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About bananaslug

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    Yarrow/ Sea
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  1. I''m also a community college student and I know one other arospec person who attends my college but that's it
  2. White rings on the left middle finger used to be an aro thing? White jade rings in particular were very popular because they also had green in them, but idk, this seems to be a trend that has mostly died out.We could definitely bring this back though.
  3. Deffinatly agree with everyone above, if he was making it hard for you to work then you did the right thing. This is a really good point, and actually I might end up writing someone or starting a thread about romantic harassment at some point because that's deffinatly something I've exsperianced and it might be helpful for other aros if that discussion was started
  4. It really depends on the context for me. Like if the person already has some understanding of queer terminology and I have time to explain things like the SAM then I'll use the term aromantic. Otherwise, I just tell people that I don't get crushes.
  5. The trouble with aromanticism is that it's very hard to prove a negative. Most of the time when people identify as aro what they're saying is "I've felt little to no romantic attraction up to this point and I greatly suspect that this will continue to be the case". Of course, there are other reasons to identify as aro aswell, but I think that's what a lot of people mean by it. So like personally I consider myself to be aro because I haven't ever felt anything I would consider to be romantic attraction, and when I'm in situations where I'm expected to reciprocate romantic feelings or actions it usually impacts my mental health negatively. I know that all of that might change in the future and if it does I'll probably find another identity label to use, but at least for right now that doesn't appear to be changing any time soon and having the word "aromantic" helps me explain and understand my experiences. So I guess what I'm trying to get at is that you don't have to be 100% sure that you'll be aromantic forever and always to use the label. In fact most aros aren't that certain. But if the term 'aromantic' helps you understand your current experiences a little better then you're welcome to use it for as long as you need to, whether that's only for a few months or for the rest of your life. You're also welcome to try out that label for a little bit to see how it fits, I think a lot of the questioning process can be very guess and check. Absolutely certainty isn't something you're likely to get with an orientation that's based on a lack of something, but if aromantic is a label that you think might fit you then it's totally okay to just try it out for a bit.
  6. As I said in the original posts, the best way to deal with ingroup drama is to have people who can act as mediators within the group As for drama with other queer and aspec groups, this is advice for people within a leadership role, and when you're in that role, maintaining relationships with other organizations does often require more finesse than just talking it out. When you're in charge your actions reflect not just on yourself, but on your entire group, so you have to be aware of how you're presenting yourself. In the context of coalition building and working with other groups my advice on avoiding drama is: - Separate the personal and professional, it's okay to work out issues with individuals from another organization in a personal setting, but there's no place for that when collating with their group -Don't bad mouth other organizations to other queer community leaders or during official group meetings. You never know who things will get back to. -If you have a friendly relationship with another group then be open to doing projects or having shared events with them when possible because this builds goodwill between your organizations. You might think this stuff is all really obvious, but I can tell you from watching things play out in my own local community it isn't for some people. Play well with others if at all possible because it will help you gain credibility and make it easier for your group to access needed resources.
  7. I'm posting this information on Tumblr too as a follow up to this poll, but I think a lot of the more active aro community members are on this forum and not all of y'all use Tumblr (and as formats for keeping track of information goes Tumblr is actually kind of terrible) so I wanted to post this here as well. If you have other advice for aros trying to start in-person communities, please add on! This is by no means the end all and be all of community building, it's just meant to create a starting point for people who need one. In-person groups are something that every community needs before it can do more on the ground activism, and creating in-person spaces is something I actually have some experience with so that’s where I’d like to start. This information is intended to be general, so you can apply it to creating a larger communal aro space, or to creating a smaller space for an aro subcommunity. Please also note that this is certainly not the *only* way to create an in-person space, every organization does things differently. This is just supposed to give basic and overarching information about how an in-person group can be run, using the knowledge I’ve gained from working with several long-lasting LGBTQIA+ and religious groups. Creating in-person community doesn’t have to take a lot of resources, but it can be hard to maintain. With this in mind, I would like to split this post into 4 parts: Creating a community, maintaining community, general advice, and the benefits of putting in the work. Let’s get started! Creating a community: In order to create in-person community you need five things: 1. Space - You will always need a place to meet but take a deep breath, this isn’t the challenge you think it is. Many people get stuck on this, thinking that they’ll need to spend a lot of money to rent a space, but public parks, coffee shops, and free library meeting rooms (which, just fyi usually need to be reserved ahead of time) are all perfectly fine places to start a group. 