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About LauraG

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    Laura G
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  • Romanticism
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  1. @Mark you are right about the both sides comment. As I said in my last comment, I have thought about this a bit and no longer agree with the statement I made that you quoted there. I wrote that when I was a bit frustrated, and my apologies for that. Hindsight is 20/20, and I realize now that we should have coordinated with Siggy and Sennkestra to delay one of the projects so they didn't happen at the same time. We didn't think of a solution to this problem at the time, and I apologize that this led to people feeling excluded from this initiative, as that was never our intention. We will try to do better in the future, particularly by getting more input from allo aros. We did not delete all past references to TAAP on our blog posts, as that would be disingenuous to go back and re-write history to be something it wasn't. I'm sure you would agree based on other things you have said that pretending we never were TAAP would not be a good thing. The projects page is also not blank when I look at it? I'm not sure what the problem is there but I will look into it. Thank you for the suggestions for the etiquette guide. That was copied and pasted from the Creating Change 2019 program, and we will probably be taking it off our site soon. I will certainly pass on the suggestions to whoever the team is working on it next year. I find the issue with the three paragraph thing is the format typically used to explain split attraction: [explain asexuality]+[explain the SAM through an asexual lens]+[explain aromanticism once people understand romantic orientation] which is very common. Since helping work on that guide, I've toyed around with reversing it, and explaining the concept of the SAM through an aromantic lens to try to combat it, and I am now wondering if there is a way to explain the SAM neutrally. (Same goes with explaining grey identities as goes with the SAM)
  2. I've thought about this a bit, and I think I've been having a bit of trouble distinguishing between having a significant majority of people (with diverse aspec identities) being comfortable with how everything rolled out vs having literally everybody feel comfortable. So my logic was that we were never going to have everyone okay with it, so we shouldn't let that stop us from trying to work towards a common understanding, but perhaps there were ways that more people could have been okay with it. I guess I need to do a bit more work on not using black-and-white thinking myself. I'm sorry that the way things rolled out made some people feel unwelcome. That was never our intention (quite the opposite, in fact). @Jot-Aro Kujo I am truly sorry you feel that way. I actually have been feeling very similarly lately about interacting with the aro community, and I just want to get to a place where none of us feel unwelcome in our own communities.
  3. TAAAP member here. First of all, my apologies for not noticing this thread as it happened. Thank you @bananaslug for clarifying the intent and logistics of the carnival. Regarding the topic, I have responded to these concerns on multiple other platforms, but I just wanted to say something here: I believe three things. First, I believe that it is important that the aro and ace communities form a constructive dialogue to address concerns felt on both sides, as well as that it is important for that conversation to happen sooner rather than later. Second, I believe that it is important that everyone is involved in this conversation in both a sharing and listening capacity, whether they are alloace, aroace, alloaro, non-SAM-using, somewhere in the grey area, or a combination. Third, I believe that the Carnival of Aros will help foster higher-level dialogue among the aro community, and that it was important for it to get started sooner rather than later. If you disagree with any of these beliefs, then you won’t agree with the decisions we made because of them. When it comes down to it, I can’t see a way that we could have done anything significantly different enough that would have alleviated the problems everyone here is mentioning while at the same time honoring all three of those beliefs. If anyone here has any suggestions that do align with these beliefs, please share. I am at a loss for how we could have made this better, and I would love to learn for the future. I don’t want to shove the problems that exist between our communities under a rug and hope that they go away. I hope I am not alone in that sentiment. TAAAP provided Siggy and Sennkestra with the names of 4-5 people who were active in aro-specific communities, critical of various ace community initiatives, and willing to have constructive conversations with us or others in the past. We figured that they would know additional people who would also be willing to work with them in launching the carnival. There seem to be quite a few misconceptions about our organization floating around here! Let’s clear some of that up: TAAAP is an aro organization. TAAAP is also an ace organization, yes, but we do just as much aro advocacy as we do ace advocacy. In fact, were I to pick whether we are more ace-focused or aro-focused at this very moment, I would say that we are more aro-focused, as we are currently expending more energy and resources towards aro initiatives than ace initiatives. Yes, we started as an ace-specific organization, but we naturally started doing aro advocacy because a lot of us are aro and we care deeply about aro issues. We were working on two separate aro advocacy projects before we ever changed our name. The substance behind our organization changed first. We changed our name to be a reflection of that. We have been around for less than a year and a half, and are only really solidifying what our foundation is now. Our website lists an equal number of ace and aro resources. You may look at our website, taaap.org, to verify this information. If I somehow missed something, please let me know specifically what it is so I can fix it. I recognize our header image is still out-of-date; I plan on replacing it when we have a chance to take a new picture at pride this year. We do need to work on having a greater number of non-ace aros on our board and volunteer teams at the moment. We have one, but due to personal reasons they haven't been able to commit much time to helping work on projects recently. We have been a bit swamped with all the other work we have been doing, and recruitment hasn't been at the top of our to-do list. That being said, if you or anyone else you know might be interested in getting involved (especially if you live in or around DC, but people living in other locations are welcome as well), please send us an email. In the meantime, we do our best to read as many allo aro perspectives on aromanticism as we can so that our work can best reflect all aros, not just aroaces.
