Do you ever feel pressure to connect everything to asexuality?
For example, suppose someone is ace and gay and wants to talk about gay issues. Does this just naturally lead to a discussion of ace/gay intersections? Or does he feel forced to talk about intersectionality in order to participate in the ace community? Or does he just comfortably talk about gay issues without relating it to asexuality at all?
I own another blog, and over there I’m entirely happy to talk about issues that have no intersection with asexuality to speak of (e.g. math). Asexuality comes up anyway, because it’s a huge influence on how I think about identity and personal experiences.
However, on The Asexual Agenda, I feel more required to relate everything to asexuality, because that’s kind of the point? Hmm… I wonder if I could get away with giving you all a math lesson if I named all the variables after romantic orientations.
Hm. I’ve definitely come up with asexuality-related models which require a math lesson as prerequisite. While it’s fairly useful to me, modelling relationships using vector addition isn’t very helpful if you don’t know what a vector is. So yeah, I’d say you could get away with a math lesson; you just have to be going somewhere with it.
See, at this point, I feel the opposite–I often feel like when I’m speaking about my experiences (especially in non-ace spaces) I should attempt to leave asexuality out of it as much as possible. Like, if I’m at a group for Bi WoC, I should not bring up asexuality unless it’s 100% necessary, because it’s not relevant to everyone else there (plus I have so much baggage about being ace in LGBTQ spaces). Except that since so many of my experiences are intertwined with asexuality, trying to section it off gets…really complicated and confusing.
It really depends on the context. My life is very divided, and there are places where I feel pressured to leave asexuality out, and places where I feel pressure to connect it to everything. Here, it’s obviously the latter because yeah, that’s kind of the point, lol. My personal blog is also one where I feel more pressure to connect things with asexuality because that’s what most readers are there for. I mean, ace issues do dominate my life in a lot of ways, so that’s mostly fine? But when things not related to asexuality come up, it’s more difficult to share them because of that. (It’s not ONLY because of that, though—there are also a lot of factors like, “if I talk about x, I’d have to reveal [a thing] about myself, which might make me too vulnerable/might accidentally out me to [person I know IRL].” Survivor problems, mostly.)
I’m with Queenie. For me, it’s always a conscious choice to talk about being ace, and it’s something I don’t do generally unless it’s directly relevant to the conversation and whatever I’m trying to talk about–unless, of course, I am in a specifically ace-centered space. (Even if I’m hanging out with ace friends but not in an ace space, if there’s anyone who isn’t ace interacting with us I tend to clam up about it.) I have a very compartmentalized life that way.
I’ve gotten more relaxed with this over time. At first I wanted to be some awesome blogger advancing ace discourse or something. And well, I guess that’s still nice. But I’m finding the joys in spreading out, and expressing myself more in a more natural way. And talking to people.
Now, rather than asexuality, some of you mayyyy have noticed I bring up Islam a lot. Almost every post XD And a lot of the comments here. Both here on WordPress and on Tumblr I hang out mostly in the ace community. People know I’m ace, and I don’t have to explain much. But with Islam I feel like I have to always have to explain what makes me different. I mean I guess a lot of the times are in the context of writing about asexuality, but explaining how I’m different as a Muslim looms larger in my mind than the more mundane asexual part.
Since I’m writing in the ace community though, now that I think of it… I suppose I sometimes use asexuality as a jumping off point to talk about other topics. So many things in life are connected…it can be kind of fun to try to find how to connect any two things. I’m reminded of this post by Talia now. But like she was talking about, and the discussion in the comments…some connections are easier or more meaningful than others. Maybe asexuality could be connected to a lot of things, but nooot all of them are worth writing about.