2. Leadership- If you start a new group then you and anyone else you may have started it with, will probably become that groups leadership by default. If you’re the one setting up all the meetings then that makes you the person in charge whether you like it or not and this steers a lot of people away from starting new organizations. And I get that, most of us grow up with very intimidating ideas of what a ‘leader’ looks like and as a result, feel that’s leadership is too much responsibility to take on. But if we want in-person aro groups someones gotta do it, so as someone who has been running my church youth group for 3 years now, I’m here to tell you that my job is 90% herding cats and 10% arts and crafts. That’s it. As long as you know how to make lists, use craft scissors, and keep a schedule you’re perfectly qualified to be the person in charge, don’t let the idea of leadership intimidate you out of trying to start an in-person aro group. 3. Time - Especially when you’re first starting out creating a new group can take a lot of time and energy. So make a schedule, take as long as you need to, and if possible, split the work with other people. Putting everything together as quickly and with as little effort as possible is not the way to build an effective community, so go slow if need be, there’s no shame in that. 4. An online presence - Every modern organization needs an online presence. This can mean anything from making a Facebook group to creating a whole new website, but whatever you do, you will need a centralized online space where people can consistently find information about your events. If you’re not someone with a lot of web design skills then I recommend using Facebook, or, if you have the money for it, Meetup (Note: Meetup does tend to bring more people to an event than Facebook does, but I know many people have tight budgets, so like don’t worry too much if you can’t afford it. I know a lot of groups that do all their event organizing on Facebook and still have great attendance). 5. An Activity- Especially when a community is new, activities are often needed to get people talking to each other. Facilitated group discussions are, IMO, the easiest way to do this, but anything that gets people to talk with each other can work. Once you have all this the final step is to promote your group. And I mean actually promote it, don’t just make one post about it on your favorite social media site. Leave flyers in coffee shops, post about it on relevant Facebook groups, contact local queer groups and see if they’ll promote it, post about it on neighborhood blogs and bulletin boards. Don’t half-ass this part, aro’s are few and far between and you will need to be loud about your group's existence if you want people to find you. Maintaining Community: Creating a community is one thing, but maintaining it is another and this is, arguably, the more challenging part of the process. Lots of new organizations never make it past their first few months of existence, but that’s not what we want for the aro community. So here’s are the things that, in my opinion, are most necessary to keep a group going. 1. Persistence - There is a very good chance that the first few meet up’s you arrange will have low or no attendance. New groups are like that, and I know it’s discouraging, but don’t give up. Keep promoting and keep showing up, and then be prepared for no one else to be there. This may sound like an exercise in futility, but I promise it’s not. This summer my church youth group tried to set up a program for teen and young adult Pagans. It took four months for anyone outside of our youth groups to actually show up, but we kept meeting despite that, and now, eight months in, we have relatively high attendance. So bring a book, bring some other work that needs to get done, and if no one shows up do that instead. If you’re doing a good job of promoting your events someone will show up eventually. 2. Have Help- Burn out is real, and trying to run everything yourself is the fastest way to fail, so figure out who can help you run things. Ideally, of course, the people helping you will be other aro’s, but many of us don’t have any irl aro friends so figure out your other options. You’re out to your sister and she’s really good at social media promotion? See if she'll help you get the word out about events. Your friend just really fricking loves graphic design? See if they’ll help you with posters, web design, informational pages, or other similar design needs. As your community grows other aros may be able to take over these tasks, but you will need help from the getgo, so make sure you have at least one or two people to share the work with. 3. Have Community Guidelines- Humans! Are! Messy! And everyone has different ideas about what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable. A good way to prevent these differences from creating issues is to have a set of community guidelines. Put them up on your facebook/website/other social media so people can see them, or better yet, go over them at the beginning of each meeting, this will make sure that everyone knows your group's code of conduct. I suggest involving other community members in the creation of these guidelines so that everyone is happy with them. 4. Consistency- This isn’t necessary, but it is helpful. If you can make sure your group meets at the same time or in the same place every meeting it can help people fit your group into their schedule. That said, this isn’t always something that can be managed, so don’t be hard on yourself if it isn't possible. Consistency is an ideal, not a requirement. 