My name is Victoria Zagar and I’m here today on Queer Romance Month to discuss the topic of asexuality in queer romance. As the author of asexual romance Wings Of Destruction, I was invited to share my thoughts on this subject, so here’s the tale of how I came to write an ace love story.
I once had an Internet friend, who for the purposes of this discussion, I’ll call C. We met through fandom, and she liked a lot of the same things I did. We became fast friends, talking about our personal lives, as well as the hobbies we were both passionate about.
C confided in me me one day that she didn’t like the thought of physical intimacy, sex, or kissing, and that she was exploring the prospect that she might be asexual. At the time, I was getting to grips with my own identity as a bisexual person, and I could appreciate the struggle it took to be honest with one’s self. So, I cheered her on. “Great!” I told her, with enthusiastic gusto.
“I don’t want to be alone forever!” she told me. It was a moment of brutal honesty that shocked me to the core. I hadn’t thought deeply enough about how sexual the world is, how peer pressure can force people to engage in acts they’re not comfortable with, and how society assumes romantic relationships must also be sexual ones. I tried to tell her that being asexual wasn’t so bad if that’s who she was, but as a sexual person, it was hard for me to tell her that everything would be all right. How could I promise her that she would find someone who would love her just the way she was?
I lost contact with her, and I never did find out if she accepted the asexual side of herself, or if she found someone who would love her without the need for physical intimacy. I thought about her over the years, and I hope she found a way to live the life that she needed.
It’s my belief that we all deserve to be loved, if we want to be. Even if we can’t find that special someone (or don’t want someone else in our lives), romance is about fulfilling our emotional needs, and feeling validated in our identities is an important part of that. There’s a lot of sexual romance out there, with a lot of emphasis placed on heat levels and kinks. That’s fantastic for those of us who are sexual, but for those who aren’t, it must be hard to find characters to relate to. When I looked around our little corner of the book market, it shocked me to see almost no stories with asexual-identified characters. It reinforced those words C said to me all those years ago, and that made me think. I don’t want her, or any asexual person, to feel unwelcome in the queer romance community, when the world itself can already be so isolating to those of us in a minority.
Love is a fantastic thing that knows no boundaries or borders, yet sometimes, people are sadly excluded because of a lack of diversity in the genre. I feel like we need to do better (myself included) to make sure there are love stories for everyone, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. So that nobody searches for books about themselves and comes up empty.
I want to live in a world where nobody has to believe that their identity is a punishment, a sentence to eternal loneliness. As writers, we can make that happen. All we have to do is pick up our pens and write. Put ourselves in someone else’s shoes (which is our job anyway), and take the chance on writing something that might not be a commercial hit, but which makes someone out there feel like they’re not alone.
Because everyone deserves their love story.
About Victoria Zagar
Victoria was born in the United Kingdom but emigrated to the United States at age 21. She’s bisexual, genderqueer, happily married, and still shouts in a British accent. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania where she spends a lot of time playing and talking about video games, especially Japanese role-playing games.
Besides the Culture Wars series, she is the author of Wings of Destruction, an asexual m/m romance novella published by Less Than Three Press, The Miracle, an F/F short story published by Evernight Publishing, and the forthcoming m/m romances Reunited (Totally Bound Publishing), Nami (Wilde City Press),The Dragon’s Curse (Less Than Three Press), and The Forbidden Zone (Less Than Three Press). She loves to write about all colors of the rainbow and celebrate love wherever it may be found.
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Infinite Love (website): http://victoriazagar.com
- Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/
- Twitter: (@landale) http://www.twitter.com/landale
About Wings Of Destruction:
Society has collapsed, driven to madness after a great economic crash. Gangs roam the streets, taking any man, woman or child without a Mate for their own.