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sennkestra

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    Sennkestra

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  1. The new call for submissions for the May 2020 Carnival of Aros is now up (better late than never!) - the theme for this month is "DIY". Click here for the full call for submissions. In addition, the Carnival is also looking for new hosts for the upcoming months! Hosting the carnival is a great way to make connections if you are new to blogging, or to encourage other writers to talk about topics you don't see as much of as you would like.
  2. I wanted to offer a bit of a moderation suggestion - now that we have more active moderators who have also posted a lot as regular users, it would be nice to have some way to distinguish "official" mod posts vs. posts where mods just happen to be sharing their personal opinions like regular users. While it wasn't as much of a problem before when the main mods weren't very active, I think the distinction will become more useful now, especially if the moderation team continues to grow. As an example, AVEN used to do this by having any "official" posts in bold colored text to match their user role. So text formatted like this is an official mod statement or warning. Text formatted like this is a personal post or opinion, not an official mod statement. etc. Even something like having "This is an official mod message: please ...." prefix might be enough - I think it can just help to have a standard that users know in advance so they can react appropriately.
  3. Just saw this in my feed and thought I'd pass it on - there's going to be a livestream on May 2nd featuring a number of ace and/or aro podcasters, video bloggers, activists, etc. that's soliciting donations to support the UN COVID-19 relief fund. Here's AUREA's tumblr post about the event, as well as the Sounds Fake But Okay page with links to the livestream and donation pages.
  4. Oh, yeah, using A for ally totally predates any use of asexual, and (at the time at least) was by far more prevalent - "A for Asexual" was a new concept that largely popped up because there was that other A already in the "LGBTQIA" acronym to play off of. (Here's one example of how that happened). But a lot of people in these tumblr conversations who didn't have much experience in non-ace LGBT organizations and politics weren't always very aware of that history and based most of their arguments off of assumptions/guesses/other misleading tumblr posts they never realized they needed to fact check. Interestingly, this is one argument topic that seems to have faded away a bit in recent years (perhaps as there got to be too many groups being recognized to just keep adding letters, as "queer" terminology became more mainstream, or as the LGBT community in general gained more of their own power and became more critical about centering "allies"). But I bet it does make the whole a- association thing a little confusing for people now.
  5. From what I hazily remember (haven't gotten around to checking archives yet), the grouping of asexual, aromantic, and also agender came about because of "Does/Should the A in LGBTQIA stand for Ally, or for Asexual [or Aromantic, or Agender]" debates in the early 2010s, especially on tumblr, so it's partially an association of identities centered around "absence of" type identities....but mostly about how they all happen to start with the letter "a" (hence, "a-spec" as a popular joint term for all 3 later, since it also focuses on that shared-first-letter connection). It started as a trend of users on tumblr complaining about the use of A for ally instead of A for Asexual, followed by other users chiming in that "hey, aromantic folks are another A that gets left out", followed by more people eventually also adding "oh hey, agender people too". That was somewhat scattered, until... ...It all came to a head when that trio was particularly popularized/cemented by the ~2015-2016 #giveitback hashtag campaigns that centered around twitter and tumblr users calling out orgs like GLAAD and also later American Apparel that featured campaigns with A for Ally rather than asexual (or aromantic or agender). The hashtag campaign was spearheaded by fuckyeahasexual, a very popular/influential blog on tumblr/twitter, who coined the hashtag and specifically mentioned all 3 a identities (asexual, aromantic, and agender) in their original post (something I think they had already been doing in earlier ace-community-internal discussions about the whole acronym thing). It got a lot of play both inside the ace community on tumblr and (perhaps more notably) outside of it as well, even getting mentions from wider LGBT online news and forums, so it was a lot of people's first exposure to that particular pairing (triad-ing?) of identities. That campaign eventually led to this statement from GLAAD that I think also involved some feedback from AVEN, and also mentions the full a trio. (I have my own feelings about that whole campaign, but that's another issue for another thread). This occurred slightly before or around the same time as popularization of "aspec" terminology, although the two weren't initially directly linked; I don't remember exactly when this a-identity-trio concept got merged with the term "aspec" specifically but I think it was sometime shortly after this - if anyone is bored it could probably be found by digging through tumblr aspec tag pages (these links might help find the right times to start at). My guess is that some of the prominent early adopters of "aspec" were also involved in these other campaigns and merged the concepts (whether unconsciously, or as part of a conscious effort to not "leave out" agender people as part of their sense of the joint "a-" community), and then other users just repeated it on from there until it was seen as a semi-widely accepted truth. I think it also ties back into the annoying ambiguity of "a-spec" for unfamiliar audiences - just as some users assume that it's just short for asexual when first hearing it, others assume that it must be for all a-identities, especially because of it's emphasis on that shared a- prefix). - Either way, at this point, there's enough users that treat it that way that that cat's out of the bag and I don't feel comfortable using it for efforts that don't include agender people or content...and since most of my work doesn't, I just don't use it all (on top of other complaints about it's ambiguity or the way it is used to conflate things that maybe shouldn't always be conflated).
