Behind the scenes of the Ace Community Survey

This article was written for the Carnival of Aces, whose theme this month is “Invisible Activism“.

My blogging notwithstanding, I often feel that my biggest contribution to ace activism has nothing to do with this blog, but is instead related to the Ace Community Survey. I have been involved with the Survey Team since it was founded in 2014, and I am currently one of its leaders. I started with a data analyst and programming role, but I shifted towards a management role, managing 10-40 volunteers, organizing tasks, and making high-level decisions.

The Survey Team has also had a big impact on my life. I changed my career from physics to data science in part because I knew that what I enjoyed was working with data, rather than physics in particular. And it turns out that my work on the Survey Team looks good on a resume.

I’ve talked a lot about Survey Team before, but the degree to which I have talked about it is not in proportion to the amount of time I put into it. Most people simply don’t need to know how it works. But in this day and age, our image of ace activism tend to be dominated by its most visible forms: fictional representation and social media activity. The Ace Community Survey follows a different paradigm. So allow me to pull back the curtain a little bit to show a different kind of activism.

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Carnival of Aces: Multitudes

Welcome to the Carnival of Aces!  This is the link roundup for October, with the theme of “Multitudes“.  As explained in the call for submissions, the theme is

for the multitudes of reasons people identify with asexual and multitudes of definitions to cover them.

I could not reach the host, so I did my best to round up the links myself.  If you submitted an article that I missed, please let me know so I can add it.

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Posted in Articles, Carnival of Aces | 3 Comments

Linkspam: November 13th, 2020

On Fridays, we will share links to news, blogs, and anything else we find interesting.  We can’t catch everything, so you are invited to self-promote in the comments!

Ace Blogging

Ace Admiral wrote a review of Yuri to Koe to Kaze Matoi.

Coyote elaborated on their complaints about the exclusionist/inclusionist binary.

News & Outreach

E. L. Meszaros writes about how “The Adventure Zone’s Sir Fitzroy provides complex and compelling representation for TTRPG ace communities”

Aro Blogging

The November Carnival of Aros is seeking submissions on the theme “Commitment”.

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November 2020 Carnival of Aces Call for Submissions: “Invisible Activism”

Welcome to the November 2020 edition of the Carnival of Aces.  This is a monthly blog event where we accept submissions on a theme, and post a roundup at the beginning of the next month.  Additionally, with our permission TAAAP has been hosting discussions on the carnival themes as part of their Pride Chats.  Last month’s carnival was themed on “Multitudes” and here is the roundup.

This month’s theme is “Invisible Activism“.

You are welcome to interpret this theme however you like, but I’d like to explain my thinking, and suggest a few topics.

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Posted in Articles, Carnival of Aces | 2 Comments

Linkspam: November 6th, 2020

On Fridays, we will share links to news, blogs, and anything else we find interesting.  We can’t catch everything, so you are invited to self-promote in the comments!

Ace Blogging

Angela Chen writes about Emily Nagoski’s 2011 framework of consent that has been modified and found useful by sex-indifferent aces.

Emily Cole writes about two types of ace-baiting on TV shows.

News & Outreach

Director Gharima Kaul’s Desire? is a documentary about the “issues and complexities of what it is to be an asexual in India.”

Brandon Sanderson announces a character in the upcoming Nov. 17th release Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive #4) will be revealed to be “asexual, and currently heteroromantic.” Sanderson discusses the decision here (spoilers).

The character Caduceus Clay on Dungeons and Dragons webseries “Critical Role” has long been implied (and hoped to be) asexual and probably aromantic. There was a soft confirmation of the asexuality in the show with a follow up twitter confirmation by the actor. Dani Gee made a video compilation of Clay’s ace moments. (Trigger warning: sex jokes / flirtation)

Aro Blogging

Aro Worlds expresses frustration with half-hearted calls to “follow allo-aros” that don’t put in the work to research and recommend specific voices.

Aggressively Arospectacular is a week long event November 8 – 14, 2020 promoting original works in the arospec community.

Calls for Participants/Support

Aromantic Census closes November 30, 2020 – around when the Ace Community Survey closes.

AroWriMo isn’t until February 2021, but you can vote on the writing prompts and themes until November 25, 2020.

AUREA interviewed a few people about quoi and quoiromanticism.

