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sennkestra

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    Sennkestra

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  1. For what it's worth, I think feeling a bit alienated by the contrasting experiences of other group members is always going to a problem in large mixed groups like general "a-spec" groups (whether you're an allosexual aro, asexual aro, or asexual ace) - for example, just within the general ace groups I'm active in, both aro aces and romantic aces often feel out of place when conversations they can't relate to as much come up (and that's without getting into things like gender and racial and other demographic differences) - but there's also not really any way to completely avoid that; it's just a consequence of being in diverse communities. That said, I imagine this is definitely especially exacerbated when some groups are numerically overwhelmingly larger as it probably is for many allosexual aros joining general aspec groups. (for a parallel, this is also a common issue for, for example, ace or trans or ethnic minority folks in LGBT groups - even if the rest of the group is doing their best to be great allies, there's a limit to how comfortable you can get when 90% of the people around you have experiences that are diametrically opposed on one axis or another). I think the best answer is to (also) have more specific groups and gatherings (whether they are general aro groups, or specific allosexual aro groups) that focus on specific sub-groups and can focus on their experiences without having to worry about competing needs from other groups - but the hard part is finding enough people who are capable of and willing to lead them. Most of the people I know who run general "ace and aro" meetups know they're an imperfect stop-gap for a lot of allosexual aro people, but keep them going in the hope that having at least some kind of networking opportunity set up will eventually bring together enough people who can help make something more specific in the future. -- EDIT: I looked up the actual event because I was curious, and I'm not necessarily a fan of the current wording, so I think that changes my perspective a bit - I'm not sure all my comments above apply in this case; I think my actual answer is that, while some amount of feeling uncomfortable or alienated is inevitable in umbrella groups that cover a lot of diverse experiences, I don't think that's what happened here - there are definitely actions that organizers can take to better run joint, interntional, and inclusive a-spec or ace&aro umbrellagroups, that don't seem to have even been attempted here. While I think there are a lot of groups that are honestly embracing becoming full ace & aro umbrella spaces, as I mentioned above, I don't think they've quite made it that far here - any attempt to be a full "A-Spec" or "Ace & Aro" gathering would require including that phrasing in the title at a minimum. The current wording is problematic because even though the second to last sentence seems like it might include allosexual aros, the name and first sentence certainly make it seem that it's really more focused on asexuality - and unclear whether they actually meant to include allosexual aros (and were just unprepared) or if that was just an accidental inclusion when they were actually just trying to cover the full a/romantic spectrum of asexual people specifically. So I wouldn't be surprised if the organizers themselves were not really prepared for how to actively include allo aros either --- Anyway, my advice for anyone organizing joint ace/aro meetups, is that it's important to at a minimum give all groups included equal billing in any event names or definitions, and to have active plans for discussion questions, icebreakers, etc. that can actively include all experiences (aromantic aces, romantic aces, aromantic allosexuals, etc.). Or alternatively, if you are organizing a just ace meetup, and want to emphasize that it's open to both romantic aces and aromantic aces, then use that kind of phrasing rather than just saying "open to the whole aromantic-spectrum" - because it's important to remember that that spectrum includes lots of non-ace people too! --- As an attendee, meanwhile, if you feel comfortable reaching out, it might be good to raise that concern with the organizers and get them in touch with other groups (like TAAAP, maybe) that have more experience working with both aces and aros so that there could be an opportunity to make things more clear or more inclusive in future years, if this is a recurring event.
  2. I have a couple question for any sexually active aros (or any aros who would like to be sexually active) - what kind of sexual relationships would you ideally like to pursue? Do you find them acheivable right now, or not so much? And what words do you like to use to describe these relationships? As an aromantic person who is firmly on the asexual side of things, I've never really had to think about what navigating sexual relationships would look like without any romantic interest, so I'm curious to hear about what it's like from those who do. I feel like I see a lot of talk about how aromantic people navigate their more "platonic" non-romantic and non-sexual relationships, or how people navigate romantic relationships of various kinds, but I'm curious what non-romantic sexual relationships look like for people here who are interested in them, either as an ideal or in actual practice. For example, do you personally prefer sticking to short term arrangements like hookups, "one-night stands" or other short-term relationships? Do you prefer longer-term but informal relationships like "friends with benefits"? Or are you still interested in more formal "committed" relationships similar to serious dating and marriage, but without the usual romantic assumptions? Are these terms something you use or do you prefer different relationship models and terminology alltogether? Also, for those who are interested in both sexual relationships, and committed non-romantic relationships (including QPs, cohabitating with friends, or other commitments), do you prefer to have both of these desires fulfilled by the same person/relationships? Or are these things that you see as more seperate?
