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    aro and queer
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    cis female
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  1. That sounds like a really spooky world and a cool as main character. I bet those airships are talked about lovingly and I'd read it just for that alone! I wanted to talk a bit more about this: I feel the same way. When I first meet someone I know whether I'm attracted to them or not right off the bat, then as I get to know them my attraction will either grow or fade depending on whether I like them as a person. It's like their personality either enhances the attraction or kills it lol. This probably isn't a uniquely alloaro feeling, I would assume alloromantic people are more likely to overlook flaws/incompatibilities bc of amatonormativity whereas we don't believe in those same stakes. In terms of how I experience attraction to different genders I find that for women and nonbinary people it's more of a flat feeling of yes or no when I see them whereas for men I will have that feeling and find myself thinking like 'he's hot' or 'i like the shape of him'. What I think this means is that I'm much more comfortable/experienced when I comes to conceptualising my attraction to men, which isn't surprising with this heteronormative world. Its only later once I get to know women and nonbinary people that I find my attraction takes form in words and sentences. That isn't too say I couldn't string a sentence together for women and nb people in the beginning, I'd just have to think about it unlike for men where its comes easily. I also find that being aro and queer means a lot of lies of omission. I cannot say I'm attracted to a man without (straight) people assuming I want to date him and I then need to explain why I don't want to date him and potentially also why I don't date in general. So I don't say I'm attracted to the man/any men. And in my experience as a woman not talking about men makes people assume you're a lesbian and people like to drop comments, usually teasing ones sure, but they also put me on the spot. Every time that's happened I find myself thinking not "should I come out?" but "/how/ should I come out?" And I freeze. I'm not telling straight people I'm aro, I'm not interested in becoming a teacher or a lesson or a debate. I could tell them I'm bi, but I don't ID as bi so that feels wrong to say. I could rightfully tell them I'm queer but unfortunately, straight people tend to hear queer and think gay. So I don't come out and I don't talk about being attracted to people and its an imperfect solution. I do wish I could talk more freely about my attraction to people but I'd have to jump through so many hoops first and have the same conversations so many times, I'm just not sure it's worth it for whatever boring response straight people would come up with. There's another conversation here about the majority of my friends being lesbians and/or asexuals and how I feel like I'm imposing on them when I talk about being sexually attracted to men, but that disinterest is much easier to swallow than anything straight people would throw at me. I am thinking about it now actually and its all cool and good for them to talk about men being in love with men from media. Is the difference there that the men are abstract as in fictional, only interested in other men, and/or distanced and I'm their queer "just like them" friend suddenly talking about sex with men? Hmmm. Also for me I found when I was younger if I was attracted to a person and realised I didn't want to date them then I assumed I wasn't actually attracted to them at all. Because romance and sex are the same you know! *sigh* It's so easy to doubt your attraction.
  2. I don't ID as bisexual simply bc the beautiful word queeeer exists but I fit all the descriptors for it and so much of what bi people say resonates with me. Case in point @Jot-Aro Kujo I second literally everything you said, even the bit about Mai Valentine. My brother is rewatching the YuGiOh series atm and I watched an episode or two for the sake of nostalgia and Mai came on and omg dream girl. Did you want to hear my thoughts @Lokiana? I have a few. What's the book about too?
  3. Actions don't make an identity. If the label aromantic resonates with you then it's yours. When its comes to likes and dislikes within the aromantic community, the things people dislike are always going to be talked about more than what people like. People like to vent and complain haha. I can't say for sure whether most aromantics dislike romantic-coded actions - though I have also felt like that at times - but I can say I like a lot of those romantic-coded actions, the physical ones in particular. For me, since I know I'm not practising romance then the action I'm doing isn't, can't be, romantic. And yes that has caused a lot of confusion for allos over the years lol bc there they are reading romance-coded actions as romantic smh. I've accepted that I like and want things that don't make sense to others. Why do they have to make sense anyway? They're feelings ffs. I felt a lot of those quotes you added to your intro, like oof that's me haha. I'm not looking for a partner, nor do I feel romantic feelings in any regard. I am in a sexual relationship with my best friend though and in my experience I would say sometimes you won't know what things you want to change until they're being offered to you. I really enjoy cuddling for example, it's fucking great! And then my best friend said she wants to cuddle outside of bed, like when we're hanging out watching TV, and I knew I didn't want to do that. I couldn't have guessed what my preferences were going in, I didn't have the experience. Actually though I will say my aromanticism makes me adverse to being physically affectionate with my best friend in public. I know people will assume we're in a romantic relationship and I don't want people to assume I'm interested in romance. Clearly I picked the wrong universe for that lol. If I'm being fair a lot of what we do does emulate a romantic relationship. If I'm being honest I don't care what it looks like. I'm not going to limit the bounds of my friendship because people who aren't involved say I crossed one of the lines they have for their relationships. My advice: just tell the people you want to be in relationships with that you're aromantic, that no two relationships look the same, and you're idk excited to figure it out with them.
