Centering around personal interviews supported by journal articles, blog posts, and cultural commentary, desexy will explore personal narratives detailing experiences that marginalized people have with being desexualized and how this has impacted their relationship between their body, identity, and community. I will also be writing a recurring series called “Relearning Sexy” that follows my personal experiences of desexualization, how I navigated my body and sexuality after coming out as a queer trans man, and how I continue to embrace new definitions of sex and sensuality.
When I get together with my friends, many of who are also involved in queer advocacy, our conversations usually end up talking about identity and sexuality. Over the past few years, I recall discussions where we shared our stories of amazing, past sexual experiences with gusto comparable to any of Homer’s epic poems. However, we shared plenty of stories that weren’t worth so much as an honorable mention. Looking back, I realize that our less enthralling experiences of intimacy rooted themselves in how our partners treated our bodies in relation to our identities. One conversation between my friend Alex+ (who identifies as queer and disabled) and me (who identifies as queer and trans) truly connected the dots for me. We found that we both shared similar experiences of feeling like people didn’t view us as sexual because of our bodies and our identities. We were talking about desexualization but just not saying the word itself. After realizing that Alex and I weren’t alone in this, I knew that desexy has to become a reality so that we can start honestly talking about what desexualization feels like and how it impacts how we view ourselves.
+ Name has been changed.