5. Stay out of Drama- Drama can break up even the most stable communities, so while it’s sometimes unavoidable you should try to stay away from it (especially if you’re leadership). Play well with other queer organizations, and if possible, try to have community members that can act as mediators within the group. I’ve seen more communities then I can count break up because a few people couldn’t get along, don’t let the same thing happen to yours. General Advice: Make something you would want to go to When first starting a group, make it something that you would be excited to participate in. What you want is likely to be what others want too, and if you’re doing something that you already love it will be a lot more bearable if other people don’t show up the first few times. Look at other groups If you’re still anxious about starting a group, take some time and go to some other small meet up groups first. See what they do, and if you’re comfortable, talk to the organizers about how they run things. It’s easier to get started when you can see that other people have done the same thing. Money, money, money Use free spaces, websites, and other materials as much as possible. Once an organization starts needing money just to exist funding will become the top priority no matter what other issues are going on. If you just love finances maybe this will work for you, but I think most of us get stressed out when money becomes an issue. Sometimes these things are unavoidable, but if you can organize your community without spending too much it will let you focus on other things. The Benefits of Putting in the Work: Running an organization, especially as a volunteer, can often feel like a thankless job, but try and remember how much good it does. Community building can help you understand others better, it allows people to create necessary social networks, and most importantly, people with in-person communities can organize larger political action. Not everyone has the time or energy to start an aromatic group in their area, and that’s perfectly understandable, as we’ve seen it can be a lot of work. But if you can start a group, and you want to start a group, then your organization can do a lot of good Here are some more resources on organizing communities, clubs, and meetups, that, while not aro specific, might still give you some ideas. Hopefully, some of them will be helpful for y’all! (x) (x) (x)
  8. Oh yeah! Relevant to this thread and to @HotRamen if for no other reason than networking, but Seattle Ace's changed their name to Seattle Ace's and Aro's last month and they will *supposedly* be hosting separate aro meetups in the future (although they haven't had any yet). That group is also in the middle of a leadership change so it might be hard to find a point person, but their media guy Thomas is staying the same and he runs their facebook and meet up, so if you want to network he's probably the guy to talk to. Also, it turns out that the "Vancouver BC aces/aros and friends meetup" is also a group that exists here on the west coast even if it's up in Canada. They're smaller, and tbh I've never been to one of their events, but if you want to network with other aro/aroish groups or just see how other west coast aspec groups do things they might be worth checking out. @libraryforever Just a heads up there are technically two different Seattle prides. One on Capitol Hill on June 29 and one in Downtown on the 30th. It used to be that one was corporatized and one wasn't, but now they're both corporatized and we just have two for no reason? So yeah they're not really different anymore, but that's something to be aware of when scheduling I guess. I think Seattle Aces and Aro's are marching on Sunday the 30th so if you want to march with them or something that's probably the day to do it. Hope that's helpful! I'm not sure what day I'm going yet, or I would offer to meet up, but you can at least try to go with a group 😊
  9. Yes exactly! Definitely. We're never going to be able to make models that fit every individual experience wholesale, I think having a bunch of different concepts for people to pull from and use as needed is really the only way to go. It's kind of like how when you have 4 kinds of baked goods to chose from you might not get what you really want, but when you have a bunch of plain ingredients to chose from you can make whatever and everyone ends up happy.
  10. Humm, actually now that you've edited your definitions a little bit I think a better solution than having a whole new model is simply acknowledging upfront that people will frequently mix and match these models to fit their needs. I don't necessarily fit into just one of the models mentioned above, but "Mixed composite and axial orientations" would actually be a pretty good description of how my orientations work. I think the reason I didn't feel like I fit any of these models at first was that it was being explained in a way that made it seem like you had to use just one.
