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running.tally

A Term for Aros that Feel Romantic Attraction

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Hi everyone,

In light of some discussions on our Discord, I wanted to throw out a discussion question!

 

There has been a desire to coin an umbrella term for aros who feel romantic attraction in some way - something general to capture aros who very rarely feel it, who feel it under certain conditions, who feel it with certain frequencies, and who flow between feeling and not feeling romantic attraction, to name a few cases.
What kind of term might encompass this?

 

I was given word of a term for aros who experience no romantic attraction ever - null(o)romantic - but there is still a word missing for (for lack of a better term) 'everybody else.'

 

I was at first under the impression that greyromantic covered this, but this term has been used in ways that haven't covered everyone in the aro community that we want to cover. Different people give it different definitions, and although it is a kind of umbrella identity, it's had some misinterpretation and miscommunication problems (especially because of its sibling greysexual, which is defined particular ways as well).
Other options are very context-specific: spec aros vs. non-spec aros is one option that has unfortunately been a bit problematic because it implies that aros on the end of the spectrum (like nullromantics) aren't on the spectrum in the first place; other options have been used for specific purposes like relief from exclusionists both in and outside the aro community.

 

The creation of a neutral term that encompasses aros that feel some degree of romantic attraction, in whatever form and in any case, would help make conversations comparing nullromantic (end-case aro-spec) and other aro-spec people without being unnecessarily wordy. It's important to have all aro-specs and the whole aromantic community to be accessible, especially as we grow. Inventing new terms isn't always the answer to everything, but I think that in this case it would be really useful.

 

Let me know your thoughts!

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1 hour ago, running.tally said:

I was at first under the impression that greyromantic covered this, but this term has been used in ways that haven't covered everyone in the aro community that we want to cover. Different people give it different definitions, and although it is a kind of umbrella identity, it's had some misinterpretation and miscommunication problems (especially because of its sibling greysexual, which is defined particular ways as well).

 

I hope you don't mind me chiming in here, but I see this is as a problem.

 

For reference, I've been identifying as gray-asexual for a while now, and I've objected a lot to how other people will sometimes define it very narrowly. Here's one example of where I've written about that.

 

While naturally it's fine in my book for people to not opt for "greyromantic" on a personal level, it's important to me that people have terms for gray areas, and that people not feel pushed out, so to speak, by the imposition of a more restricted narrative. I've seen this happen way too much with gray-asexuality (and even quoiromanticism, for that matter). I would hate to see the same problems keep surfacing with greyromanticism, too. I don't want to just stand by for that.

 

So long story short: I think greyromanticism is a fine term to cover any of the examples you listed ("aros who very rarely feel it, who feel it under certain conditions, who feel it with certain frequencies, and who flow between feeling and not feeling romantic attraction") and more -- being inclusive of those but not restricted to those. People should get to have that word if they want it, and I am ready to argue with anyone who says otherwise.

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Thank you very much for this!

 

Greyro would be a very easy term to co-opt as long as it was met with proper education (or re-education in most cases). I definitely agree that it becoming a term so narrowly defined is exactly the opposite of the coiner's intentions so this would be a chance to address those issues again. Your post about the issue is Excellent, by the way. It's helped me learn more about this.

 

However I've also heard very vehement nays to using greyro, by people who, like you, use the grey- modifier either as aces or aros or both. I can't speak for them but I know that they really really dislike it and argument about this has caused many tensions. It's one of those issues where although an easier method exists, coining a new term may be better for easing tensions and making as many people as is possible comfortable.

 

Now that I think about it, some serious discussion and compromise will need to happen on one or more sides.

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I have some thoughts  on all of this but I'm not sure where the conflicts are, so I will probably be stepping on someone's toes (which I don't mean to do!)

 

So aro-spec as a word covers everyone including aromantics (if it is used as a personal orientation that is fine, but it can get confusing unless the person is clear and I see it as a symonym for greyromantic)

and greyromantic is a word that covers everyone on the spectrum up to but not including aromantics. Then all the other labels that define how and when people feel romantic attraction, like demiromantic, aro-flux and pretty much everything on the orientations list, sit nicely under the umbrella of both greyromantic and aro-spec. People who don't want to dig into the nitty gritty of 'how and when' can just be recognised as greyromantic if they want, so it is both a broad spectrum definer and a broad orientation label. 

