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Ace & Aro Conference in NYC this June!

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Hello!

 

I'm an assistant organizer with Aces NYC, a Meetup.com group for asexuals in the greater NYC area. Since WorldPride is taking place in New York this year, along with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we're planning an Ace & Aro Conference to take place on Saturday, June 29th, the day before the Pride parade. We've found a location, so now we're fundraising to cover speakers, insurance fees, and other costs. We invite any aromantics and arospec people coming to WorldPride to save the date now; further information about ticketing and events will be forthcoming. We've set up a GoFundMe, and we'd greatly appreciate your support to help make this conference truly special.     

 

The link is here: https://ca.gofundme.com/world-pride-ace-amp-aro-conference-2019

 

Thank you! We hope to see you there!

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What is it with asexual organisations wanting to add "& aro" to their names all of a sudden?

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I appreciate the attempt at inclusiveness, I really do, but... No offense, but if you really want aros to come to your event, you're going to have to try harder. 

Absolutely nothing about this looks welcoming to aros, other than having a few aro labels tacked on at the very end. It's literally described as an asexuality conference, hosted by Aces NYC and the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, with a graphic featuring entirely ace imagery aside from one word being green. Do you even care about non-ace aromantics? Do you even think of us at all? Does it matter to you that we exist? Because right now it really doesn't feel like it.

I am aromantic. I am bisexual. I recognize the historical link between the aro community and the asexual community, and I love and support all of my ace siblings, but I am NOT a footnote in your asexual experience. My experiences, and those of other aros like me, are important and deserve to be recognized, supported, and celebrated without having to put half of them aside and squeeze myself into an event not made for me, hoping that maybe I can catch a tiny bit of support for some of my experiences (but clearly not all).

 

Don't expect me to even think of coming to such an event unless some major changes are made to the way it's being presented right now. I do not feel welcome, I do not feel supported, and I'm also not so rude as to infringe on a space not made for me, so if you want aros of all types to come to your event... You're going to have to open the door, not just leave it unlocked and assume we know to come in.

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They didn't really say much about the events but they did say everyone on either spectrum is welcome. Maybe they'll get some allosexual aromantics to be part of it. Also, other than the logos of the organizations organizing it, there is also only one purple word. So I don't think we should assume yet that it's not designed for us, because they definitely want us to be welcome there. If we find out that all the events are more about asexuality then that will be different but we don't know anything about the events or speakers yet.

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On 2/22/2019 at 4:36 PM, Mark said:

What is it with asexual organisations wanting to add "& aro" to their names all of a sudden?

I imagine they've caught on to aros complaining about the asexual communities aro erasure and either (the optimistic view) this is a first step towards including us more or (the more pessimistic view but what I believe) are slapping a band-aid on the problem and think we won't notice that a name change is in most cases purely performative and only effects appearance

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Hi everyone,

 

Thank you for your comments expressing your concerns. I'll address them below.

 

You're right, we aren't an aromantic group, and that's why we aren't adding "& Aros" to our group's name, since we don't want to promise anything we couldn't deliver. Our Aces & Aros conference is a one-time special event for WorldPride. We're still an organization for asexuals, but since aromanticism was otherwise unaddressed by WorldPride events, we decided to also include aromantics in our conference, and that's why our conference is planning an full-day aro activities track for interested attendees. If you know of any aromantic groups holding events for WorldPride in New York City this summer, we would love to get in contact with them! Please message me with their contact details, since I haven't been able to encounter any as of yet.

 

As for partnering with AVEN, we did so in order to secure a conference space--as small as we are, we weren't able to do so on our own because we lack nonprofit status. We would love to partner with a US-based aromantic organization as well; however, we couldn't find any.

 

When attendees purchase tickets, we'll have a form question asking which topics they’re most excited to have discussions about, and through that, we'll be able to anticipate and plan for which aromantic-related topics people are most interested in talking about throughout the day. We'll use those replies to plan our aro-track schedule.

 

We are also in the process of searching for aro speakers, and while we've found a few possible aroace speakers, we'd also like to find aro and allosexual ones to lead discussions and give presentations. We are focusing our search on people of color, since the ace and aro communities are thought of as mostly white. If you have any recommendations for speakers fitting that criteria, I'd appreciate hearing them.

 

Thank you again for bringing up the issues you had about our conference. We don't want aromantic and a-spec attendees to feel like an afterthought, and your input will help us plan a better experience for everyone who comes.  

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't really know of that many possible aromantic speakers, but one person I feel should definitely be invited is Connie Glynn, who is aromantic bisexual. She's not a person of color, but she has improved aromantic visibility a significant amount and I really look up to her for being so successful at so many things and having her life put together as well as it is. I also know she is a great communicator who I feel would really have something to add to this event.

 

There are a few lesser-known aromantic people of color I know of on YouTube, including The Asexual Goddess, Iris Padilla (I think), and Eva Abidin (but it might be hard for her to get to NYC since she lives all the way in Brunei). They have all made videos discussing being aromantic, which are linked if you click their names.

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12 hours ago, ERegina said:

Thank you for the suggestions! We'll look into them!

Bella DePaulo would be fantastic if you could get her. Doctorate in psychology, has written books and countless blog posts promoting the value of healthy single lives, and given a great TED talk deconstructing false narratives around the importance of marriage. She usually uses terminology like "single at heart", presumably to make her work more accessible, but she's well aware of aromanticism and five minutes on her Twitter feed should be enough to demonstrate her depth and breadth of knowledge of the personal and social psychology that is most relevant to aromanticism.

 

It might also do you some good to read some of the candid thoughts in this thread about ace groups' attempts to include aro people, and why alloaros especially have not been impressed by them, to help you avoid making the same mistakes.

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We'd love to get Bella DePaulo! We're keeping our fingers crossed that she'll be available! And thank you for the thread link--it was very helpful!

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On 3/2/2019 at 10:27 AM, eatingcroutons said:

Bella DePaulo would be fantastic if you could get her. Doctorate in psychology, has written books and countless blog posts promoting the value of healthy single lives, and given a great TED talk deconstructing false narratives around the importance of marriage.

Another person, along similar lines, to consider would Elizabeth Brake.

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@Mark is Elizabeth Brake actually aro? I know she coined the term "amatonotmativity" so she would probably be a good speaker anyways, but I was under  the impression that she was alloro and poly.

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We did consider Elizabeth Brake, but we are trying to get speakers who identify as aro and/or ace before reaching out to others, and currently she doesn't seem to be working on any research regarding amatonormativity or a similar field. But we will keep her in mind just in case. 

 

But I do have good news: out of our 4 confirmed speakers so far, 3 are aro-spec!

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19 hours ago, ERegina said:

But I do have good news: out of our 4 confirmed speakers so far, 3 are aro-spec!

How many of them are allosexual aromantics?

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