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    Aro and Queer
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    Aro and Queer

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  1. 1. How did you come to identify your sexual orientation? I went through many periods of questioning lmao. To put it simply for a while there I thought it was 'all' when in fact it was 'none' and so eventually I realised I was ace. And then I realised being ace didn't matter to me at all so I stopped identifying as such. And then I began feeling sexually attracted to people and decided queer was the right term for the job haha 2. Do you think your discovery of your sexual orientation is/was related to your identifying as aro-spec? I'd say it was the other way around. I identified as ace long before I realised I was aro. The thing for me is that I wanted to feel sexual attraction (score one for me!!) and couldn't care less about romance. So I wasn't thinking about romance enough to realise I felt nothing for it. It wasn't until I was like,,, 'so I'm panro ace what does a relationship look like for me?' And the answer was a hard pass that I realised maybe I was confusing 'all' with 'none' again. I was firmly aro when I began feeling sexual attraction and actually that seemed to be separate from my aro identity. At least the journey I went on to understand what I was feeling did, because it was all these brand new emotions and thoughts that I wanted to ferret out. Only later did I start to look at them through an aromantic lens. Nothing changed in my life with the fluctuation and I think that's the kicker. 3. What about currently? Do you feel that your sexual and romantic orientations are related (like two parts of one identity) or separate (like two identities)? My identities, aromatic and queer, are absolutely related. They're the same set a feeling that I label separately to highlight different areas of nuance. Despite how messy the history of my identity is, the reality of it now is very settled and simple. I love my identity and the journey was well worth it. -- Edited immediately after posting bc the font was SHOCKINGLY large lmao
  2. How do you figure? If anything, I'd say there's an opposite problem. Yeah so 'echo chamber' was absolutely the wrong word for me to use. In the next sentence I say 'maybe not agreeing opinions' which is exactly what an echo chamber is haha. My mistake. I was looking for a way to say everyone tends to create content tailored to the culture of the site they're on — which I believe I said clearly in the rest of the post so I won’t go on. And here: You actually both confirm and ended up disproving my statement here. There are no flags coming from Arocalypse, of course not, it's not an image based site. However I did say vocab is likely to come out of here and ykno when I scrolled back further than the current — I think it's about 4 of 5? — threads the next 20ish aren’t about vocab at all. So 1) Arocalypse isn’t trapped in the vocab and language debate like many other areas of the aro community, 2) you can ask: well what is the forum building instead? and 3) it's meant for discussion and it's fulfilling that goal. I shouldn't have been so quick to add it to the list of 'places where people want to do more but are trapped by This Is The Way Things Are Done Here'. Obviously Arocalypse has its own problems — this thread unfortunately went off track and I've seen it happen on other threads also — but the format of the site isn't one of them. This whole response is basically just for you @Coyote haha, I really have no idea where to start with real world community building so thank you for sharing that reading list! Even if it's no help — which I sincerely doubt — it looks fucking interesting. EDIT: when I say scrolled back I mean thru the Aromantic Discussion section, past the pinned threads, and as of the conversations that were happening late last week I think it was like 4 of the 5 ongoing ones talked about or turned to vocab at some point. Science 😎
  3. This sounds both effective and doable. Already existing organisations and groups have further reach, resources, and people who care. Honestly this is such a simple answer I'm concerned by how it didn’t occur to me. Maybe I solely need that change of perspective haha, less aro-centric progress and more queer progress with the aro cause sprinkled in. Actually my friends and I were going thru the Sims 4 update recently with all its many flags and that was enlightening. We couldn’t name a good third of them despite covering a variety of orientations and genders. This sentiment: doesn’t seem to be so aro specific. At least the keeping track part. People are more often than not concerned by what matters to them and their specific orientation. I don’t mean to take this conversation away from aromanticism but the question is what can we do other than wordsmith. Maybe the answer should be as simple as: if you're out, be active in you local queer community and if you're not, contact online queer organisations to engineer some aro inclusion.
  4. I feel as tho the aro community is trapped in an echo chamber of sorts. Maybe not agreeing opinions but no matter what platform you're on people do tend to be doing the same things, the same way. I can't say specifically what we can do other than create words and flags, other than reprioritise? And I say this as someone how uses 'aromantic' and no other terms from within the aro community, which makes this easy for me to say for sure. But truly I believe if focus was shifted elsewhere things would change. The problem of course is if you aren’t out - which I believe is the majority of aromantics - then what else can you do but be present online? And where the culture across the board is to create vocab and flags? The forums here are discussion based and lots of the topics of discussion in the aromantic community rn lead back to vocab. Tumblr is heavily image based yes so sure you could create aro art but the tagging system is shit and people don’t reblog art. For those who use tumblr for writing again it leads back to vocab discussions and, like art, stories don’t get reblogged. I see polls or surveys happening on tumblr too but what do they talk about? What's your orientation and what labels do you use. Discord is purely a chatting platform, which can lead to the same vocab issue again. I'm not involved in any other platforms or areas of the aro community but I expect it's the same. I would be greatly surprised if it were different and I hope I'm wrong. I think I'm simplifying this down a fair amount but its safe to say all our community building is happening online and that’s not bad thing but it is clearly limiting atm. People want to build and create but lack outlets. We need something to put our energy and drive into and vocab is relevant and can somewhat satiate the feeling of 'I don’t fit in this amatonormative world' that every shade of aro feels. Within the confines of the closet creating language that describes yourself in a world that ostracises you is probably the most convenient way to dismantle that issue. So where do we go from here? I don’t have an answer unfortunately.
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