 

I got most of these ideas from the ace community as that is how the definitions were working for asexuality a year or two ago in the groups I was communicating with (well, a maximum of 1 year 9 months ago anyway). I just dragged my understanding onto the aromantic words and I haven't seen direct conflict to these ideas. I had no idea that things were narrowing in this way, but I have heard of some highly annoying stories of word misuse. 

 

As for nullromantic, well, I do feel bad about thinking this but I have never seen someone fight for this orientation so.....or even a good argument for it's creation.....basically I think it is a superfluous synonym for aromantic with a slight elitist edge. It seems to be trying to take itself off the spectrum, like some asexuals argue that ace isn't on the spectrum. I just have a big problem with removing stuff from a spectrum understanding because that means it is people trying to buy back into a binary idea. An 'us and them' scenario. I am respectful to people who believe this way, but I believe they are wrong and expect them to respect my disagreement.

Orientation is very personal and very hard to sort out, especially with changing ideas and misinformation changing definitions, so I doubt there will be many compromises @running.tally 

 

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I wish I knew the people here that reject greyro so I could ping them to speak, mainly because I like the idea of greyro being used as the all-encompassing umbrella term for aros that feel romantic attraction. It's hard for me to represent the arguments I don't understand well and don't necessarily agree with. I'll see if I can poke the Discord peeps about this so they can chime in.

Thank you for engaging me with this topic! :)

 

To your issue with nullromantic, that could probably be a whole separate discussion. I think its purpose was to move away from aromantic as both the umbrella term for the community and the term for the end case (i.e., feeling no romantic attraction). I suspect many aro-spec folks who do feel romantic attraction still wanted to use aromantic to describe themselves but became frustrated that the assumption behind the term is not experiencing romantic attraction at all (i.e., that it's the end case).

As far as I understand nullro wasn't coined to remove people from the spectrum but rather to have a specific term for a particular point on the spectrum. Nevertheless, you have an excellent point about term coinage potentially leading to "us vs. them" misunderstandings and more rifts.

 

Perhaps it'd be better to re-educate people about how aromantic as a term can mean both end case AND overall community, so others don't make assumptions about the nuances of a person's identity. Same with greyro. Though it's likely people will still face misunderstandings.

 

I have many thoughts on this lol

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8 hours ago, running.tally said:

how aromantic as a term can mean both end case AND overall community

I think it is statements specifically like this that cause some of the issues. There does need to be separation between the orientation and the spectrum in the end case so that people who are uncomfortable with the aromantic orientation (and admittedly, even some aromantics even have years of struggle accepting it) don't feel that they are forced into it and have to make up more words that actually already exist. 

 

If we all talk about the spectrum or overall community by just adding -spec, like in aro-spec, greyro-spec, it would make it very clear to the reader when we are talking about what. 

People here are very good with being clear, if we mean the spectrum we say spectrum, or community, so 'aromantic' is never a word used alone or without a qualifier unless we talk about it as the end case orientation. 

 

It would be great to hear from some of the people who have conflicting ideas. Definitely go poke the Discord! We definitely need the other view to be represented, though I have heard that most of the conflict about terms has been coming from Tumblr, so I'm not sure how many people from there are here (not to mention that Tumblr seems to be semi-imploding because of it's non-inclusive changes). 

 

(and yeah, lets not start about Nullromantic, because mainly I think we would be theorising. We would need a Nullromantic to be giving their perspective too, and I have yet to meet one)

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I also think that grey is the good term for these orientations. But I suppose this difficulty with this term is that everybody has his own definition as it co vers a large umbrella. Anyway I think people who recognized themselves in the description are alloué to use it.

