MOGAI hates lesbians

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Catie Byrne
Features Editor

I am a millennial lesbian, but I am not, by modern standards, a “21st century Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments and Intersex (MOGAI) queer.” In fact, don’t ever associate me with MOGAI or coercively label me with terms that I don’t self-identify with, such as queer, monosexual or allosexual.

For those lucky enough to not understand the terms I listed, I envy your ignorance.

In order to explain why even looking at these words gives me a migraine, I must explain, for non-LGBT readers, that my bitterness stems from a strain of bad discourse related to intra-community LGBT issues popularized by tumblr.com.

When you log on to tumblr.com and type the tag “the discourse” in the search bar, the following tags appear as related: “Q slur,” “homophobia,” “lesbophobia,” “MOGAI tumblr” and “the acecourse.”

The aforementioned terms I wish not to be labelled all fall within the tag, “MOGAI tumblr.”

For those unfamiliar, MOGAI stands for “marginalized orientations, gender alignments and intersex” and was invented with the intent to be a more inclusive acronym than LGBT.

However, in practice, MOGAI has done more to divide members of the LGBT community through the means of invented privilege politics, egregious historical revisionism and, I feel, most unforgivably, the spread of misinformation that confuse and harm questioning LGBT youth.

Of the invented MOGAI privilege politics, the most prevalent are allosexual and monosexual privilege, which argue that people who experience sexual attraction, and are only attracted to one gender, have privilege over people who do not experience sexual attraction, as well as people who experience attraction to more than one gender.

Allosexual was initially coined as a word to differentiate asexual people from people who experience sexual attraction, and monosexual to differentiate multisexual people from straight and gay people. The problem with these terms is that it lumps gay and straight people into categories with intersecting privilege.

Simply put, that isn’t possible.

As a lesbian, I am systematically oppressed for my sole attraction to women, regardless of whether or not that attraction is sexual.

Of course, all people who experience same-gender-attraction are oppressed by the hegemonic institutions which reinforce heteronormativity; however, MOGAI’s have been known to specifically defame lesbians as “monosexual and allosexual oppressors.”

Monosexual privilege is often defended by the claim that multisexuals do not have as much representation in the media as lesbians. However, what is perceived as representation is actually hypervisibility.

This means that the representation we do have is inaccurate, insulting, lesbophobic and ultimately produced by the same people who deny multisexuals the representation they crave: straight people.

As for allosexual privilege, it is, without exception, lesbophobic to suggest that lesbians are somehow oppressive for their attraction to women; secondly, to presume a politic of privilege regarding whether or not someone experiences sexual attraction is extremely invasive — especially considering that this idea has trickled down to minors, who may or may not be closeted, and hypersexualizes the lesbian identity to nothing more than women as sexual objects.

Not only is the rendering of my identity to nothing more than sex misogynistic, it is also homophobic, insulting and dehumanizing. Lesbians’ identities are infinitely more complex than the MOGAI paradigm of sexual versus romantic attraction.

The separation of sexual and romantic attraction also does not make any sense outside of the asexual community because gay and lesbian asexuals exist, and, have repeatedly expressed annoyance that straight asexual and aromantic people use this paradigm to separate themselves from their straight privilege.

The idea that cisgender, straight, asexual or aromantic people belong in LGBT spaces by virtue of their identity as asexual or aromantic is a dangerous and invasive tactic of self-insertion, which potentially endangers safe spaces specifically designated for LGBT peoples.

This brings to light the overarching issue of who can reclaim the q-slur, otherwise known as “queer.”

Generally related to MOGAI nonsense, “the acecourse,” is bad asexual community rhetoric which argues that cisgender, straight aromatic or asexual people can reclaim the slur queer.

This is a troubling debate because the word “queer” has never been used to systematically oppress or brutalize straight, cisgender people, regardless of whether or not that straight person experiences sexual or romantic attraction.

To suggest otherwise is homophobic, transphobic, transmisogynistic and historical revisionism.

As much as I’d like to, I can’t completely blame tumblr.com for the popularization of these terms, because it is just another cog in the pink-washing, neoliberal and homonationalist social media machine of faux radical queer politics.



Categories: Columns, featured, Opinions

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12 replies

  1. THANK YOU! I just found this article and it summarizes what’s wrong with this whole MOGAI issue so well. I’m so tired of ahistoric revisionism and downright transphobia and homophobia coming from the ace community.

    It’s sad that it’s an old article and yet it’s still relevant.

    The LGBT community is for people who suffer homophobia and/or transphobia. It’s that simple. Cis het aces and cis aro aces need to find their own spaces and make their own community, we have nothing to offer them and our history is not the same.

    Like

    • Asexuals are not on the sectrum of straight. Straight refers to hetromantic and hetrosexual which asexuals and aromantic are not apart of. Lumping them into straight is denying their romantic and/or sexual orientation and closing your ears to anything otherwise.
      The LGBTQ+ has an A in it. The A stands for Asexual and refers to the umbrella for anything under that as well. To deny that and say it stands for ‘allies’ means you are offering straight people more support in your community than you are asexuals who have gone through oppression and abuse. Not the same as gays or trans, but if you do any simple research you see they have been oppressed just as well. Turning this into an oppression olympics and “my case is worse than yours” is helping no-one and causes more fighting in the community. It’s heartbreaking to know that most asexuals won’t seek support from LGBTQ+ places because they have been pushed out and don’t feel welcome, at a place the very much should be. The communities should be about bringing people together, not turning this into a “I’m worse that you” childish affair.

