Today, The Asexual Agenda turns three years old. Last year, I wrote a retrospective looking back at my goals for the blog, and how well we fared. This year, I’d like to say something more forward-looking.
The Asexual Agenda has become established, and it may become even more so in the future. I mean that in the good sense, in that we’ve produced a lot of writing which has had a measurable impact on the community. But as a bit of a radical, or perhaps simply a hipster, I’m used to opposing the establishment.
To be honest, I’m still waiting for the moment when people realize how much diversity we lack, or how narrow our interests and perspectives. It’s not that we’re all cisgendered (we’re not) or that we’re all white (we’re not), but we tend to represent the views of people who are very well-educated, and who have been around the community for a long time. About half of us are grad students and most of us have been in ace communities for longer The Asexual Agenda has existed.
This isn’t by design. I’d love to host more diverse perspectives, particularly from the newer generations of community members. Many of the people we’ve accepted as contributors have had those kinds of perspectives. But I’ve noticed that they’re systematically less active, and many drop out before writing anything.
By no means do I think this is their own fault. I think learning about asexuality for the first time can create a lot of anxiety, which is a major obstacle to blogging, particularly for such a high-profile blog. Who wants to express their thoughts so publicly when they may later find it embarrassing? And who has the confidence to critique a community that they have just entered?
So, given that we have a bias towards more well-traveled perspectives, I want to talk about what that entails. It can be quite helpful to have that historical perspective, to have people who have seen a large range of what ace communities can be. On the other hand, it would be wrong treat our views as handed down from on high, and to fret about how many kids on Tumblr aren’t paying attention to us. I don’t speak for other contributors, but I often think that my perspective is so distant from the concerns of Kids These Days, I’m not sure why they should care.
I had that period in my life where I agonized over labels, where I had to learn the ropes of teaching everyone around me ace 101. But the problems I faced were different, because they were different times. I never met another asexual in my first year, and hardly anyone I knew had even heard of it. The best I could hope for was for people to already know what it was, never mind microagressions or intersectionality. And the question of how asexuals relate to queerdom was something that aces only discussed amongst themselves.
I fully recognize our changing problems, and I can make adjustments for it. The thing is, they’re no longer my problems, not really. Someone tells me I should stop identifying as queer, or as ace, I say, “Make me.” If the ace community is increasingly creating new sublabels, that’s an issue of academic interest to me, but also, I already have a good grasp on my personal experiences and don’t really need the labels to figure them out. I find the recent trend of advice blogs fascinating, but given that I have no need for advice, I can’t bring myself to read them at length to see what they’re about.
But I’m not the only blogger, and The Asexual Agenda isn’t the only blog. Looking to the future, I hope to see newer perspectives alongside the well-traveled ones.