Tag Archives: blog carnival

Looking into 2012

30 Dec

The theme for this month’s blog carnival is unfulfilled desires as relating to asexuality, the ace community, etc. Because WordPress doesn’t allow you to put just part of a post behind a read-more cut, and some of this needs to be cut, I’ll talk about community first and myself second.

Community

In 2012 I’d like to see the ace communities I’m involved in be able to spend more time talking to each other, and to people interested in real discourse, and less time fending off attacks.

It makes me anxious to even start thinking of all we’ve been through this year, especially the aces, graces, and demis I know on Tumblr. I realize this isn’t really under our control, since there’s nothing we can do about people who just want to argue and rile us up, or the kind of people who don’t want to have conversations and prefer shouting matches — the kind of people who don’t respect us and refuse to try.

But I do wish for us that we can have a year where we get to have good conversations and nobody has to worry about being deliberately triggered or told horrible things about themselves.

I’d also like to see some more creative writing — original or fanfic — come up around the ace spectrum, because I like reading and being able to relate to or see commonalities in what I’m reading. I did write a fanfic prominently featuring asexuality this year, which was well-received by my small fandom, but not wanting to cross my online names I didn’t really promote it … at all.

Not that I need more projects, but it might be interesting to organize an ace fic fest since the one people had been talking about earlier never came to fruition. If I had the time and enough people were interested, I wouldn’t mind doing that.

Or possibly compiling an anthology of original fic, but I have no idea how I’d distribute it. Maybe a free e-book — but everyone contributing would have to be okay with that format, obviously.

Myself

I started this blog because I wanted to be more connected to the community. Because I felt alone, and I was too shy to be commenting on people’s blogs and I wasn’t involved with Tumblr at all, without having some kind of space to do my own writing.

Having this blog has helped me form some connections in the ace community that I never would’ve had otherwise, has introduced me to new contacts, and has shown me that I can actually make some physical transitions to get my body more aligned with my gender.

But you may have noticed I haven’t been updating as much recently.

Trigger Warning for depression and anxiety under the cut.

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Asexual and neutrois

30 Oct

Although there were about eight years between the time I started identifying as asexual and when I started identifying as neutrois, I don’t think I could separate my asexuality from my gender, now.

But first I have to talk about how being asexual tied into my identification as neutrois. And I can see this post getting rather sprawling, so I’m going to attempt to use headings. I’m also going to put a cut, because this is kind of a long post.

(Warning: I talk about physical sex and sex drive in here, though not in much detail.)

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Carnival of Aces 5: Round-Up Post

1 Sep

Hey everyone! The fifth edition of A Carnival of Aces turned out pretty well, I think. We’ve got a lot of pondering about trends in media, specific characters, and even a couple of original fiction pieces.

Overall, it seems like there’s a long way to go and a lot to be desired from the media in terms of ace umbrella representation. But people are also thinking about it a lot — and that makes me think that the future media landscape will be a lot better for all of us.

You can still submit! I’ll add things to the round-up as long as you give me the link.

eowynjedi unearthed an original piece of writing about the character Silfren Aesculeus, who reflects on not falling in romantic love.

Carmilla DeWinter wrote about the concerns involved in writing H, an asexual aromantic character. Also in German/Deutsche here. (TW for instance of ableist language.)

Sciatrix laments how the creators of characters perceived as asexual react badly to others talking about the character being asexual.

veerserif discusses asexual fandom (not asexual_fandom, the DW community), interpreting characters, and awareness. (TW for instance of ableist language.)

Norah talks about the Dragon Age games, interpreting ace characters, and regrettably automatically-sexual romances.

nami_roland wants media that lets aromantics in from out of the cold, and esteems non-romantic love and non-romantic relationships.

pippin wrote Love and Punch, an aromantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Emily rewatches and muses on Fruits Basket, and thinks there’s room in it to easily see a queerplatonic relationship or two. (TW for animated icon.)

psyche2332 wrote about aromantic media representation and the question, “Why is it not okay to not want romance?”

