Jump to content
sennkestra

Aro History Timelines?

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know if there are any existing projects that have created / are aiming to create any kind of aro history timelines? 

 

I'm interested in maybe, eventually creating some kind of timeline / reference page with some tidbits of aro history but I don't want to reinvent the wheel if I don't have to, so I'm wondering if anyone knows of anything pre-existing, or if there's anyone already working on something like this that would be interested in some help.

 

Specifically, the kinds of things I'm thinking to include are:

  • Timelines of various attempts at aro forums, including when they were founded and when they collapsed (including things like the [ace] aromantic forum-motion forum, aroplane, the first arocalypse, the second (current) arocalypse, the AVEN a/romantic orientation subforum and it's false starts, etc.) especially with notes on which were aro ace specific and which were general aro.
  • The beginnings (and ends) of various aro activist efforts and resource pages (like ASAW, the now defunct Coalition for Aromantic Visibility,  the aromantic wiki, etc.)
  • Outlines of the three main aro flag proposals and when they mostly saw use
  • The evolution of various aro community and related vocabulary, like "aromantic", "grayromantic", "gray-aromantic", "qoiromantic", "squish", "queerplatonic", etc.
  • When and where aro characters have appeared in mainstream media (jughead, that one dude from the cassandra clare books)
  • [possibly] early media coverage of aromanticism, if it seems notable, and misc. things like aromantic getting added to the OED

 

I have access to most of the sources needed for a lot of this info already, the tricky part is just getting it all organized and figuring out how to work it into something for people to actually use and understand. Also, if it sounds like I've forgotten some category of events or spaces that you think would be interesting to include, please let me know!

 

Other things that I'm not as familiar with, however, that I'd be especially interested in learning about if anyone would be willing to share their notes:

  • Any influential aromantic pages or groups on facebook, reddit, twitter, or other non-tumblr or wordpress social media (I know absolutely nothing about what is or isn't going on on facebook in particular)
  • Any non-english language activity
  • Explicit canon representation of aro characters besides bojack and rafael (I suspect there have been some webcomic and YA novel characters by now, but I don't follow either of those very closely. Also, does anyone know if Bojack has any aromantic characters? I know they named drop the word but not sure if they ever link it to any specific characters, and I don't really want to actually watch the whole show)

 

Also, if anyone has questions about aromantic history, or is intrigued by any of the mentions above and would like a link or to learn more, feel free to post a comment here and I'll try to see if I can answer them (though I might be slow) - any thing that gets me motivated to work on this more is good.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I know about the first forums is that there’s a link in what I think is arocalypse’s main website although accessing posts is hard. I’m very interested in the history too and I wanna know when the term aromantic even became a thing. I also know that queerplatonic came from dreamwidth so that might be a place worth looking into.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, HotRamen said:

I’m very interested in the history too and I wanna know when the term aromantic even became a thing.

 

I know Sennkestra already has some stuff on this so you might consider this to be spoilers, but the last time I asked folks for input on the origins of romantic orientation, they commented with these observations -- including an early use of "aromantic" on the Haven for the Human Amoeba group. Yahoo won't let me actually open the link though.

 

On AVEN, which was technically founded later, the first use I could find of "aromantic" was in 2006, here ... and if search results are anything to go by, it looks like it started picking up more (or at least, appearing in forum posts more frequently) in 2008.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think including the coming out of aro celebrates like Moses Sumney might also be good

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have yet to listen to Moses sumney but cavetown is also aromantic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

I think including the coming out of aro celebrates like Moses Sumney might also be good

 

Oh, yes, thank you for the reminder! I got so distracted looking up fictional aros that I completely forgot to think about non-fictional aros....

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/8/2019 at 10:02 AM, sennkestra said:
  • When and where aro characters have appeared in mainstream media (jughead, that one dude from the cassandra clare books)
  • [possibly] early media coverage of aromanticism, if it seems notable, and misc. things like aromantic getting added to the OED

I think it would be important to distinguish between aro and aro ace with these.
 

On 3/8/2019 at 10:53 PM, Coyote said:

 

I know Sennkestra already has some stuff on this so you might consider this to be spoilers, but the last time I asked folks for input on the origins of romantic orientation, they commented with these observations -- including an early use of "aromantic" on the Haven for the Human Amoeba group. Yahoo won't let me actually open the link though.

 

On AVEN, which was technically founded later, the first use I could find of "aromantic" was in 2006, here ... and if search results are anything to go by, it looks like it started picking up more (or at least, appearing in forum posts more frequently) in 2008.