  3. I was talking to some friends offline about feeling comparatively a little older in some aro communities (both in terms of time spent in and around aro spaces, and in general age - I'm not that old, but i'm also clearly not in touch with all the hip young people memes anymore), and I was curious what the actual breakdown of people on the site is in terms of age and if it matches my impressions at all or if I'm just wildly off.
  4. I would be careful about making assumptions about how easy it is to figure out an aroace identity as well - it's all too easy to assume that the grass must be greener on the other side, but I think we just don't have the data need to really know one way or the other yet (though that might defintiely be an interesting project for future ace and/or aro research projects - we do know that aces as a group are likely to have their first self-realization somewhat later in life - I think the median in the last ace census was around 19? but I don't think anyone has looked at how that breaks down by romantic orientation, especially for non-ace aros ) . While sticking to hypotheticals, I would agree that it might be easier for an aroace person who has already learned about and joined an asexual community to learn about aromanticism / that that's an option. But the big limiting factor for most asexual (and aro) people is that they don't even know that something other than just gay/straight/bi exists as an option in the first place - which leads to the same exact kinds of denial and explaining away that mango mentioned. (I know I in particular spent many years assuming that all crushes and "ooh, he's so hot" were just other teens my age imitating hollywood teen movies to pretend to be grown up - because surely, no one my age actually cares about any of that, right?) It's pretty impressive what loops the brain can through to try and fit into an existing box, no matter how poor the fit might be.
  5. Honestly, one of the things I'm curious about that doesn't get talked about so much is the difference in experience not between just ace and non-ace aros (which already gets talked about a ton), but the differences in the experiences of different group of allosexual aros - especially between those who lie on the more queer/LGB+ end of the spectrum vs. those who consider themselves more straight. (and that's not even getting into the complications of gender and trans identities). While I can't speak directly to either of those experiences as an aro ace (we have our own set of confusing issues), I've noticed that outside the bubble of certain ace and aro online community spaces, most people in the wider world often don't care that much about the intricacies of what kinds of attraction I feel or what specific labels I use....but they often do care a lot of about more visible behaviors, like who I date (or rather, don't date), who I hook up with (or my case, who I don't hook up with), etc. I'd imagine that being a queer-identified allosexual aro - especially one who might have visible same-sex relationships (whether sexual, queerplatonic, or otherwise) or talk about their same-sex attractions - would have to deal with a double-whammy of overt homophobia/heterosexism on top of all the regular anti-aro sentiments; and for those involved with broader queer or LGBT+ communities there's also a unique set of politics to navigate there that are different from the issues encountered in more mainstream [straight] society - for better or for worse. And I'd imagine that for more straight-aligned allosexual aros, while they might not have to deal with as much direct homophobia, they might still have to deal with the more indirect effects of homophobia/heterosexism as a result of not fitting into the "right kind" of straight behavior, and may have difficulty finding access to offline spaces to really explore their sexuality in more complex ways (because while some queer/LGBTQIA+ communities may in theory be friendly and accepting straight-aligned aces and aros, they often just aren't really built for or experienced in giving the kind of support those groups might need...and there's not many equivalents for straight or straight-ish people). For anyone who does identify as either of those groups, I'd be curious to hear more about your perspectives on the issue.
  6. The sense of "non-romantic" has been around since long before the internet; the ways that society tends to conflate both romance and sex mean that platonic often gets use to mean lack of sex, lack of romance, or lack of both somewhat ambiguously and interchangeably. As far as the use of not romantic, but possibly sexual, I'm not sure. I see it so rarely that I've never really looked into it. You can see examples of that ambiguity in definitions like these. (also, since queerplatonic is a seperate word that usually requires being given a definition anyway, I don't see it as an urgent problem) Actually, both aroace and more general aro communities both predate that post! For specifically aroace communities, the aromantic thread on AVEN and the Aromantic-Asexuals community on forum-motion were created in 2010, a year before that post was made. And in bigger news for the wider community that year, the National Coalition for Aromantic Visbility was also launched that year, with a focus on providing space for all aromantic people, not just ace ones. Aro communities on other platforms like tumblr, livejournal, facebook, etc. were also getting their start by mid-2011. These formal networks were also outgrowths of more informal communities and social circles that were a bit older than that even. Also, while there's no reason that the aro community (or any specific people in it) need to use terminology that other communities like ace communities or queer communities use, sometimes it's nice for those of us who don't mind sharing to not have to reinvent the wheel
  7. @Jot-Aro Kujo have you had a chance to read the original essay that was linked in the beginning of this thread? It specifically sets aside space to talk about some of the reasons that this might be happening, and to acknowledge that a big driving factor behind some of these conflicts are the mutual hurts between various parts of ace and aro communities. This is just one segment: If you (or others in the thread) haven't had a chance to sit down and read the whole linked post, I think that might help to understand where this is coming from - the brief summary in the original posts was obviously incomplete because, well, it's a summary, and it's hard to condense ideas into a couple sentences without leaving a lot of important things out. I think the hope was that people would actually read the original post, with it's more nuanced discussion, and additional context (and perhaps even prompt people to engage with the other community discussions already happening there, in order to promote more cross-community discussion). I agree that more specific calls to action might have made things clearer, but I think that one of the hopes of opening additional conversation here was that we might also be able to brainstorm and crowdsource additional suggestions for ways to help - because as was mentioned upthread, while just making factual suggestions is a start, it isn't always effective when individual corrections are often just ignored or responded to with hostility - which is why we want to start figuring out if there are additional steps that we, as a community, can take in order to help prevent the spread of misninformation (or even to proactively spread accurate information).