Elizabeth talks about asexuals in non-fiction, specifically creative non-fiction, and the beginning of a memoir.

And I picked apart a plot device (which involved glowing based on your sexual/romantic orientation) and its many unanswered questions.

Overthinking fanfic devices

21 Aug

I’m using the Carnival of Aces as an excuse to post this odd thing I’ve had written up forever but always thought was too ridiculous to post. *cough*

Recently I read a fanfic where people start to glow blue if they like men, pink if they like women, and purple if they’re bi or pan. The plot device made me think for a far longer time than was probably intended.

For bi and pan people, there was no indication that people would be a redder or bluer purple if they leaned more heavily in one direction, especially if that direction was nonbinary. Could you be a purpler purple? If you were solely attracted to nonbinary individuals, or agender/genderless people, would you glow an entirely different color?

But, aside from that, I wondered mostly about how asexual spectrum people and/or aromantics would glow.

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What’s Important

20 Jul

During my last semester of undergrad, my roommate had the habit of bringing five or six people over to our room and having very loud conversations about … stuff. Eventually she stopped that because I kept getting annoyed and asking them to move somewhere else so I didn’t have to step over people to get to my printer or books (i.e. literally two feet to the left in our suite’s private living room).

There was one particular person who was over all the time who had a wide array of offensive opinions — and who I found out later, even my roommate didn’t actually like. Since she lived in our suite, though, it was kind of hard to get rid of her. Most of the time I just tried to ignore her. Especially since she rarely talked to me. But it’s hard, when someone is sitting three feet from you on the other side of our room, to ignore everything they’re saying.

Warning for questioning the validity of relationships, specifically relationships without sex.

One of the times that made me the most uncomfortable was when there were, again, five or six people in the room besides me. A couple of people were on the bed, someone had my roommate’s chair, and everybody else was on the floor. (Our room was literally too small to pull an extra chair in there.) One of these people was a guy, I’ll call him Guy. The person who liked to talk, I’ll call Speaker.

Speaker was waxing lyrical about Guy’s long-distance romantic relationship. From what I gathered, Guy was not very close friends with Speaker. Not, then, someone who would confide in her and ask her advice. He had just been talking about his girlfriend when Speaker had to jut in and tell him how she didn’t think this person was really his girlfriend.

Basically her speech boiled down to (with interjections from Guy along the way):

“I know you’ve met offline and then she had to go off to school. But all you’re doing now is writing, talking on video, and talking on the phone. You aren’t touching! You aren’t having sex! It’s not a real relationship. You can’t expect me to treat you like you have a real girlfriend. You can’t have a real relationship if you’re not touching or having sex. That’s just being friends. I can’t believe you’re satisfied with that.”

I’m pretty sure Guy is straight, not asexual, but he was understandably upset. He kept trying to talk to her about how he felt about his girlfriend, and she was just ignoring him. And I was sitting in the corner seething and feeling dizzy and sick and a little scared of Speaker.

This is an assumption that everybody who isn’t in a “normal” romantic relationship has to face. If you’re not having sex, it’s less genuine. Speaker even worked off the assumption that distance and the inability to touch (in any way) dissolved a romantic relationship. I wonder whether a certain type of sex would also be considered necessary for a “real” romantic relationship.

This assumption is also just one of the reasons that I feel like ace continuum people could really contribute to the overall discussion about relationships, and I don’t just mean romantic relationships. While the ace romantic perspective could make people reassess what they count as “real” romantic relationships, I think the aromantic/demiromantic/grey-romantic and just overall ace continuum perspective could make people reassess what kinds of relationships they allow to be counted as important.

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Communities

1 Jul

(Last minute post for blogging carnival is last minute.)

Communities have made a huge impact in my life, but, for a long time, were not something I (thought I) needed.

I discovered that other people used the word asexual when I was in my early teens, and I didn’t actively attempt to get back into any asexual community until I graduated from college and entered graduate school, a span of about five or six years.