  6. FWIW, aces are not strangers to having serious conversations about how to avoid homophobia and sex-shaming, because these are issues that have been endemic in our communities for years (as they are for many communities) and that many of us are constantly having to remember to push back on. For any specific instances of homophobia, I would just call it out as problematic the way you would content from any other aro group, whether it's ace aros, straight aros, cis aros, etc. The only thing to avoid, I guess, is implying that if an aro ace accidentally (or even delibertely) says something homophobic or sex-shaming, it's because they are ace, rather than because they just need to do some more work to unlearn problematic assumptions just as all of us do to some extent. On a more general level, it means acknowledging that aro communities have homophobia and sex-shaming problems of our own as well that we need to work on, and that they weren't just brought here by aro aces - they are something that's endemic to the overall culture that we're all embedded in and that all of us have inherited. (In general, I think the aro community definitely has a lot of areas where we could use a lot of work on that - and it's not just the ace folks or the straight folks here who are saying potentially problematic things).
  7. My suggestion is this: when you get frustrated by the fact that you can only find mentions of aromanticism in research articles that are also about asexuality, instead of thinking, ugh, they're all tying asexuality and aromanticism together again (many research articles these days actually make a point to acknowledge them as seperate!), or making comments like "it is hard for aro to emerge as its own community when everything is tying it to asexuality" which implicitly blame aro aces specifically or aces more generally for aromantic obscurity, ask yourself this instead: "Why is it that, outside of aromantic authors themselves, the only researchers and writers who give a damn about aromanticism enough to acknowledge it are asexuals and the people interested in studying them? Why aren't researchers and writers on allosexual subjects also stepping up?" Because frankly, when it comes to your comment about not finding allo aro specific research papers, asexual research shouldn't be held responsible for generating content on allo aros - allo aros aren't asexual, and that's the whole point! The ability of the tiny niche of ace researchers and activists to influence more mainstream allosexual establishments is limited at best, and we can't blame them for this.
  8. Ace chiming in just to say that FWIW, allosexual was originally created by ace people as a way to talk about the differences in experience between asexual people and other orientations like gay, straight, bi, poly, etc.....but just saying "asexuals may.....while allosexuals may not...." is much faster than listing everything out, and doesn't have the same problematic connotations as calling some people "sexuals" (previously a common but contentious term), which is a very loaded word in many ways. It's coining has the same general motivations as the term "cisgender", in that these words are ways to talk about asexual/trans experiences without assuming that being allosexual/cisgender is a normal, unmarked default that need not be acknowledged, and that only weird asexual or trans people needed to put in the work to explain or label themselves. It was popularized exactly because it did not single out aces the way that only having asexuals label themselves did. That's not to say I don't have my own gripes (it's kinda jargony and not as useful for 101s so it's not going to be the best term for all purposes, and sometimes it's used in some contexts it would be more helpful to break out various types of queer and straight experiences, etc.) but the existence of the word is not the cause of those problems. So from that perspective, we're glad to see that allo people are also starting to use it, and not just ace people!
