Following our previous announcement stating that the LGBTQ* group of UKIP wished to support us in our aims, we were surprised by the extent and depth of the dissatisfaction and concern for our actions.
maaple, as an organisation, cannot claim to represent asexual people as a whole. People that identify as being on the asexual spectrum are incredibly diverse. However, it is our aim to make things better for all of them, and for society more generally.
Many of the comments we have seen have been negative, suggesting that by naming the LGBTQ* group as one of our supporters we have undermined our overriding aim to make society better.
At no time did we suggest that we shared the same beliefs held or represented by UKIP. However, a number of people in the community felt uncomfortable by these views and believe that maaple‘s association with the LGBTQ* group offered support for their parent organisation’s views. This was not our intention.
If we are to represent asexuals, we have to consider what the community says. We have been accused of many things since the announcement. While many have been unfair, naivety and unpreparedness are reasonable accusations. However, we hope that you realise that we have good intentions and that we are trying desperately hard to do achieve our aims with the goodwill of the community.
It was our belief that by naming an LGBT* group of a political party as a supporter of our organisation it would encourage others to follow. We felt that, for UKIP in particular, initiating conversation about asexuality was a positive step. However, we do not wish for our concerted efforts to advance our aims to be undermined in the eyes of the people we wish to support.
We continue to wish to work with political parties to progress with our aims. This is necessary in order for us to achieve our first aim to address the Equality Act. However, we will no longer seek support from political parties, as it has become clear that this is not desired in the community. This is a harder way, but we are determined to succeed.
We wish to record our thanks with the LGBTQ* group at UKIP for their encouragement and we hope that they will continue to raise asexuality and our aims. We hope they will continue to support equality, education and awareness for asexual spectrum people.
We also wish that our supporters continue to do so. We have established a number of different communication channels and we do listen. We are a young organisation and we are learning.