 

@Coyote I love your article. What you said about greysexuality has a lot of similarities with how I feel about my greyromanticism. "Funny" thing :  I didn't get what it ment to be grey, I thought it was more a subcategory of allo, until I realize I was grey myself. Only then I get that it clearly doesn't. It is in the aro spectrum. But as you said, the way it is usually described sounds like we are allo or aro depending on circumstances. But this is very different (at least for me).

 

 

 

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I'm still interested in this conversation if others are, ftr.

 

On 3/11/2019 at 2:07 AM, running.tally said:

Greyro would be a very easy term to co-opt as long as it was met with proper education (or re-education in most cases). I definitely agree that it becoming a term so narrowly defined is exactly the opposite of the coiner's intentions so this would be a chance to address those issues again. Your post about the issue is Excellent, by the way. It's helped me learn more about this.

 

Would it really be a co-opting? o-o I wasn't thinking of it as a "taking away" or "taking from" others -- just a broadening to also include more. So on that note, I wouldn't think of it as an education thing necessarily (which has expert-novice top-down connotations), just a bigger intracommunity conversation.

 

But also, thank you. :icecream::icecream::icecream: It's an older post of mine, but I figured it was fitting for the context.... Currently thinking about writing a new post on umbrella terms in general, as well, although I'm still thinking about where to go with that -- besides "wow this pattern seems to be happening in similar ways across multiple different examples." 

 

On 3/11/2019 at 2:07 AM, running.tally said:

However I've also heard very vehement nays to using greyro, by people who, like you, use the grey- modifier either as aces or aros or both. I can't speak for them but I know that they really really dislike it and argument about this has caused many tensions. It's one of those issues where although an easier method exists, coining a new term may be better for easing tensions and making as many people as is possible comfortable.

 

huh. That makes it sound like a different dynamic than what I was first thinking of, I admit. @running.tally Can you point me towards any public posts talking about this? I... 'm open to reconceptualizing how I think and talk about these things, but in order to do that effectively I'd need to know what the issues are first.

 

On 3/11/2019 at 3:23 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

It seems to be trying to take itself off the spectrum, like some asexuals argue that ace isn't on the spectrum.

 

@Apathetic Echidna They argue what? o.o This one is news to me too.

 

On 3/11/2019 at 12:13 PM, running.tally said:

I think its purpose was to move away from aromantic as both the umbrella term for the community and the term for the end case (i.e., feeling no romantic attraction). I suspect many aro-spec folks who do feel romantic attraction still wanted to use aromantic to describe themselves but became frustrated that the assumption behind the term is not experiencing romantic attraction at all (i.e., that it's the end case).

 

For the record, it seems like people are taking the "does not feel X attraction" definition of aromantic as a mirror to the AVEN front page definition of asexuality (which really popularized that type of definition for it), but it's worth noting that that's not always how it's actually worked for asexuals, either. Granted, it's fine for aros to either borrow from or completely diverge from aces as they please. Just noting, at the moment, I'm not sure how late or early that development is or how much people are using it in one way or another. I know there's more stuff I've seen before on the development of "aromanticism" specifically re: this but I'm having trouble re-finding it again atm. Right now what I'm finding instead comes from the Aromantic Thread Index, where in a thread started in 2005 (and asking about "asexual-asexuals" -- wince, I know, but they do get corrected), you've got some aromantics talking about their aromanticism in terms of "I don't care for relationships" and "never was my cup of tea," which isn't highlighting a "lack of attraction" in particular. So what I'm getting at, if anything, is that I do think there's some degree of ambiguity or variation in language for talking about "aromantic" from the beginning -- and I also don't think that justifies people assuming a particular narrative of any other kind, either. If that makes sense.

 

Re: Umbrella term vs. Specific Identity term --

 

What about umbrella itself as an option? Personally, I've been using aromantics to mean "I am aromantic"-people and aro/aromantic umbrella to mean "the general overall communal umbrella of identities, related to and including aromanticism," and that seems to be a fairly simple solution here. To me, what's far more up in the air is how much is actually included in the aro umbrella. I still feel like I'm getting extremely mixed messages on whether or not people consider me a part of it, myself.