  4. Thank you for pointing this out. Being from the US, I didn't realize this would possibly impact what we are doing. After doing some research, I am not sure that the law applies to us as we are not providing goods or services or monitoring people's behavior (it is a little less strict if your organization is not located in the EU). It also seems that we did cover most if not all of the bases that the law covers anyway, even if it was not in the standard practice format that large businesses use. But thank you for pointing it out, we will definitely keep this in mind as we continue our work, and possibly look for legal advice to ensure we are doing this properly.
  5. It is a problem, and I hope that by having a book about both that compares and contrasts the two, we can help solve this problem. Yes, I realize our branding is very ace-heavy, and I apologize for that. Re-branding to be equally inclusive of aromanticism is actually on our next meeting agenda. I, personally, have been fighting really hard to make sure we aren't leaving behind aros in the accomplishments we have made in the past year. The work we have done and what we are doing now is much more inclusive of aromanticism than our website necessarily suggests, and if we keep going the direction we are going, I believe we can be the first organization that is truly equal opportunity for both aces AND aros. We do currently have one non-ace aro person involved in the project (yes, I know that is not enough). If any other non-aces are interested in being involved, we would be happy to meet with you and discuss you joining our team (this would probably involve an informal interview, as most members of our team are personal references). Both of which are categories that we already plan to write about, we just would like testimonials to support and confirm what we include in the book. 1. The people writing the book are currently mostly members of the Washington, DC ace community, and people that we know personally (including one non-ace aro person so far, though we would like to invite more if possible). The publisher who approached us is Jessica Kingsley Publishers. They mostly publish books on autism, social work, therapy, etc., but they have a line on gender diversity that they are expanding to include sexuality. They really wanted to publish a book on asexuality, and seeing how you can't discuss asexuality without bringing up aromanticism (nearly half of all aces are aro, you need to make sure people aren't conflating them, etc.), we decided to make the book equally inclusive of aromanticism, instead of making it an afterthought, as you said. 2. We will not use your stories in or outside of the book unless you give us permission to do so, and we will attribute the stories to the name you provide us. You will have in writing that we will not use your information outside of what you give us permission for both when taking the survey and in the email you receive from us with the questionnaires. We realized that we may want to use some testimonials for other work we do, such as presenting at conferences and in informational materials such as pamphlets, so contributors will have the chance to opt-in to having their stories used in that manner (and they will not be used in that manner unless the person in question opts-in. 3. Accessible to the average reader. 4. Roughly in 1-2 years. We are compiling this information in preparation to submit our book proposal. Once the proposal is accepted, we will have 12-18 months to write our book. 5. The book will be as equal between aromanticism and asexuality (both independent of each other and together) as we can possibly make it. It will not be three equal parts, as nonmerci suggested, but rather go through a series of topics and address both orientations as equally as possible. Currently, the chapters we are planning are (note that these are working titles, and I might play around with the order of the words aromantic and asexual...): Basics of Asexuality and Aromanticism History of the Pathologization of Asexual and Aromantic People Embracing an Asexual or Aromantic Identity Relationships Expressing Sexuality Intersections with Other Identities Seeking Care There may be times when one or the other orientation is prioritized over the other based on the topic. For example, topics like libido and masturbation or medical issues surrounding hormones will probably veer mostly ace, whereas topics like platonic partnerships and non-romantic sexual relationships will veer mostly aro. We also hope to include a discussion of the relationship between the ace and aro communities in the intersections chapter. The reason we are specifically trying to reach out to non-ace aros is because we want represent that experience equally in our book, and we recognize that we are not as well equipped to do that experience justice on our own. For some chapters, there might be some barriers to equal inclusion that we might not be able to overcome. For example, the history of pathologization chapter is going to be more of a review of asexuality and aromanticism in medicine and research generally, which presents a problem as aromanticism is largely ignored in that field. In that case, we will have a discussion of why there is not as much information available and hope that in the future, reading our book might motivate someone to actually do research on aromanticism.
  6. I am working on writing a book on aromanticism and asexuality that will be geared towards people who work with aros and aces in a professional setting, such as mental health professionals, medical doctors, and employees at queer centers. My team and I are looking for people who are willing to fill out some questionnaires about their experiences that can be used either as direct quotes or to inform our book in a general sense (your choice). We are specifically looking for more aros who are not ace, and aros and aces of color. (Though any and all responses from aces and aros are welcome!) If you are interested, please take our survey. If you would like to read more about this project, read this link.
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