  8. I think that's one of the points we're trying to make! It shouldn't be that big of a deal to just go back and correct small references to either correctly cite the origins of terms (whether it's from aros, aces, queer communities, academia, or wherever else) or to just focus on who currently uses and not mention anything about coining or origins at all. We don't want to anyone to stop using these terms (which were often created precisely because their founders hoped they would be useful to as many people as possible) - in fact I personally would love if many of them became even better known! I think one of the things that can make it hard (and which coyote mentions directly in the original post) is that I think there can be a sort of instinctive fear response, esp. for people who constantly hear lines of thought from other sources (*cough* especially tumblr and everything influenced by it *cough*) that coining a term => owning that term forever => being able to tell everyone else not to use it - and who then assume that acknowledging that someone else coined the term, means that someone else will control it, and that someone else will tell them they can never again use it. I want to make it very clear that we don't want to imply any of those things - we're not out to police who can use the term, or what communities it can be associated with. We just want people to try not to spread incorrect information. As far as specific calls to action, here are my more specific suggestions: First, in your own writing: If you choose to talk about where a term was coined or where it originated from, do a little research to double-check where it actually came from. If possible, look for citations and check actual primary sources when possible @Coyote has already put together a history (with all important links to original sources!) of queerplatonic and some related terms that are also popular in aro communities. Taking 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with this information now will help you have it at the ready when you need it (and a lot of it is also a fun romp through a lot of aromantic community and adjacent histories) If you aren't sure where it came from, or don't want to get into the complicated intertwined history of aro and ace communities, just don't mention any of it! Instead, consider phrases like "x phrase is popular with aro communities" or "aro communities talk a lot about the concept of y" etc. as a way to emphasize the importance and connection of the term to aro communities without having to make any ahistorical claims Also, while not strictly as outright incorrect, I would still recommend avoiding phrasing like "x is an aro community term" or "y is an ace community term" if you can, as it can carry problematic implications of ownership among terms that were often invented specifically to be shared, that can easily be avoided by using alternative phrasing like I suggested above. While it can sometimes be harmless, it's fraught enough that I'd still personally go with other ways of phrasing things (especially since it's such an easy small change) Second, I would take time to educate yourself about the histories of queerplatonic and some related terms if possible, so that you can recognize misinformation when you see it and not get fooled or confused. Thirdly, it would help even more to try and gently correct misinformation when you run across it in the wild, and to share links to more accurate citations or suggest alternative phrasing.