During this gap, I wasn’t really in any community. I had my friends from school, and a couple of friends I met online. There were one or two attempts to get into the asexual community, but they were mostly half-hearted. I lurked some on AVEN but found the “explanation” pages more useful than the forums, and my experiences with the forums were either hurtful or unhelpful.

My set of friends wasn’t particularly sex-focused, so I didn’t really feel out of place or pressured with most of them most of the time, even though I wasn’t out to most of them and don’t usually come out to people I meet offline. But eventually I … wanted to see how everyone else was getting along. “Everyone” being people in the asexual continuum. Also, I was getting older. Wondering more about dating, about life beyond school. And feeling kind of lonely.

Plus, I was in a new fandom, in a community that encouraged discussion between members, unlike the one previous fandom I had been in. Also unlike my previous fandom, this one features predominately queer pairings, and most of the people I know through that community are also queer. There are even a few other asexual people. It was nice, being in an environment that not only featured a lot of queer narratives but also had people who were queer, concerned about queer issues and occasionally discussed them within the community. (Not to mention everyone being geeks about the same thing.)

It made me want that for myself. Or, it made me want that more narrowly — it made me want what many of my new friends and acquaintances had. People who understood the places they were coming from, the concerns and questions they had, the ways that they felt they didn’t fit into society at large.

What I was looking for in a community was basically what I wanted in friends, or in a good English class, or a mix of both, I guess. A comfort level high enough for me to actually speak out and add my voice to the conversation, and spaces where you could have a mix of personal conversation without it erasing the possibility for a focused discussion on a topic (as I found the AVEN forums to oftentimes do). And a place small enough or organized enough that I could speak to people one-on-one. On blogs, this is easy, on Tumblr, you can kind of do it through reblogging. On forums like AVEN, it’s easier for the more extroverted to overtake and direct the conversation… which is not a place an introvert like me prefers to be.

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Coming out

29 Apr

99% of my experience in coming out as ace has been online.

I haven’t felt the need or the desire to come out to people either in person or to very many people who I only interact with offline. It just isn’t important to me that people know. In the past, I wasn’t interested in dating, and I didn’t hang out with people who were interested in it, either, so it didn’t matter.

I also live in the Southern United States, which is not the most welcoming of environments. I didn’t include wanting to work with LGBTQ library patrons in my grad school applications because I thought it would have a negative effect. There’s a person in one of my classes who puts quotes around marriage in the phrase gay marriage, and said that if a patron asked for information on homosexuality, he would have to forcibly restrain himself from handing over a copy of the Bible. My mother’s ex-coworkers were appalled that she would watch Ellen Degeneres. A creative writing classmate of mine was disgusted when I wrote a short story about a trans girl.

Plus, I want to work in a public library with children/teenagers, and I am acutely aware that being loudly not-straight could prevent me from getting hired somewhere, and could also lose me my job when I do get one. I have no legal protection in my state if they fire me for sexuality. (A trans woman recently won a suit against the state when she was fired after telling her boss about her transition, but as far as I know there’s still no law protecting employees from being fired for gender reasons.) There’s also the potential issue of a parent of some child I interact with complaining about me, even if I don’t say anything to their kid about my identity.

So even though for the most part I do not read as straight, I’ve no plans to make any overtures about my identity while I live in this area. I know that my short hair, lack of makeup, and unisex wardrobe tend to make people read me as not-straight. When I judge that I am in an environment safe enough that I don’t need to lie, I can say I have a girlfriend. But aside from the few people closest to me, I have no need to verbally mark myself as not-straight.

I don’t know why I don’t care if people know. I’ve always been a private person, and I grew up in an abusive environment where I learned for the sake of the people I cared about not to speak up. I am pretty zen about what people do and do not know about me. In school I avoided award ceremonies and practically slept through them when I did have to go. (I didn’t go to any of the four undergraduate graduation ceremonies I could’ve attended.)

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