful to young queer people who are struggling with their sexuality. Actively repressing one’s homosexual desires, whether its by going to ex-gay therapy, or calling oneself “panromantic asexual” or whatever, correlates strongly with emotional distress and suicidal thoughts. For the Trevor Project to include training materials from asexual groups is actively dangerous. It means that volunteers are learning, as if it were fact, a bullshit conception of sexual identity that is inherently misogynistic and homophobic and inherently predatory towards queer kids. And it means that volunteers could be telling queer kids something that there is strong evidence will increase their risk of suicide.