  9. I think I might try to respond with a little more nuance in the morning, but in the meantime, a few quick thoughts - first, can we please try to avoid personal insults and stereotypes about other groups of people (including both the people in this thread, and alloromantic aces)? I know that criticism can be really hard to take, especially if you start realizing that you were misinformed by sources of information you thought you could rely on, but sometimes part of growth is being able to step back, take a deep breath, and realize that yeah, maybe you were mistaken about certain facts. That doesn't have to be a big deal - it's a learning experience all of us have to go from at some point, and you're already taking the first step in that direction by joining the conversation here. As far as the additional context for where you were getting your information from, thank you for sharing it - it helps to explain the situation and I think to also help identify some more of what is behind the trend. But I think it also illustrates the point that @Coyote was trying to make, which is that this misinformation is so pervasive, and also why it's so important to try and bring attention to exactly what's incorrect about it, and what the actual reality is. Part of the reason that Coyote has been putting in the work to gather these histories and explanatory sources is exactly so people in the future will have access to histories that you didn't, and won't accidentally fall into the same trap. It's not that it's not understandable how people accidentally assume that things that resonate with aros must have come from aros, or that people don't always fact check things - to err is human. But the thing is, the fact that something resonates with aro people doesn't mean it didn't also resonate just as much with other types of people as well. And sometimes, those people come up with concepts for themselves first, that we in the aro community later find useful. When that's the case, I think it's worth getting the history right - both out of respect to the people who have articulated concepts that have become so useful to the rest of us, and also out of respect to the actual history that the aro community actually has, which often gets obscured in favor of some of these mythologies that sound nice to so many people but just don't hold up under investigation. Also, I'm guessing this was probably rushed out and you may not have given it a lot of thought, but I want to make it really clear that when ace people (romantic or otherwise) are talking about queerplatonic relationships, they're talking about the exact same kinds of "queering the boundaries of what a platonic relationship can be" kind of relationships that other aro people are. They are not actually talking about normative romantic relationships at all. Whether you intended it or not, I worry that the comment above seems to imply that alloromantic people don't need or are incapable of queerplatonic or other platonic relationships just because they also have (at least in theory) the option for romantic relationships - which uncomfortably reflects common assumptions that QPs are some kind of second-class choice for those who can't do romance, or that alloromantic people are somehow incapable of having intimate platonic relationships - both of which I want to push back against.
  10. Ah, I think I see where there's confusion. I was referring to the link to the arokaladin post from this November, which was directly linked in the specific quote I was responding to (requoted below with original link for reference). That post is still up. The post that was mentioned in the first post in this thread as deleted was a completely different post (the much older but wider spread post by aphobephobe), which is a completely different thread. I would think the goal here is to just be aware that this is an ongoing concern, and also be educated about the causes behind it, and to start thinking about potential ways to respond for if/when it inevitable does filter out to other parts of the aro community that you are more active in. Right now it's happening most on tumblr - but that's also because tumblr is largely where people are talking about aromanticism the most. But the emerging communities there are closely connected with the communities both here and elsewhere, and things tend to spread around. I mean it's up to them, but I personally wouldn't expect them to give an "official response" every time someone on a social platform makes an inaccurate post about something to do with aromanticism. They've done a pretty good job collating a set of resources that any of us can link to when we see myths or inaccuracies being perpetuated. Unfortunately as far as @AUREA, detailed aro community history (including the adjacent history of things like queerplatonic) with sources is actually something that don't really have much on in their resources yet, especially one that really explains the issues mentioned here (although that's understandable, because it's a missing resource almost everywhere). Does anyone know if there's a best way to nominate resources for the site (or at least the periodic "what's going on" linkspams?) I think some of the posts like the original Queerplatonic Geneology post might be good to include somewhere, and I also have another post about the history of early aro community spaces (c. 2010 to present) that I'm putting together at the moment. That might be easier than trying to start from scratch. (I'll shoot an email over eventually, but figured I'd ping them here as well in the meantime)
  11. Sorry, are we looking at different posts? The post I was mentioning is very much still up (at least on my end), although it's possible it may not be showing for blocked users or something. Just want to make sure we're not actually cross-talking about different things.
  12. I"m putting together some history notes for a post, and I was hoping to see if I could find anyone who might have ever used the NCAV (National Coalition for Aromantic Visibility) forums or chatrooms way back in the day (like, 2010 - 2015ish). I'm curious about whether the chat rooms and forum were actually very active, and for how long, since that information isn't really preserved in the wayback machine archives. I'm also interested in chatting with anyone who may have used the site in other ways at the time (even if just to learn a little more about aromanticism). If this sounds like you, please let me know!
  13. Several of us have actually already reached out on tumblr. It remains to be seen if that will influence their behavior at all in the future (they haven't made any changes to the current post in question). But I've also seen similar sentiments over and over from more than one source, so I think it's still worth talking about on a community level so that other future users can make note of this and know what bad habits to avoid in their own writing, because spreading harmful mistruths out of ignorance can still cause harm. Which is why posts like this aim to get out ahead of that ignorance. (Also, fun fact - there were actually some distinct aro communities forming elsewhere around the same time! That's just not where these terms came from. Someday I'll get around to making a more detailed post about that, because that's something even a lot of more history minded people may not have realized)
  14. This might be a bit late for your project, but the term "amatonormativity" itself was coined by the academic Elizabeth Brake, so any of her writing would be a good place to start!
  15. The new Carnival of Aros call for submissions is up! Click here to view the full call for submissions >>
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