What’s the most cliched thing anyone has said to you about your asexuality?
Someone actually asked me if I’d had my hormones checked the other day. They said some insightful things like being curious how someone who identified as ace might responded if they did get an increased libido due to hormone replacement therapy but still, jeeeeeez
This was written for this month’s blogging carnival on the theme of “The relationship between the aro and ace communities“. Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week is also next week.
Some time last year, I mentioned offhand to my then-fiance that I was gray-romantic. He expressed surprise. So that’s embarrassing. Did I not mention that part?
I’m not sure when I started using the word “gray-romantic”, but I always thought of my sexual and romantic orientations as matched, so it’s been an obvious corollary of gray-asexuality for almost a decade. There’s the split attraction model, which allows people to separate out sexual and romantic attractions and orientations, but there are also a lot of people who can’t really distinguish between the two–like me. I identify as gray-asexual because I don’t experience sexual attraction in normative patterns, and I’m not sure if it even “counts” as sexual attraction. And my romantic attraction is in an identical situation, by virtue of being identical as far as I can determine.
So why didn’t I talk about it? The rise of aromantic communities (and my experience helping to launch the Carnival of Aros) gives me cause to reflect back on this with chagrin. Maybe I should have talked about my romantic orientation more?
The Carnival of Aces for January has been posted on Demisexual and Proud. The theme was “Asexuality as a blessing“. Please take a look!
In case you missed the announcement, we are launching the Carnival of Aros as a sister carnival. And in February, we’re starting out with a joint carnival, hosted by The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project, on the theme of “The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities”. Get your submissions in before the end of the month!
The Carnival of Aces is hosted by volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please see the masterpost for instructions. The Carnival of Aros is looking for hosts as well.
Do you have any good experiences with health care professionals?
My therapist is really good, but even she made a fairly disparaging comment when I talked about maybe being ace. Does anyone have any good experiences with therapists or other health professionals?
Every Friday, 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!
dictionaryjane wrote about why they stopped following The Discourse.
AmeliaAce made a video series about the Split Attraction Model in two parts.
Ace Community Activity
The NYC aces group is fundraising for a WorldPride Ace & Aro Conference this summer.
Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week is coming soon, on February 17-23.
News & Outreach
Rothblum, Heimann, and Carpenter published a paper on “The lives of asexual individuals outside of sexual and romantic relationships: education, occupation, religion and community”
If you’ve been wondering what David Jay (of AVEN-founding fame) has been up to, he recently did an interview about his adventures in becoming a third parent.
Calls for Participants/Submissions
TAAAP is looking for submissions on the topic of “The relationship between ace and aro communities” for the February Carnival of Aces.
The Carnival of Aros, a new aromantic spectrum blogging carnival, is looking for volunteer hosts for future months.
One of the reasons I think The Asexual Agenda has declined in relevance, is that we never really addressed The Discourse.
By “The Discourse” I refer to the ongoing flame war that has consumed ace communities on Tumblr. To learn more about The Discourse and its history, I recommend this article on aro-soulmate-project and the links therein, all of which I found via jotdancing. The short version: The Discourse is about a group of people who are basically like TERFs, but antagonistic to ace and aro people. Precursors to The Discourse date back to 2010, but many people trace the current iteration to 2015, when it was likely sparked by The Trevor Project deciding to include ace people.
The Discourse is obviously important, from several perspectives. First, it’s important to the people who have actively been involved in the flame war, people who witness it on a regular basis, and even people who hear about it incidentally or second-hand. It’s important to all the ace communities that have been shaped by The Discourse. And finally, The Discourse is a forecast of the future. Ace activists of my generation have long speculated that after fighting ace invisibility, we might end up fighting ace antagonism. Such speculation seems much more concrete nowadays.
Some people have referred to The Asexual Agenda as a refuge from The Discourse. But if we’re a refuge, it’s only by accident. Why haven’t we talked about The Discourse?