 

On 3/14/2019 at 5:56 AM, nonmerci said:

@Coyote I love your article. What you said about greysexuality has a lot of similarities with how I feel about my greyromanticism. "Funny" thing :  I didn't get what it ment to be grey, I thought it was more a subcategory of allo, until I realize I was grey myself. Only then I get that it clearly doesn't. It is in the aro spectrum. But as you said, the way it is usually described sounds like we are allo or aro depending on circumstances. But this is very different (at least for me).

 

@nonmerci Thank you. :icecream::icecream::icecream:

 

And yeah, that seems to be the pattern -- while that certainly may be how some people relate to greyness (I know of a demisexual, for instance, who curiously considered herself both asexual and allosexual), it's not the narrative that describes all of us. We're not all necessarily a midpoint "between" extremes smack in the middle. It may not even be accurate to assume a person identifying as "greyromantic" even distinctly "experiences romantic attraction" at all     -- over here's another post where I've seen folks talk about facing that assumption and taking issue with that.

 

All this talk about using different words to mean different things... man. It makes me want to run some kind of survey on umbrellas and greyness, just to attempt to map out what direction things are trending.

 

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48 minutes ago, Coyote said:

All this talk about using different words to mean different things... man. It makes me want to run some kind of survey on umbrellas and greyness, just to attempt to map out what direction things are trending.

 

This would be interesting though long to make.

 

About usine an umbrella term or a specifical term, I personality say I'm aromantic when I don't want to detail, and on the aro spectrum when I want to specify (I think talking about spectrum is less confusing for people who are not familiar with the terms and could think "what is that again?"; plus explaining the orientation we have to explain the spectrum too).

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9 hours ago, Coyote said:

They argue what? o.o This one is news to me too.

I have never met anyone who uses this label but when I first heard of it it was in a discussion of the spectrum, bot asexual and aromantic, on AVEN.

Quite a few people were arguing that asexual is 'no attraction' so cannot sit on a spectrum defined by attraction (that is an old argument that is better explained elsewhere because they delve into technical semantics that I don't understand or agree with). Aromantic spectrum labels were brought into the conversations and then I heard nullromantic for the first time. It was being used as the romantic equivalent of not-on-the-spectrum-asexual. I don't know why they didn't use and argue about aromantic (maybe they thought it was too commonly understood to be on the spectrum?). Nullromantic seems fairly rare, at least in the places I read, so I haven't heard arguments to counteract this (while in the original discussion people were putting asexual back on the spectrum). 

That was at least 18 months ago and I fail at forum search functions (the last 5 things I have tried to search, I only found one) so I can't find the link. I just fail at search engines

 

on another note, I don't use Umbrella simply because I get a certain Rihanna song stuck in my head. I don't have an issue with others using it, I think it works quite well as a descriptor, but I just prefer to use spectrum, or -spec (no annoyingly catchy songs with that as a title!)

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@Apathetic Echidna huh. I knew asexual elitism's been a longstanding problem in some niche corners of the community, but I didn't know that "nullromantic" was coined as a part of that. hm... I tried searching "not a spectrum" and it looks like there was a small contingent who went around saying that on a lot of threads for a while, but I don't think I found the exact conversation you were thinking of. Examples: one, two, three, four.

 

13 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

on another note, I don't use Umbrella simply because I get a certain Rihanna song stuck in my head. I don't have an issue with others using it, I think it works quite well as a descriptor, but I just prefer to use spectrum, or -spec (no annoyingly catchy songs with that as a title!)

 

I'm less a fan of spectrum terminology because unfortunately, I think it lends itself to linear thinking, like Siggy discusses here.

(also I just think the word "spec" looks ugly)

 

So to each their own I guess. As long as people are using "aro umbrella" and "aro spectrum" in ways that parallel each other, I can more or less follow what's going on.

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11 hours ago, Coyote said:

didn't know that "nullromantic" was coined as a part of that.

It was just the first time I started seeing it, I have no idea in what context is was coined but at that stage I think elitists may have just grabbed on to it to create an easy romantic parallel to their idea of asexuality.