The split attraction model itself appears to be considerably older than any of these,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mark I partly disagree. The general concept of different types of attraction is older, true. In that reply there, I was responding to HotRamen's interest in the term "aromantic" becoming a thing, so I was focused on that particular coinage, but also -- I haven't found any instances of people using the phrase "split attraction model" that early. Looking at that link you provided, I suspect it was mostly cribbed from this tumblr post, which I am currently in the process of writing a criticism of. In both of those, the "history" timelines provide some really good related information but all of them stop short of talking about any instances of the use of "split attraction model" as a phrase, which has its own history not being accounted for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Coyote said:

The general concept of different types of attraction is older, true. In that reply there, I was responding to HotRamen's interest in the term "aromantic" becoming a thing, so I was focused on that particular coinage, but also -- I haven't found any instances of people using the phrase "split attraction model" that early. Looking at that link you provided, I suspect it was mostly cribbed from this tumblr post, which I am currently in the process of writing a criticism of. In both of those, the "history" timelines provide some really good related information but all of them stop short of talking about any instances of the use of "split attraction model" as a phrase, which has its own history not being accounted for.

I can't see a date on either the LGBT Wiki or the tumblr, so it's unclear which might be the original and which the derived.

Note that Ulrichs could not possibly have used terms like 'heterosexual', 'homosexual' or 'bisexual' since those words didn't exist until the 20th century. With the term "split attraction model' probably being a neologism, even if the concept is older, It's also possible that amantonormativity is a requirement to develop such a concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mark said:

I can't see a date on either the LGBT Wiki or the tumblr, so it's unclear which might be the original and which the derived.

All wikis come with a complete edit history - that SAM page was created in July 2018. If someone's Tumblr layout doesn't show a post date, you can always view the page source and search for the "datePublished" tag - in this case October 2016.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be so interesting to have a timeline! I know I was searching around for the aromantic concept before 2009 (probably like 2007?) and found nothing

 

As for other languages, Portuguese resources links were mentioned here 

This post was a little while ago so things have probably developed more on those sites (but I don't speak Portuguese so I can't tell you)

 

and I believe @Cristal Gris has information on French language Facebook groups (? maybe?) (sorry if I've mis-mentioned you!)  

 

in the related vocabulary section it would be great to have 'amatonormativity' seeing as we talk about it so often, and the first coining of the term is .....somewhere on the forums in a link....search function has failed me!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

in the related vocabulary section it would be great to have 'amatonormativity' seeing as we talk about it so often, and the first coining of the term is .....somewhere on the forums in a link....search function has failed me!

 

@Apathetic Echidna Good idea, makes sense to have that in the timeline. And that would be coined by Elizabeth Brake in Minimizing Marriage (2012), I believe.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

@Apathetic Echidna It's ok, it was not a mistake. Well, i can ask around in the french groups i am in, there are peoples who are well renseigned.. Right now i don't know many things. You know what, i will do it right now. If i come back with interesting stuff i will tell you.

 

Edit : i Don't know if you're interested, but right now i have :

 

-arobase : a political organization created this year, in the french community. (http://aromantisme.org/?fbclid=IwAR2aOE3EZwB50dwY5ulFCzdBdxVpRTRMFC2qP8812ad9Sal8QsPXFwGd08E)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bumping this thread because I still don't know of anywhere anybody's put together anything like this.

 

@sennkestra In the mean time, here are the things I know so far:

See also my timelines on QPR & related concepts (like "squish") and wtf/quoiromanticism. I get the sense that there would also be an interest in this over on aro tumblr.

 

Anyway, somebody else take over for me here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Well, I asked a question and then before anyone could answer the thread got locked, so--

 

@VoidArcana @Jot-Aro Kujo Same question:

 

Quote
9 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Why is no one waxing poetic about, for example, the history between the aro community and the bi community?

 

1 hour ago, VoidArcana said:

The bi community housed aros when we didnt have a name

 

Sidenote, since I'm not familiar with what y'all are talking about, can I get a source where I can read up on this?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure I can give you any particular ones off the top of my head. What I can give is mostly my own personal experiences and the stories I've heard from countless other aros, but IDing as bi first is both a common ace and aro narrative. I still use a bi label, despite not having a sexuality and not being arospec, because of my close connection to the community and my 15 or so years IDing as bi. From what I've heard from other aros, this is a common feeling. 