  11. Hmmm, Idk that any of these models work for me exactly. If anything I would place myself somewhere in between model 1 and biaroace's idea of "oriented aroace" . I'm aroace and my romantic and sexual identities aren't in anyway separate, however, I'm also enbian/ nblnb. It's not that splitting orientations never works for me, it just only works some of the time, and usually only when it comes to types of attraction outside of the romantic/sexual orientation dichotomy
  12. This is....humm, idk how I feel about this. "spiritual and not physical" isn't even a definition that works with my personal understanding spirituality. My physical self is deeply tied to my spiritual self, defining platonic as one but not the other doesn't work for me. I also think of spiritual attraction as it's own thing that, while a type of platonic attraction, is not the only kind of platonic attraction. If I'm spiritually attracted to someone that means I want to work with them in a religious or magickal context (ritual, coven, meditation, etc). While this kind of attraction is, in fact, a deep and intense pull, it's not the only kind of platonic attraction I feel, I tend to just define platonic as not romantic or sexual. Of course, not everyone defines spirituality the same way I do and that's okay, I think spirituality, in particular, is one of those things that people should really define for themselves, but that variation in how people view spirituality does mean that "spiritual, not physical" probably isn't a great blanket definition. I think a conversation that also needs to be had here is that of physical affection without the motivation of attraction. I kiss my little sister forehead when I tuck her into bed, but I am certainly not attracted to her in any of these ways, it's simply an indication of familial affection. The same goes for my found family, they all kiss each other on the cheek from time, but it's not due to any kind of attraction, it's just a way of communicating that they're important to one another. This is what I mean when I say that I consider a lot of the actions associated with "sensual traction" to be platonic. These acts are so frequently used simply as a form of comfort or communication between people who feel no attraction towards each other whatsoever, how can they possibly be anything else? Definitely, when attraction is involved they can stop being platonic in nature, and that grey area is I think what we're really trying to discuss here, but I think it's also important to mention that physical affection often has nothing to do with sensual attraction or any other kind of attraction for that matter. That discussion about kissing is here btw , although it looks like you were also involved in it. Oh interesting! This is something I've seen happening a lot lately. I feel like we all got scattered somewhere along the lines and now that everyone is getting back together and talking everyone has 10 different definitions for every term. Which is... confusing and difficult, but also pretty neat I guess.
  13. Sensual attraction is generally defined as the "desire to interact with others in a tactile, non-sexual way such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, or hand holding" While I understand that different people and cultures have different views on whether these actions are romantic or platonic, and that's okay, the cultural values I was raised with say that those actions are platonic, or at least can be done in a platonic way. Hugging, cuddling, and hand holding are not, in my mind, even a little bit sexual or romantic. These are just things that friends do with eachother and that's normal and expected. I think my view on this is probably colored by gender roles sense I'm feminine presenting and afab and I know most masculine presenting people are discouraged from being physically affectionate with their friends, but it is still my exsperiance. I'm never assumed to be romantically attached simply because I was holding hands with friends in public or hugging someone I haven't seen in a long time, these are just things that friends do. Kissing is, I think where this gets a little complicated because whether or not a kiss is considered platonic is deeply dependent on intention and where its placed in the body. There was a thread on here a few months ago about what the diffrent placements of kisses signify which gets more in depth with this (I'll try to find it for you once I'm off my phone). So like there's an argument to be made there, but even then there are platonic forms of kissing such as on the cheek or forehead so this is a grey area.
  14. Definitely! like I feel queer platonic attraction mostly towards other nonbinary people, but then I'm almost entirely sensually attracted to men, and I mostly feel aesthetic attraction to women and enbys. All of these kinds of attraction are platonic in nature, but I still have preferences, so when I do use the SAM it's usually in relation to these kinds of attraction, not in relation to romance or sexuality. I think it's important to recognize that whether the use of SAM is assumed by individuals or not, the language and structure of aspec spaces still enforces the use of SAM on aroace who would otherwise not use it. Even just the term "aro-ace" implies two separate romantic and sexual identities. It's not so much about how individuals do things as it is about how the use of language and split in resources forces aroaces to view their aspec identity as two parts instead of one whole.
  15. Oh no, sorry for the confusion, I wasn't referring to that server in particular, I was just expressing how most people define that term as well as how I was using it. It's possible that server has a different definition, but I suspect that they use a similar one, because at least within aspec spaces I've found that that's pretty consistently what "ace discourse" means. I guess some people also use it to mean "aphobia generally" but 9 times out of 10 when I see it it's being used in relation to ace exclusion. Ahh, that's fair, thank you for the explanation. I get that to a certain extent because I do distinguish between different kind s of platonic attraction even when I don't distinguish between sexual and romantic attraction, so I guess it does make sense to distinguish between the two in that way.
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