Those links from 2017 are definitely when I was active on AVEN but none are the one I was thinking of, it specifically mentioned Nullromantic and had quite a few disparaging things to say about this article (in a previous edit which started with the word 'Adsimromantic', I know this because I decided the article was useful and saved a copy). I can't even find a mention anywhere on AVEN of the word Nullromantic so maybe some posts were deleted or something? It was basically all those people who drove me off the AVEN forums so I am sure I am not the only person who complained about them. 

 

I can see how spectrum could be understood as linear but I don't think about it that way and I fully believe it is interchangeable with umbrella, so I am not going to start using umbrella-ella-ella-eh but I will be more proactive if I see people using spectrum and meaning a line from A to Allo. 

:) I'm Australian and we shorten everything, plus Speck is a very tasty pork product. Be happy that an Australian deep in the 'Strine didn't coin 'Aromantic Spectrum' or we might be calling it the Aro-Spezza. (I dread to think what sort of word a Bogan would have created, but for sure it would not have been safe to speak around children.) 

 

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Thank you for continuing this! These are all interesting ideas.

 

I should clarify @Coyote that I did in fact mean broadening the greyro term! I think I define co-opting in my head incorrectly. And the education point I also mean in the way you've described - talking with others and letting them know about terms that may have been misused or misinterpreted, + learning about their own thoughts. :) I think we're on the same page, but my wording was awkward.

 

As for posts, I'm not sure I can link any as I got my information by perusing the Discord chats about this issue. I can certainly look later but for now I can relay the arguments I heard on Discord.

 

These are about greyro as an umbrella term; no one had any issues with the self-identity version of it.

 

- "Greyro implies grey area in between aro and allo," not specifically pointing to people on the aro spectrum (like greyro as a separate box or on a linear spectrum like was said above). A new term would ideally have better connotations.

- Some aros have invalidated aros who feel romantic attraction by claiming that the greyro umbrella term "isn't a real thing" and "is just a term because of the 'grey area' on the flag," not because of any thought out discussion. A new term would distance victims of this bullying from a term that was used to negatively refer to "all those other aros" in an exclusionist way. Essentially, greyro was a term pushed onto aros who weren't the end-case 0-attraction type of aros and it was used to exclude them.

 

On aro umbrella terms more broadly, just because:

- Using aromantic to refer to all aros on the spectrum causes unnecessary misunderstanding, so the aro-spec label is preferable to get the nuanced and more inclusive meaning. (This seems to be in agreement with what was said earlier here!) Unfortunately, it also sometimes implies "everyone on the aro spectrum except end-case aros who feel 0 romantic attraction." That is how it has often been used in the community (i.e., "aromantic" for 0 attraction, "aro-spec" for other aros), despite the intention not being that.

- Using simply "aro" (not "aromantic" or "aro-spec" spelled out) has been suggested as an inclusive community marker, but the issue with that is explaining said term to non-aros. There will inevitably be the question of "but what does aro stand for?" and if we want to move away from "aromantic" but "aro-spec" also doesn't seem to cover what we want, what do we say?

 

I tried to quote and summarize as best as I could. I'm planning on relaying our thoughts between here and Discord so we don't run into a situation where some of us prescribe a term that aros who feel romantic attraction are supposed to use without those aros' input. Thanks for engaging with this, everyone!

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5 hours ago, running.tally said:

Some aros have invalidated aros who feel romantic attraction by claiming that the greyro umbrella term "isn't a real thing" and "is just a term because of the 'grey area' on the flag," not because of any thought out discussion.

Those people sound like dicks. The flag was created to represent meanings and those obviously misinformed aros should feel much shame for bullying and spreading misinformation. Depending on the platform, I think there is a high chance they were trolls. 

 

but ah,

5 hours ago, running.tally said:

A new term would distance victims of this bullying from a term that was used to negatively refer to "all those other aros" in an exclusionist way.

this reminds me a lot of that very aggressive poster we had here for a time (I think they got banned) who had obviously been treated very poorly in the past and had developed a bad connection to many words they would normally have identified as. Instead of trying to reclaim the words or accepting that the majority are happy using them, that person was trying to force others to change. 

