My whole area just ordered everyone to shelter in place, to slow the spread of COVID-19. No matter where you live, you could find yourself in a similar situation soon, if you’re not there already.
Naturally, IRL ace meetups will be cancelled… or will they? Many IRL groups are going to try having their meetups online. So I’d like to put the word out, especially for those who have been too nervous to venture into an IRL meetup, or who live too far away. Now is a great time to try. And certainly these days, a lot of us could use the social interaction.
You can find meetups by checking out the map on Aces & Aros (for USA and Canada), or searching for “ace” or “asexual” on meetup.com. If neither of those work, you might try AVEN’s meetup mart or alternate language forums. If you find an active meetup group and they are not planning to go online, please suggest to the organizers that they try it out! In the comments, please share info about meetups going online that you know of.
Having an online IRL meetup may seem like an oxymoron, but it isn’t really. Even when the meetups move online, they still consist of people in a single geographic region, and they inherit the culture of IRL meetups. It’s not like online communities–people are very casual, and go off-topic the majority of the time.
I just attended an online meetup last weekend. It’s still an experimental format, but we had about 10 people hanging out on a Discord voice channel, where we chatted about changes in our lives, crafts, and ace rings. Some people were quiet most of the time, and that’s okay. There were also moments where everyone was silent. The format allows people to do something else while listening in, which I know can be an advantage for the introverts out there.
If you can find a meetup group doing this near you, please consider giving it a try!
If you’re an organizer, or thinking of becoming one, and you’re wondering what to do, please contact us, and I will hook you up with a discussion group for ace & aro organizers.