Hey, I’m Maira (pronounced /'my.ra/), I’m a Library Support Assistant at Stockwell Street Library and I currently identify as a panromantic grey-ace.
The Library –both management and colleagues– have been great at supporting my involvement in UoG’s LGBT+ Staff Network.
But while queer visibility in the form of our staff and student networks is a step forward, I believe that the University (and the world outside of it) still has a long way to go, especially with regard to gender identity. We need to move away from perceptions of gender as a binary and to stop making assumptions about people, based on how they choose to present. And we need to stop erasing people.
On a personal level, erasure has been rather irksome to me, but not as much as its flip side, which is pity. These two reactions from people are the reasons why I’ve always proudly stated I was queer, but seldom identified publicly as an ace.
It has always baffled me how the declaration of one’s a-/grey-sexuality is invariably perceived by people as an invitation for scrutiny, advice, unsolicited comments and commiseration(!). From the dismissive ‘this is against human instincts, hence illogical /fake’, to the “well-meaning” ‘you just haven’t found the right person yet’, to intrusive personal questions because ‘this is so strange and fascinating’, people (even from within the queer community) seem to think that they are entitled to such questions and comments toward aces, much more than toward any other part of the rainbow.
I am lucky to have a very good network of friends, who acknowledge and support me, and around whom I feel very relaxed. I believe that mutual support within queer circles and strong allyship by straight people are crucial for one’s wellbeing.