“tbh we might have clowned on [aros & aces] a lil too harshly” bigotry. the term you’re looking for is bigotry. denying communities their vocabulary and ability to safely exist because you think you’re the personal arbiter of which identities are “valid” is bigotry. minimizing and infantilizing and harassing entire groups of people based on their orientation is bigotry. aphobia isn’t some forgettable phase of being cringe as a teenager, it’s bigotry that inflicted long term damage to these communities.

These notes are heartbreaking. There are hundreds of aspec people describing in detail how they went back in the closet or lived in denial or in fear because of the malice, harassment, and ignorance toward aromantic and asexual people. Aspec positivity tags used to be full of porn and gore. This included pictures of the corpse of a teen girl who came out as asexual the day before she was brutally murdered—and Internet strangers responded by debating her orientation.

Aphobes tried to argue that only lesbians could experience corrective rape, or that it was somehow appropriating a term exclusive to South Africa, or that an asexual person willing to have sex could not be correctively raped. They insisted any evidence of oppression was either misdirected or fabricated. Being an entry in the DSM until 2013 and developing medication specifically for treating the condition didn’t count. 

They told us all of our words were either stolen or stupid: allistic people tried to say that “aspec” was specifically about people on the autism spectrum; “zucchini”, squash, and other innocuous aspec terms and motifs (black rings, playing card suits, cake, space, dragons, etc.) got ridiculed to death; QPRs as a concept are derided as “just friends” and irrelevant to anyone but aspecs, who themselves are deemed irrelevant. In fact, the “clowning” quote in the OP was in the notes on a post of mine about the importance of recognizing queerplatonic relationships

Aphobes insisted that aspecs couldn’t speak other languages, that it’s a “white people thing”, that teenagers are just trying to feel special, that it’s a side effect of SSRIs, that we’re “basically straight” (straight-passing, i.e. erased). Anything to deny us our existence. Anything to minimize us, to keep us invisible and silent, to blame us for intracommunity issues, to invalidate us. 

I got attention for getting angry in 2018, and I’m still angry now. This has been happening on tumblr for over a decade. It’s been known for a long time (and even admitted by terfs themselves) that aro/ace exclusion and trans exclusion go hand in hand and contribute to terf rhetoric. When you hurt us, you are hurting your own community. Arguing that aspecs do not belong is not “discourse”. It is bigotry.

I remember this, it was awful.

I’d also invite everyone to read this Twitter thread, if you can stomach it. It was a post by the UK Girl Guides supporting their asexual members for Ace Week, and it was dogpiled by TERFS screaming and lying and calling them paedophiles. I will never forget or forgive.