 

 

 

On that note, 'I feel the same amount of attraction to all' can be easily mistaken for bi, even tho really the amount of attraction is none. According to the discussions I've seen previously, it's pretty well accepted that people who would have been aces, before the ace label and community was really a thing, kinda just bundled themselves under bi, if they bundled at all, because that was the label if you weren't gay/lesbian. Is it so hard to imagine aros doing the same thing? 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be honest: My point in the other thread was NOT actually about the literal history between the bi community and the aro community. My point was that for someone to say that they "feel sexuality and romantic orientation are inherently connected" and then exclusively use this as reason why aros and aces need to stick together, while also claiming to support allo aros, would be entirely hypocritical; If sexuality and romantic orientation are connected and therefore something something history community ties, and aroace is not the "default" or "correcT" form of aro, then surely any orientation an aro can have is just as important something something history, right? I used the bi community as an example because I myself am bisexual, but it was only an example. I was not talking about a literal history.

 

That being said, if you really are interested in the real history between the aro community and the bi community, I'm going to second everything @VoidArcana said, and also politely and gently ask that you research it yourself if you want to learn more. This isn't me saying "Meh meh, do it yourself!", this is me saying I'm just really not mentally up to doing a deep research dive for someone else right now; As someone with asthma and a heart condition, I'm currently a bit emotionally drained by the fact that I don't know if I'm going to be alive at the end of the next two months and also that the people around me keep repeating eugenicist rhetoric (which admittedly has nothing to do with Arocalypse, this is just what's going on with society in general), so I just... I can't do that for you right now. I highly encourage you to do some research if you're interested, but I cannot do it for you right now for mental health reasons. Thank you for understanding.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so this focuses on the inclusion of asexuality as a part of bisexual history, but keep in mind that the aromantic community split off/was borne from the asexaul community, so the histories are one and the same in a lot of spaces for a lot of time: https://bi-asexual.tumblr.com/post/161938628812/aphostraphe-pls-give-me-1one-reason-aces-have

I know, I know - that's a tumblr link! But it's got tons of cited sources (take a look at the book recs) and it wouldn't be fair of me to just copy'pasta all that work over here ignoring the work OP put into compiling those resources.

 

I don't know how much specific work has been put forth in documenting this, but keep in mind that we keep more strictly defining labels and communities as time goes on, so a lot of queer history is all wrapped up in each other. This is easier to see with aromantic and asexual, since that was a more recent split that probably a lot of us here either witnessed firsthand or have heard others talking about. But before that, we were included under the bisexual umbrella - and before that, bi and lesbian history is tied up in each other as I'm sure bi and gay history are also intertwined, and before that we were all just "gay" (as we know it today - that's a simplification of labels throughout history and is ofc americentric, but yeah). And, ofc, at some point, gender started getting its down defined community, but I believe a lot of that was tied up in gay/lesbian history as well, just due to where we were at terminology-wise.

I've picked up a lot of that just by following and learning from queer scholars and queer elders more than by referencing any particular resource. Specifically, I've gained a lot of this knowledge by reading takedowns of TERFs and lesbian separatists who've tried to start rumors meant to tear apart queer communities. The LGBT page on wiki talks a little bit about this evolution. Might be a good place to start poking around for more resources and references?

 

@Coyote

  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VoidArcana said:

Not sure I can give you any particular ones off the top of my head.

 

hm.

 

Well, if you find any, let me know. I also keep a list of reference links offsite (based off the bullet points above), and I'd like to know about anything to make it more comprehensive.

 

51 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I'll be honest [...] I used the bi community as an example because I myself am bisexual, but it was only an example. I was not talking about a literal history.

 

I appreciate that. The being honest, I mean.

 

Take care over there.

 

 

 

44 minutes ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

Okay, so this focuses on the inclusion of asexuality as a part of bisexual history,

 

Well that seems... questionably applicable, then. I mean, I hear what you're saying there, but just because aromanticism as we know it here traces back to early ace communities doesn't mean that... all ace history is de facto aro history. That seems like just making the same ace-and-aro-inherently-go-together mistake that Alex (Jot-Aro Kujo) was just talking about.

 

It looks like the only one that talks romance specifically is this part--

 

Quote

The Golden Orchid association (1644-1949) - a group of women in China that included lesbians, bisexuals, and “women who wanted to avoid both marriage options, and any romantic or sexual partnership” that today we would call asexual or aromantic. 

 

--which links to a Patreon post, which in turn cites this site (that I can't access because my browser gave me a malicious browsing advisory, not sure what that's about) and this blogpost, which in turn cites.... Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China by Bret Hinsch? ...Looks like my academic library has a copy of it, but due to circumstances I most likely won't be able to access it until the fall.