  4. I'd say all your answers have merit! It was most likely a poorly thought out drunk thought, I KNEW there were some questionable layers to the statement, and yeah, my friends do tend to think I dislike romance more than I actually do. (I should see if there's a thread about that/start one bc I certainly have some things to say there!) I'm not upset, thought I do feel like I should be lol. Tbh with this specific friend at some point I categorised them as "young" in my mind due to a lot of the choices I've seen them make and now I just brush off certain things they do as a byproduct of them being young. For the record they are 19 - not that young - and I am 23 - not that much older lol - but it is what it is. I won't be talking about it with them bc we were drunk and it was a while ago. Plus with all the social distancing rn the last thing I want to spend our limited time on is this. Thanks for the responses, I appreciate your thoughts ❤️
  5. I'd forgotten this happened bc I was Drunk, but a few weeks ago while out clubbing a remix of 'you give love a bad name' came on and my friend said: "it's ironic bc you're aromantic". Correct me if I'm wrong bc I truly struggle to know when the term irony applies, but that probably wasn’t the kindest thing they could have said was it?
  6. I want to write something for this month because I enjoy the blogging carnival and writing and your prompt, but I am strugglinggg. All I'm really coming up with is that I don’t think about gender all that much and I never thought about romance either. Maybe this means something, maybe it doesn’t. I could write about expectations and overlap? Women are generally expected to want a relationship and desire romance. I could probably reference arogender and maybe even he/him lesbians. I don’t feel a dissonance between my orientation and gender, but I suppose that still gives me something to explore.
  7. That's really cool of you! It's always great to connect with people, especially over identity. This was also my first time celebrating! I really enjoyed myself. I p much spent all my spare time and energy working on ASAW shit for AUREA, which was intensive let me tell you. We have a great series of interviews with aros if anyone is interested though! Here's a shameless plug: https://www.aromanticism.org/en/asaw lol. I had planned to contribute some stuff of my own, but there was no way that was going to happen. I realised a few days in that I should have prepped in advance and was rather disappointed I wouldn't be able to do any of the prompts or challenges. And then ASAW finished and I looked over all the stuff AUREA, and I, and the community had done and I felt satisfied! We did some good fucking work! I have since started working on a fiction piece for AroWriMo though and Carnival of Aros is still ongoing. I hardly missed out despite things not going to plan. I don't know, so many unexpected things happened during and with ASAW and I love that! I had a good time.
  8. I can’t help you with the first half but I can think of a few ways to help you sort out you want vs. what society wants you to want. These methods, one or another, tend to work for me. I'd start by imagining your life without these things, especially if they're things society tells you to get. Say a romantic relationship, imagine you never have one. Imagine your whole life without one. What are you feeling and what are you thinking? Catalogue if you're feeling positive, negative, neutral, a mixed bag. I think a lot of this conundrum comes down to reflection also. When you're thinking about skipping out on certain things are you worried primarily about how others will perceive you? Say you're debating marriage, you're got a long term partner but aren't sure whether marriage is for you. Are you concerned about what others will think more than what you think? Does it make sense to marry because you want to spend your lives together or does it make sense to marry because that’s just how life goes? Really look for the reasoning in why you want things. I've also found saying point blank statements helps. Either in your head or out loud say: "I want to ____" and more often than not I find myself feeling a kneejerk yes or no in response. "I want a date on Valentine's Day!" Yes or no? I agree with everything Ch0c0 said and also want to highlight this: Compare and contrast. People around you can be prime examples. How would you change the way they do the things you're maybe interested in? Or if you're capable, put yourself in a situation were you could get the thing you may want and see if you actually want it. Does the idea of getting it excite you? Irony is you opening your question with "maybe I'm overthinking this" and me suggesting you could think some more! Maybe all this thinking will help you, maybe it won’t. But you are right, society absolutely teaches us to want certain things and figuring out what is true to you is a difficult task. I wish you luck ✌✌
  9. The community is kind of all over the place, isn’t it? I reckon your best bet is to post it to a blog and then share the link around multiple places. Here is a solid place people can check indefinitely, the Carnival of Aros theme this month is love, Anti-Cupid Studios do the exact thing you're after but they’re still trying to get off the ground, Aro Worlds is the same again but much more established, and there's always the Original Work tag of ao3. They all cater to different audiences so I'd say get on all of them. Do link wherever you post in this thread as well tho, I'd love to read what your wrote.
  10. I learnt of aromanticism in 2014, the year after highschool. My friend had gotten me onto Tumblr and through fandom I was introduced to all the identities beyond the LGB. When did I realise it was for me though? Not until 2016. And I didn’t get involved in the community until 2018. This is a cool question, I'd never thought about all the little details of my discovery. I'm interested to hear about others' paths.
  11. 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
  12. 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 😎
  13. 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.
  14. 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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