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aspecofstardust

What would you want from an in-person aro community?

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I'm in the process of getting an aros and aces student org started on my campus this year. If you were to attend an event or participate in an in-person community dedicated to aros and aces, what sorts of activities would you want to see? What would keep you coming back? Any other advice?

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For me, it wouldn't have to be a group where they're always doing awareness events or constantly supporting causes and charities. Granted, supporting and contributing to the community is always something to strive for but just having a place to go with the overall idea of being asexual and/or aromantic present is OK. I'm not too social when it comes to events where the individual person has to take it upon themselves to initiate conversation but knowing that there's a place to go, regardless if I'm going to do work or just exist, it would be nice to have the space in a way. 

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I would back @TheLostDragon on the social aspect of such a space. It's needed. To add my own thoughts, I've been to a queer space on my campus and they had speaking activities. I think it would be a good idea to have speaking activities there, too. For example, people could talk about romantic and/or sexual experiences -- including what members think of the sex and romance lives of their peers. I don't know, I may be getting too generic. Speaking activities to get to know the other members could work, though. 

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Drawing inspiration from the pride group at my school, having low-key events/activities that may have nothing to with orientation, such as DnD, art, music, snack potluck, etc, could be a good way to draw in a range of people. Such as those who are unsure about their orientation, may be aro but don't want to admit it yet, or are romantic but want to be an ally/learn more about aromanticism. Are you thinking of making the group exclusive to aces and aros, or open to all? The pride group at my school is very inclusive (we have plenty of straight and cis members and pretty much only exclude phobic jerks) and it works well for us. Lets people join without outing themselves, and all.

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Something important to me would be avoiding conflating aro with ace.
Also something which wasn't just for students.

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I agree with all the posts said before. I'd greatly appreciate just a space where people can talk, make friends, and share their experiences with their identities. Like @Naegleria fowleri said, the social aspect of it like games, activities, and food would add to the feeling of welcome and belonging. I think what everyone is trying to say is that the specifics of what the group does isn't as important. Just the fact that a group like that exists would make so many people feel more at home and appreciated in their community, and I think that this is a great idea.

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@The Angel of Eternity I'm not sure I understand what you mean by speaking activities -- do you mean just like a discussion group where you talk about certain topics?

 

@Naegleria fowleri yeah that sounds like so much fun just to be able to hang out with people in an inclusive environment. I'm going to make the group centered around aromanticism and asexuality (and be careful to not conflate the two for sure @Mark) but I don't want anyone to have to come out if they aren't comfortable and I want to encourage attendance so we won't be picky with who participates as long as everything is respectful. 

 

Thanks everyone for your ideas, keep them coming!

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10 hours ago, aspecofstardust said:

 

@Naegleria fowleri yeah that sounds like so much fun just to be able to hang out with people in an inclusive environment.

There's a meme which goes: “Diversity is having a seat at the table. Inclusion is having a voice. And belonging is having that voice be heard.”

 

10 hours ago, aspecofstardust said:

I'm going to make the group centered around aromanticism and asexuality (and be careful to not conflate the two for sure @Mark)

How will that help allo aros with inclusion or belonging?
 

10 hours ago, aspecofstardust said:

but I don't want anyone to have to come out if they aren't comfortable

This tumblr covers some of the reasons why aro allos might be uncomfortable in aspec spaces.

 

10 hours ago, aspecofstardust said:

I want to encourage attendance so we won't be picky with who participates

That would only address diversity, rather than inclusion and belonging

 

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14 hours ago, aspecofstardust said:

do you mean just like a discussion group where you talk about certain topics?

Basically, yes.

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We have an aros and aces group on my campus as a branch of our larger Pride Alliance so we mix a bit of programming with them (things like brunches, picnics, game nights). The Aros and Aces group also has a bi weekly meet up where we just chat.

If it's at all possible to get affiliated with a larger lgbt+ group I would recommend it, as that will not only help with gaining recognition for your group but will also gain you access to some bigger events that you couldn't do on your own. 

I would also recommend providing some formal resources because discussion groups tend to be very chill and it's easy to get off topic, so if you could provide something like an emailing list or a facebook group where you can link them to websites, make book/reading recommendations, provide socializing that isn't in-person, etc, that would be very helpful to your members. I would recommend email over facebook as its considerably more anonymous. 

And the more welcoming you can make it for allo aros the better. I don't have the best tips for this as it's something my campus group is currently working on and struggling with, as almost all of us are ace or aroace. 😥

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On 8/26/2019 at 10:03 PM, aro-fae said:

I would also recommend providing some formal resources because discussion groups tend to be very chill and it's easy to get off topic, so if you could provide something like an emailing list or a facebook group where you can link them to websites, make book/reading recommendations, provide socializing that isn't in-person, etc, that would be very helpful to your members. I would recommend email over facebook as its considerably more anonymous. 

And the more welcoming you can make it for allo aros the better. I don't have the best tips for this as it's something my campus group is currently working on and struggling with, as almost all of us are ace or aroace. 😥

One possibility would be to give aro allo members priority in terms of facilitating/leading discussions. 

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