 

Anyway, back to that Patreon post for now:

 

Quote

The Golden Orchid Society was a collection of organizations in South China that began during the Qing dynasty and existed from approximately 1644 to 1949 when they were banned because they were associated with an attempt to overthrow the Manchu Emperor. Over 300 years, however, they created an order of women who stood in solidarity with other women against heterosexual marriages that were oppressive at best and far too often abusive. While some of the women may have been heterosexual and avoiding marriage for reasons unrelated to their sexuality, it was common for members of the association to be lesbians or bisexual. [...]

 

When women in China were married, they would have their hair combed differently to signal to society, and any men interested in courting them, that they were not available. While the terms we use now for asexual or aromantic did not exist yet, the Golden Orchid Society had a system set up for women who wanted to avoid both marriage options, and any romantic or sexual partnership, by introducing “self-combing women.” These women would comb their hair into a married woman’s style, and often had a ceremony to celebrate such a decision, similar to a marriage ceremony.

 

I... 'm not convinced it makes sense to describe this as "aromanticism as a part of bisexual community history" per se. Or vice versa. What it does establish is that women who preferred not to marry anyone participated in the same collection of organizations(?) as women who partnered with women, and that's about as far as I can extrapolate from what I have in front of me. Although being nonpartnering may be relevant to aro narratives, and partnering with women may be relevant to bi narratives, this doesn't... I mean it's not like this is a 1990s bisexual org talking about how "bisexual" includes "people who don't experience romantic feelings," or something. There's more levels of extrapolation happening here than I'm comfortable with based on what I have in front of me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Coyote said:

There's more levels of extrapolation happening here than I'm comfortable with based on what I have in front of me.

 

Unfortunately, considering the relatively short amount of time that "aromantic" has existed as its own term and own community, I think that's just a persistent problem across aromantic history. Honestly, it's an issue across queer history in general. It's unfortunately easier for us to contextualize based on modern terms that we know nowadays, but all we can do when we look back is extrapolate based on what we know about then and apply it to a framework we understand now. It's why we end up in debates over why certain historical figures were trans men or lesbian - when in reality, they were likely really neither, since those concepts didn't exist for the time we're querying over. Or why we end up in debates over historical figures being gay/lesbian or bisexual based off of what knowledge we have over them (and in particular their writings that have survived, since I'm thinking of multiple writers throughout history), especially when specific work has been done to suppress the queerness of history.

 

It's 100% fair and necessary to apply the critical view you're applying when sorting through and processing this information, but I do think there needs to be a degree of openness that we consume such information and remember how much of queer history has been suppressed and how much queer terminology - not to mention English itself - has changed over time, and how a lot of the times, we can't just look at our history and for sure see "oh, yup, queer history - and it specifically pertains to [x] and [y] modern categories!" because those categories are far more modern than a lot of our history. To an extent, we do have to rely on a level of extrapolation or risk losing our history.

 

But like I said, I don't have many more specific references I can actually provide off the top of my head. It's up to each one of us on our own to judge the information for ourselves and decide what stock we can/should put in it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

Unfortunately, considering the relatively short amount of time that "aromantic" has existed as its own term and own community, I think that's just a persistent problem across aromantic history.

 

I don't see that as a problem -- which is something I wrote more about here, in defense of beginnings.

 

11 minutes ago, pressAtoQUEER said:

I don't have many more specific references I can actually provide off the top of my head.

 

Well let me know if any others cross your path. What I've already been able to compile on my own is here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Coyote said:

It looks like the only one that talks romance specifically is this part--

second link (https://atomicbubblegum.tumblr.com/post/113202572465/cease-and-de-cis-so-i-reblog-a-lot-of-things) has this:

Quote

What I am getting at, is that in the models I grew up with, among the queers I grew up around, both aro and ace people could qualify as not just bi, but bisexual. Or any other sexual orientation, really. (...) There was a 2 (or more?) point kinsey-like scale used among me and my queer friends in HS. It had a numerical range which translated to homo->bi->het. (...) If you were in the middle for either/any of them, you qualified as bisexual.

 

The two following books talk about scales to measure sexual orientation, and that the distinction between no sexual interest and sexual interest in men and women can't be accurately captured in many of them. Those scales can measure exclusively sexual interest (like Sell Assessment of Sexual Orientation) , or sexual and emotional/affectional interest (like Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, which includes emotional and social preferences or Shivley Scale of Sexual Orientation, which asks about sexual and affectional). It's possible that when the books talk about "asexual" they may be also talking abut "aromantic", but this really depends on the scale and definition a lot.

