I was working on my little visibility posters, and I decided to make one that would state the asexual population of the Bay Area as a whole. I didn't realize that this large-ish region, helmed by the cities of San Franciso, San Jose and Oakland, actually consists of 7 million people, or, a low estimate of 70,000 asexuals. You might remember my musings about a hypothetical "asexual city". But what I realized is that you already live there, albeit on a technicality. Even if you live in an isolated town of 1,000 people, you still have enough asexuals for a soccer team. Rather than traveling elsewhere, a (relatively) easier proposition might be to uncover the hidden asexuals in your midst.
If you'll allow me to make a mind-reading attempt, you might be thinking, "But where are they?!" when faced with a number like 70,000 asexuals in one metro area. And I don't know. I think of what I might have had to do to find the other 13 asexuals at my college of 1400 people. And I have a feeling that no matter how much I shouted from the rooftops, the majority of the 13 would remain silent. I would make an idle speculation that a lot of asexuals know something about asexuality, but don't relate it to themselves. It's like the way that friends will tell a fat person "oh, you're not fat" because they see fat as being negative, not a neutral descriptor, and not something they'd want to associate with their friend. Likewise, I thought that maybe I wasn't asexual, since asexuals die alone and I wasn't planning on doing so. How I got over that hurdle of denial, I, again, don't know.
What I do know is that "feeling like the only one" doesn't always seem like a worthy focus of my efforts when there are people going through much more terrible things every day. But I think it's a start. Feeling like part of a group may not accomplish anything in and of itself, but it's a first step. If you're wary of the concept, I understand-- I have a strange and abiding fear of cults. Groupthink isn't good. But being a part of something (while maintaining your individuality) seems to be a feeling that undergirds all positive social change. And it's a feeling that I find is largely absent from this country. So I try to make it happen for asexuals, since we're always told to "work with what you have" and I have asexuality. Maybe it could lead to something bigger than asexuality alone, at least I hope so.
I remember watching a documentary called Before Stonewall that was about, as you can imagine, gay life in America before the Stonewall riots. Before the Kinsey reports came out, homosexuality was thought to be a rare thing. So, when Kinsey shared how many gay people there really were (and asexuals, but no one seemed to care), it was really empowering for the gay population. Even if it was just to know that out of every 10 people you passed on the street, one was gay like you. So yes, we need a more accurate study of our numbers. But even 1% is not as small a number as it seems to be. So where is the 70,000? I look forward to your thoughts...
[Edited for errant zeroes...]