  9. Yes, some can, and some do! (Others can't or don't - so there's not necessarily a single answer to your question). If you're curious about how common it is, the Ace Community Survey found that ~70% of asexuals engage in some kind of occasional masturbation, while ~18% have never masturbated, and another ~10% have tried it in the past, but currently do not engage in masturbation. You can see more specific breakdowns (and how they compare to non-asexual respondants) on page 33 of this report.
  10. Actually, people use "allo" as an abbreviation for both terms on both sites (it gets very confusing). So as @Jot-Aro Kujo mentioned, you kind of have to go off context. The usual trick is to see what term (romantic, sexual) it's paired with - and then assume it's referring to the opposite, as these tend to come in pairs (like alloromantic asexual, allosexual aromantic, asexual aromantic, biromantic asexual, aromantic pansexual, etc. - each pair has one sexual and one romantic identity term) So for example, if someone says "allo aro", the aro is short for aromantic and thus has answered the romantic part of the identity - so "allo" in this case must be answering the sexual part - and thus be short for "allosexual". If there is no additional context like that, I look to see if they spelled it out earlier in the post. And if they hanven't...sometimes I just have to ask. - When it comes to identity symbols, if you want other people to be able to recognize it, I definitely recommend going with the flag colors as the ring thing is less common and less recognizeable. But if you are just doing it for fun or self confidence, then do whatever suits your style!
  11. I'm willing to help commit to funding it (in full) personally for at least another year, if absolutely needed, and helping co-manage ongoing fundraising for the next year with whoever ends up taking over. Obviously I'd prefer to still seek community contributions, both because it would be financially less of a strain on me and would help set up a more sustainable funding process for the future, but considering the short-term notice I'm definitely able to front any immediate costs so that we can take out time figuring out more long term plans. Unfortunately, between my current work and other projects, I don't have the time to check in much or help with the technical or day-to-day management side of things, so we'd still need to find someone (or ideally, multiple someones) who would be willing to take over that aspect of things.
  12. I know this is derailing the thread a bit, but since the topic of wikipedia came up, here's some thoughts from following the many-years-long struggle to make even basic updates to the ace wikipedia page: First, you can see more about why pages have been changed (including edits added and edits rejected) by looking at the "View History" and "Talk" pages at the top. At the moment, it looks like the reason aromanticism does not have it's own page is because of an overall lack of content, especially a lack of wikipedia-acceptable "reliable sources" that can be cited or that information can be drawn from - this was also one of the biggest hurdles the asexuality page faced when people tried to start cleaning it up. (Instead, it is made part of an overall romantic orientation page, where you can find current talk notes). Generally speaking, wikipedia editors will often reject edits that aren't linked to citations of some kind of newspaper, semi-traditional news media (huffington post etc.) or academic article (and will often not allow pages from orgs like AVEN or AUREA, which makes things extra difficult). So before you even start editing the page, it helps to gather any news or academic article that mention the information you want to include (like flags, terms, definitions, historical events, etc.). And if there aren't any articles available....it helps to have a list of things that are needed, and then you can recruit help to try and get people to mention them in any interviews for articles for things like ASAW, pride month in June, etc. (Contacting local or student papers around these events can also help.) This is the part that requires some patience, because sometimes it can take a couple years of education and media outeach before you have enough citable source material for everything you want to include. If anyone is particularly interested in getting up to date, it might be worth starting a new thread and reaching out to other parts of the aro community to see if there's anyone else interested in setting up a wiki team to tackle the project of figuring out what information we want to include, finding sources for it, angling to generate sources if needed, and then actually learning a bit about wiki editing guidelines and actually starting to suggest edits.