 

I'm working on my definitions, trying to make them inclusive and clear, but they need some more polishing and checking. I should really open up my discord again but I find I'm not kept very interested in online chat situations any more

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8 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Those people sound like dicks. The flag was created to represent meanings and those obviously misinformed aros should feel much shame for bullying and spreading misinformation. Depending on the platform, I think there is a high chance they were trolls. 

I have seen something like that on facebook , an aroace groupe who said : we dont believe aro and ace are spectrum. (if that's what you're talking about)

 

I stay away from them.

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1 minute ago, Cristal Gris said:

aroace groupe who said : we dont believe aro and ace are spectrum.

Those sound like the elitists that chased me off AVEN but even they, who said asexual was not on the spectrum, did not wholly deny the existence of the 'grey zone' or grey-spectrum as a collective term for less-than-allo (either in quantity or quality) attractions. 

If this sort of hate is spreading within the community I guess the aro community will be getting the same sorts of problems the asexual community has had?

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15 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Those sound like the elitists that chased me off AVEN

They sounded very elitist, yeah (i even feel like they were trying to say that aroace are the "true a-spec" but i can't be sure, this is just a feeling. I approve the fact that an aroace space exist, but i don't approve this kind of message ).

15 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

If this sort of hate is spreading within the community I guess the aro community will be getting the same sorts of problems the asexual community has had?

I was not even aware of this. I guess the aro community is not immune...

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13 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Be happy that an Australian deep in the 'Strine didn't coin 'Aromantic Spectrum' or we might be calling it the Aro-Spezza.

 

I actually like the sound of arospezza. 'sgood. We could make pizza jokes. 🍕

 

Quote

I'm planning on relaying our thoughts between here and Discord so we don't run into a situation where some of us prescribe a term that aros who feel romantic attraction are supposed to use without those aros' input.

 

Oh for sure, for sure. I mean, I don't want to put you in a position of being forced to play middleman (middleperson?), but I'm with you on not just... appointing ourselves into a role of speaking for others, on something like this.

 

12 hours ago, running.tally said:

These are about greyro as an umbrella term; no one had any issues with the self-identity version of it.

 

- "Greyro implies grey area in between aro and allo," not specifically pointing to people on the aro spectrum (like greyro as a separate box or on a linear spectrum like was said above). A new term would ideally have better connotations.

- Some aros have invalidated aros who feel romantic attraction by claiming that the greyro umbrella term "isn't a real thing" and "is just a term because of the 'grey area' on the flag," not because of any thought out discussion. A new term would distance victims of this bullying from a term that was used to negatively refer to "all those other aros" in an exclusionist way. Essentially, greyro was a term pushed onto aros who weren't the end-case 0-attraction type of aros and it was used to exclude them.

 

Wow! Alright, none of this should be surprising -- it's just that now I've gone from "is this what I think it is?" to "no, actually, this might be different, I shouldn't necessarily approach it in the same way" to "wow okay actually this is sounding a lot like the conversations that have already happened that I've seen before." For example, some things where I could draw parallels here:

  • About The Flag: My understanding is that the aromantic flag design currently being used in the Arocalypse logo is one inspired by and parallel to the asexual flag design (correct me if I'm wrong on this). The asexual flag design was itself based on the AVEN triangle, which visually represented a color gradient "spectrum" of black to white; ergo, the gray stripe represents gray-asexuality. Consequently I'd say it's completely backwards to say that "greyro is only a thing because of the flag." On the contrary: the flag is only a thing because of the acknowledgement of a spectrum and gray areas. If somebody knows of when exactly the aromantic flag(s) was/were designed, you're welcome to fill me in on that, but I'm pretty sure it's not before greyromanticism itself started getting talked about, which was at least as early as 2010. Fun fact, I have also seen asexuals who object to the idea of an "asexual spectrum" also objecting to the design of the asexual flag for the exact same reason.
     