      The A stands for asexuals. We are apart of the LGBTQ+ community whether you want to throw your tantrums or plug up your ears and scream “lalala not listening”.
      Please, grow up and do not spread your hateful spew to any actual asexual people.

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      • the “A” stands for “Ahistorical bullshit that I had to strain my eyes reading in Sarah’s comment” smh

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      • Cishet aces are not LGBT. You do not face oppression for lack of sexual attraction to the opposite sex. It is not illegal or punishable by death in any country to be asexual. You don’t have to fear getting kicked out of your home or cut off from people for coming out as ace. Getting poked fun at by straight people or your family members for not feeling the “normal” desire for sex isn’t oppression. Get over yourself. And oppression olympics? Please. Cishet aces are always the ones trying to devalue the struggles of gays, bis, lesbians, and trans people, because how dare they be disgusting allosexuals!

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      • Anti mogai types are the ones treating bullying and oppression like a competition in my experience. I cannot count how many have said unless you are killed for existing, then you can’t be oppressed, when oppression takes many forms. As long as the way society views a minority puts that minority at a disadvantage in society, that group is oppressed. And aces and aros are oppressed under cisheteronormativity.

        Aces are more likely to be viewed as less human and face higher chances of being raped to fix their sexuality, in some cases more than lesbians or gay men. In fact, most studies done say asexuality was second only to bisexuality. So while it’s not a competition, it’s clearly a big problem aces face. People have made it clear that they will not rent or hire asexual people as well If they know they’re asexual. I’ve seen an asexual woman be fired for “singing” after she came out to our colleges. I’ve had ace friends be thrown out because they told their family they were ace and anti-mogai people sexually harassed my younger sibling, a minor, directly after they put ace in their bio and started to make and share positivity posts.

        Aces have historically been part of the community too. I know aces in their 60s and up who have marched and fought for rights. According to them, they used the label bi back then because, even though they weren’t attracted to multiple genders they weren’t sure what else to call themselves and “feels the same way towards multiple genders” was how they defined it.

        Also multiple older members I’ve spoken too lable the point of the community as “fighting cisheteronormativity” and not only “fighting homophobia and transphobia” because it better covers that the problem is that they hate the non-conformity to their idea of “normal”. And as such they include aces and aros because aces and aros, regardless of other orientations, are not the cishetero “norm”.

        Also, I’ve never seen anyone use allosexual or monosexual privilege the way this article claims. They are used more like “allo/mononormative” meaning people view feeling attraction or attraction to a single gender as the normal/proper way and not feeling attraction to any gender or feeling attraction to multiple is bad and wrong and abnormal. This is an actual thing, people who believe there is something wrong with me for being bisexual because I find every gender attractive or believe that my attraction to multiple genders means I’m bound to cheat on them.

        I’d assume allonormativity or “allo privilege” would be similar in that people believe it’s wrong or abnormal and have negative views about people who don’t feel attraction. Allo and mononormativity are the views shared by LGBT+ and non-ace/aro cishet people that multigender attraction and a lack of attraction are not the norm. Anti-mogai types took arguments way out of proportion and skewed them to work in their favor.

        Also the MOGAI community is very young, only a few years. It’s no surprise that there is shitty stuff when the early LGBT community was (and still is despite being pretty old) steeped in lesbophobia, biphobia, and transphobia and focused more on making middle class+, white, cis, gay men more “acceptable” to straight people. Instead of writing it off as “the bad community” helping and educating those in it to make it better would be more useful. It seems most people take the few trolls who jumped on the chance to ruin a trans teenager’s new acronym for the LGBT+ community and made up fake shit like “sapiosexual” and “kindergender”, as the only rep of it instead of all the gay, hi, trans, and lesbian members of it working to make it better. It’s the same shit straight people tried to pull when pedos tried to claim raping kids made them LGBT+.

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  2. I know this article is from two years ago but I’ve never been able to find proper commentary on MOGAI. It just goes to show that they really want to play the oppression olympics and whine that they’re the most bullied when it’s not a competition.

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  3. I know this article is old, and I myself identify as lesbian/sapphic and definitely not on the ace spectrum. Yet I do not understand the deep seeded anger towards the ace community? Maybe it’s because I know the ace people you interact with online are not representative of all ace people the same way there’s trans people online who I definitely don’t think are representative of all trans people. I know firsthand what it’s like as someone born female what it’s like to be told I’ll eventually want my own kids or eventually want to fuck a man, and I know ace people who have been told similar things. That they’ll eventually grow up as if wanting sex is something you grow into when the reality of it is it might not be for some people. When those people are told these things by straight people should we not welcome them to our vibrant communities? My city’s pride parade has an ace float every year and I love to see it, these people need places to turn to, people who won’t tell them there is something wrong with them the same way straight people have done to us. Do I agree with the reclaimation of queer? No not really, and if I met an ace person who tried reclaiming it I would probably just have a conversation about it with them. Anger and hatred only seperates us further, nurturing a dialogue between those you don’t entirely agree with will get you further. Even if they are not willing to civilly discuss your disagreements at least you can say you tried.

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  4. *immediately thinks of acquaintance who was kicked out of home by lesbian mom for 6 months after coming out as ace*
    Go on AVEN. And do it to educate yourselves and not to spread hate.

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  5. finally someone smart jesus christ.

    Like

  6. Thank you! I was having a really hard time figuring out how to articulate my opinion on this, and this article helped immensely.

    Like

  7. Allophobic aces are like “lol ew you guys are all so gross :)” to LGBT folk and then act surprised when they get called homophobic/transphobic. Here’s hoping it’s just an unfortunately loud minority doing that, though.

    Like

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