  13. Hello and welcome! 💚🖤
  14. Also, regarding making handouts and other materials that might be more relevant to non-asexual communities - while I think I understand the main point (that it would be good to showcase a wider variety of non-ace aromantic people, experiences, and relationship), I would be very, very careful about how that is phrased - for example, I would avoid the use of the word "lust" at any cost. "Lust" as a term still carries strong connotations of Christian sin, and since LGBT communities are often targeted and harassed for being "sinners", that kind of language is just likely to stab at some major hurts for a lot of people and will likely not go over well. I would also be careful about the implication that LGBTQ people can't relate to discussions of friendship or platonic relationships - setting aside the fact that many LGBTQ spaces these days have active ace members who you might also want to target as potential allies, LGBTQ people in genera have long faced accusations that they are incapable of being true friends because of the myth that all queer people are just predators who are incapable of being "just friends" and will secretly just want to target you for sex. While I don't think that was the implication intended, it evokes similar themes enough that we should be careful about how we discuss that. (For example, suggesting instead that we add more examples of the experiences of aromantic folks and their sexual desires and relationships - especially stories from LGBTQ-identified aros - is perfectly fine. Let's just be careful about not implying that the reason for that is that we think LGBTQ folks are incapable of understanding anything else, because that's really underestimating LGBTQ communities and their own histories of exploring various types of non-romantic and non-sexual relationships) - Also, on the topic of whether aro ace speakers are going to be "relatable" to various audiences....I wouldn't worry as much about that, because frankly, no one is going to be 100% relatable to everyone, so any aro activist is going to face that problem on some level: whether they are straight, bi, lesbian, gay, male, female, nonbinary, cis or trans, young or old, white or a person of color, disabled or abled, everyone is going to experience some kind of intersection that will make their experiences different from their audiences. But frankly, the whole point of most LGBTQ communities is to be able to build coalitions across identities, and to find shared solidarity even with people whose identities and intersections you don't personally understand or relate to. Intersectionality is all the more reason to uplift the voices of people who face intersecting experiences of oppressions, whether it's aro aces, lgbtq+ aros, aros of color, disabled aros, or other experiences that audiences may not have encountered before. So basically, while it is definitely still important to try and present a wide array of aro experiences, it doesn't matter as much who is doing the presenting. Also, at this point aro is activism is so new that it's not even a matter of choosing between sending in asexual aro activist vs. allosexual activists (or even folks who fall elsewhere on the spectrum) - it's a matter of choosing between the few volunteers who are already available and willing to do the job, or sending no one at all - and in most cases, having at least someone willing to put in the work and link back to the voices of others is far better than doing nothing at all.
  15. I just wanted to generally agree with both of these responses - right now, the best way to increase acceptance of aromanticism in LGBTQ+ communities (or in any communities, for that matter) is for aro individuals to start by getting actively involved in those communities - not just in advocating for aromanticism or seeking support as an aro person, but also in generally supporting those communities' missions as a whole, whether that's by attending meetings to learn about other identities under the umbrella, organizing a social event like a potluck or movie night, donating time or money to causes they support, etc. In general, groups are likely to be much more open to taking in new knowledge from people they already know and trust - and the best way to gain that trust is to show that you are invested in supporting the wider LGBTQ+ community just as much as you hope that they will in turn invest in supporting other aros like you. It also gives you time to learn what approach might work best for that group, especially since LGBTQ+ groups can vary so much in their attitudes and approaches to learning about new things - often to a much greater extent than when working with aro or ace communities, which are unusual in their level of centralization (which comes in part from being smaller, and in part from arising in a post-internet age). While new aro organizations like AUREA can help by creating vetted materials like FAQs, Brochures, and Presentations for other aro activists to use, actual activism works best when there is also direct support from local volunteers who are already embedded in potential ally communities who can serve as a bridge to make that connection. Once you've built that trust, the next step is to finding something that you can use as a sort of "launching off point" to turn the conversation to aromanticism - ASAW is a great event for that, but if you don't want to wait all the way until 2021, you could also look for any new interesting news articles that come out, or maybe a thoughtful piece of writing from an aro blog, an interview from an org like AUREA, or a new video about aromanticism - basically, you want a hook that can tell people why they should be interested now, so timely things like annual events or newly published media can work well there. From there, you could try sharing the link to start a new discussion thread (for online activism), or by reaching out to organizers to see iif you can schedule an event (for ASAW next year, for example), or seeing if it would be ok to drop a link to an aro piece into their next newsletter, or for you to bring it up in announcements in an upcoming meeting, etc.
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