  • About Getting Pushed Out through Invalidation: Your summary there of the sequence of events reminded me of something I saw while compiling links for this other post, specifically where someone explained "i use alterous as an identity and a form of attraction because identifying as panplatonic e.g. is looked down upon a Lot in the community." In other words, because people were attacking platonic orientations, they'd started using alterous language instead. But here's the thing: I can practically guarantee you that those same people would move on to attacking alterous too just as soon as they learned about it. With issues like those, it's rarely the combination of letters itself that's at issue -- it's the fundamental idea behind it and the antagonists' rigid attitude of hostility toward anything outside their own familiarity zone. Changing the words around can be fine for easing personal associations, but it won't stop you from getting attacked. Greyromanticism and platonic orientations aren't unique in this regard. You see the exact same stuff happening with aromanticism, asexuality, bisexuality... the list goes on. Again, choosing a different label is fine, but in my book it'd be a mistake to think that will protect you.
     
  • About Getting Pushed Into Grayness: People have tried to do the same thing before with gray-asexuality as well, and it's an acknowledged problem. For examples, I'm pulling from Cor's greyness linkspam, where we've got Demigray responding with criticism of that as invalidation, but also James talking about the same thing with greyromanticism specifically, where they wrote:
     
    Quote

    Asserting that someone can’t be aromantic (and instead has to identify as some other type of aro-related label) because they “experience” any amount/type/frequency of “romantic attraction” is gatekeeping, counterproductive amatonormativity. [...]  Identities that blur the boundaries between being alloromantic and aromantic are extremely valuable, clearly useful to so many people, and philosophically important in weakening the notion that romance is a single unit of feeling and action, something you either have or don’t have and that is easily understood and defined. But defining them in part by whether one merely experiences an emotion, and positing no choice for whether people want to conceptualise themselves and said emotions in that way as opposed to in some way that would make simply “aromantic” more sensible or appealing, is not how to build a strong sense of what aromanticism and anti-amatonormativity even is.

      
  • About a Separate Box vs the Spectrum: Gray areas are on the spectrum. Gray areas are not (necessarily) a "separate box." Queenie for instance is demiromantic and has written a post on how it's not that linear. For a longer post on that topic see also this classic post, which is technically about gray-asexuality, but Siggy is both greyro & gray-a and experiences that as one integrated thing, so I think it's fair to say something similar applies. In that post, he wrote: "A gray-A is someone who finds asexuality to be a useful idea, in the sense that it approaches a self-description, even if it does not quite fit. This allows a space where you can have an identity, fit on the ace spectrum, and feel at home in your community, without being disqualified by an arbitrary definition." In a later post, he talked about liking the ambiguity of it and specifically valuing "having discussions about grayness which are embedded in the broader ace community." More directly on topic, see for instance Queenie's post Greyromanticism 301, where she talks a lot about "Greyromantic as a vague and fuzzy umbrella term but also a specific term for vague and fuzzy experiences" and more. And in this post, where she was asked about the boundary between demiromanic and alloromantic, she makes an analogy starting with "I live in Boston" -- and I think this one might be one of the most relevant of the bunch, so I'll quote it: 
     
    Quote

    Let me use a comparison: I live in Boston.  Actually, that was a lie; I live in a suburb of Boston.  If I say, I live in [suburb of Boston], nobody has any idea where that is (unless they have knowledge of Boston-area geography), but if I say, “I live in Boston,” people know the general area where I live.  The farther away I get from Boston, the less likely people are to know where [suburb of Boston] is; when I’ve been talking to folks from Japan, some of them don’t know where Boston is!  (Someone once asked me, “That’s near San Diego, right?”)  I had a good friend in Japan who went to school in Amherst, but told people that she went to school in Boston because they were more likely to know where that was, and it was still the right general area.  At what point are we far enough from Boston that saying, “I live in Boston” isn’t a good approximation?  If we’re moving southwest, at what point does “I live near Boston” become less accurate than “I live near New York City”?  Sure, there might be some generalized geographic trends, but some of how people identify the location of their domicile is also going to be based on personal preference (I know people who live in suburbs of Boston but tell people that they live “near NYC” because they prefer that city) or which city’s culture they identify with more strongly or whether they’re really tenacious and willing to give a geography lesson for the sake of explaining that they live in [suburb nobody’s ever heard of].

     

 

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