 

We're in a thread called Aro History Timelines, and I just have to second everything @pressAtoQUEER said above about the difficulty in talking about queer stuff in history that is older than 30 years ago. I think it's important to document things that are happening right now and that are explicitly labelled aromantic, but it's fine to see some similarities in people, movements, concepts that happened before

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bydontost said:

We're in a thread called Aro History Timelines, and I just have to second everything @pressAtoQUEER said above about the difficulty in talking about queer stuff in history that is older than 30 years ago. I think it's important to document things that are happening right now and that are explicitly labelled aromantic, but it's fine to see some similarities in people, movements, concepts that happened before

 

So much this. At some point when talking about the history of ANY community under the umbrella, you have to realise that eventually it leads back into similar, if not the same places. No label sprang fully into existence with its own fully fleshed out, completely seperate history. Instead it's a tangled web of overlaping groups, some of which may or may not have grown from others. 

 

It's messy and confusing, as much of life is, and you can't always draw those distinct lines of 'this is the history of group a' and 'this is the history of group b'. If you're asking for sources on aro history, you have to accept that some of it isn't specifically gonna be about aros, because of how new aromantic is as a seperate label, comparatively speaking. 

 

It's not clear cut straight up 'this is aro history 100% certified', but rather 'this is where some people who may or may not have identified as aromantic in modern times could be found in the past, and today's aromantics can find parallels between their stories and ours that make their experiences relatable to us.' (ie Golden Orchid Society or Boston Marriages)

 

It's a little easier to find ourselves in the early stages of the bi community, because we HAVE queer elders who tell us that this is where everyone not gay or lesbian tended to end up. There's plenty of personal first hand accounts talking about it, as referenced by Tost above me. 

 

Queer history is nebulous and very difficult to categorize as purely falling under a single label, even with relatively recent history. Sometimes you have to extrapolate the information. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bydontost said:

second link (https://atomicbubblegum.tumblr.com/post/113202572465/cease-and-de-cis-so-i-reblog-a-lot-of-things) has this:

Quote

What I am getting at, is that in the models I grew up with, among the queers I grew up around, both aro and ace people could qualify as not just bi, but bisexual. Or any other sexual orientation, really. (...) There was a 2 (or more?) point kinsey-like scale used among me and my queer friends in HS. It had a numerical range which translated to homo->bi->het. There was a 2 (or more?) point kinsey-like scale used among me and my queer friends in HS. It had a numerical range which translated to homo->bi->het.* One scale was sexual, or “Who do you want to sleep with?”. Another other was romantic, or “Who do you want to marry/date?”. (The third, if it existed – and I feel like a third did – might have been aesthetic. Possibly “Who do you think looks hot?”) If you were in the middle for either/any of them, you qualified as bisexual.

 

 

That's certainly... personal testimonial. Which counts for something, sure. Does this mean that people exclusively sexually interested in one gender could get grouped as bi if that sexual interest didn't extend to wanting to get married? That's what this would imply. Do we have any personal testimonial from those people themselves?

 

5 hours ago, bydontost said:

Those scales can measure exclusively sexual interest (like Sell Assessment of Sexual Orientation) , or sexual and emotional/affectional interest (like Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, which includes emotional and social preferences or Shivley Scale of Sexual Orientation, which asks about sexual and affectional).

 

So are we equating "affectional" to "romantic" here?

 

If.... you think these links should be added to my timeline compilation, I can do that. Is that what you're linking them for?

 

Asking because I draw a distinction between "history" in general and "community history," and the reason I necro'd this thread in the first place is that Ax responded to "I don't know [anything] about [a long intertwined history between the aro and bi communities]" with "Are you seriously gonna sit there and say 'there is no denying that the history of the two movements (asexuality and aromanticism) is highly interconnected' and then turn around and talk about the connection between the bi and ace communities while claiming you don't know of any such connection between the bi and aro communities? [...] The bi community housed aros when we didnt have a name, just like it did aces."

 

The idea being, I guess, setting aside the "if something's true of aces then it's true of aros" idea, that there's a particular history there that someone deserves to be scolded for not knowing.

 

Is this... that? Is this the community history between the bi and aro communities?

 

2 hours ago, VoidArcana said:

There's plenty of personal first hand accounts talking about it, as referenced by Tost above me. 

 

Do you have more?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...