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Journal Club: Judging an Absence

Ace Journal Club banner

This month, the ace journal club discussed

“Judging an Absence: Factors influencing attitudes towards asexuality” by Cassandra Thorpe and Kelly Arbeau in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality (2020). (no public access)

The journal club meets once a month on Discord, using text or voice as club members prefer.  We discuss a variety of academic works in ace studies, ranging from gender studies to psychology.  Don’t worry about journal access, we can provide access.  If you’re interested, please e-mail me at for an invite.

Our discussion notes are below the fold.

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Posted in Articles, Intersectionality, Research | Tagged | 1 Comment

Linkspam: October 30th, 2020

It’s Ace Week!  Due to the high volume of activity, we’re having two linkspams this week.  Still, we can’t catch everything, so let us know of anything we missed in the comments

Ace Blogging

Ace Week explained why they changed the name from Asexual Awareness Week to Ace Week.

You can find Redbeard’s full Ace Activism Opportunities series here.

Sennkestra wrote about the history of the AVEN triangle and why ace historians should consider oral history.

F. Murray wrote about the history of the Ace Flag and Asexuality in the DSM.

Danielle shares some resources for fighting misconceptions when you come out.

Community Activity

Slices of Ace is continuing their “Aces Assemble” series of ace week videos featuring several asexual guests.

The Ace Community Survey team has released their 2017-2018 survey report.  The 2020 Ace Community Survey is now open to responses.

News & Outreach

The Atlantic has an article about people who prioritize friendship over romance.

Fielded released the album “Demisexual Lovelace“, and breaks it down track by track.

The California Institute of Integral Studies had a conversation with Angela Chen and Sabrina Imbler (video).

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Ethical Perfectionism

Lately I have been struggling with “ethical perfectionism” with my aspec content. It’s like regular perfectionism where it’s hard to start and then it’s hard to finish, but with the fun twist of using ethics to justify the behavior. Afterall, it’s not untrue that a degree of double-checking before you share is important in aspec spaces where nuance keeps the peace. And peace is good. I like peace.

It’s not that I worry people will disagree with what I create, it’s that if I accidentally erase or invalidate someone I am very aware of how much that hurts. Then there’s an unpleasant jumble of “I caused pain” and “someone dislikes me” and “they are right to dislike me” and “I failed to not cause pain”.

But I can’t predict what I don’t know, and if I don’t know I’m erasing or invalidating you, then I can’t prevent myself from doing it. And rereading and revising a piece doesn’t magically make me aware of that which I don’t yet know.

It’s not that I worry about making a mistake, it’s that at any moment I could learn that someone is upset about something I did previously. The more content I create and the wider my reach, the more potential for these sneak attacks.

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Posted in Articles, personal experience | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Linkspam: October 28th, 2020

It’s Ace Week!  Due to the high volume of activity, we’re having two linkspams this week.  Still, we can’t catch everything, so let us know of anything we missed in the comments!

Ace Blogging

Redbeard is outlining new opportunities for ace activism. We’ll get links to the whole series when it’s done, but for now you can track it in Redbeard’s Ace Activism tag.

Coyote discussed structural challenges to preserving the memory of ace history.

Community Activity

Ace Week Challenge on Twitter has a challenge for each day of Ace Week.

News & Outreach

The Trevor Project published a research brief on Asexual and Ace Spectrum Youth.

Yasmin Benoit wrote an article in Teen Vogue busting myths about asexuality.

Aro Blogging

AUREA has an article discussing ambiguities in the word “platonic”.

Aria’s Hollow posted the roundup to the September Carnival of Aros (“Change”). The current Carnival of Aros (“Prioritization”) is hosted by Jay.

Posted in Linkspam | 4 Comments

Welcome Char

Please join me in welcoming Char, the newest contributor to The Asexual Agenda! Their profile is below:

CharCharChar is an aplatonic asexual aromantic agender reader and writer. They like to make lists (Evidence: Aspec Databases, Lists, and Resources) and are fascinated by the complexities of aspec identities and representation.

They are on Blogger, Twitter, and YouTube.

Goes by “Char” pronounced “shar”.

The Asexual Agenda is always looking for new contributors. Please see our “Write for us” page for more info.

Posted in Articles, Meta | 2 Comments