It was also cross-posted (in Spanish) to my blog.
Last week I talked about the differences about the English and Spanish-speaking online communities, and now I’m going to focus on the differences between local Spanish-speaking groups and their approaches to visibility.
These are things I first noticed back when I was redacting the document “Situación de la comunidad asexual en Chile y el mundo a abril de 2016” for Asexuales Chile, and then again while editing the section on ace visibility events in my blog: each country seems to have its own speciality in terms of ace activism.
I’m going to focus in the 3 more active countries in terms of offline work: Spain, Mexico and Argentina. And since I’m from Chile and thus will be talking about communities I’m not part of from countries I’ve never lived in, I asked a few local activists for feedback. Thanks for that folks.
Local work towards ace visibility
Obviously what follows is a wide generalization, because like a good poor circus here everyone does everything, but there’s some trends I’d like to point out:
In Spain, the main educative action around asexuality are talks made by ace activists in spaces and events about gender and sexual diversities, whether of academic or of civil associations, with a huge impulse after the creation of the Asexual Community España association (ACEs) in March of last year.
This modus operandi is deliberate, because ACEs was created in order for ace folks to stand on their own as a community in Spain and present themselves as a valid and necessary voice within the discussion on sexual diversity, which allowed them to make way for the International Asexuality Conference that was held in the WorldPride Madrid 2017 last 2nd of July.
In Mexico, besides some talks in CDMX in contexts similar to Spain, other method the group Asexuales México y América Latina has used are educational booths at social fairs, such as the Bazar LGBTI of Musas de Metal, the Feria de Empoderamiento Económico de las Mujeres LBT of the Dirección General de Igualdad y Diversidad Social in CDMX, the Posada del Placer of Cajita del Placer, or the 6° Concurso de Baile a Favor de la Diversidad Sexual of UDiversidad UNAM.
In Argentina, almost every presentation on asexuality has been given by a psychologist at a sexology conference or seminar, for good and for bad. Regarding activist work, what I would highlight the most are the interviews given by the Asexuales Mendoza collective in this last two years, especially since many of them happened in radio broadcasts, which is a good way to reach people outside our usual demographies (people in their 20s or early 30s, with univerisity studies and/or who spend a lot of time on the internet).
The above three countries have also used their participation in Pride and Sexual Diversity manifestations as platforms of visibility, mutual support, and a way to reach out to the media.
Now, to reach the activism level of these countries, you need to start by organizing meetups, by building a support network, so you can feel like asexual educations is possible in your local context. It may also require you to have some connection with local GSD organizations that can help you out, lend you their space or invite you to events. But little by little, the rest of Latin America is waking up and starting to organize, contact journalists, plan talks and coordinate for marches; whether in Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala or Chile.
Finally, another thing I’d like to point out from our contexts is how common it is for gender and sexual diversities organizations to include asexuality briefly in their materials, not because they’re connected to a local ace person or group, but because they’re drawing upon material made by organizations from the USA. As an example, the first time the Todo Mejora Foundation (chilean affiliate of the It Gets Better Project) mentioned asexuality was in 2015, in the glossary of a safe space guide for schools made in partnership with the GLSEN.
So tell me, what are the things from these couple posts that have drawn your attention the most? Is there anything you woud like to know more about?