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How would you talk about aromanticism on Disney Channel? 


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This is something that’s been on my mind a lot recently, because I would have loved to see it growing up, and because Disney seems to be slowly moving towards queer representation. Most (all?) Disney Channel shows involve teenagers who go through the process of figuring out dating and relationships, so if you were a show-runner/writer/consultant, how would you represent aromanticism?

  • Would you have a character that figures out they’re aro, and if so, how would they figure it out? If they came out, how/when/where/why/who would they come out to, and how would it be received?
  • Would you show/mention that aros can have any sexual orientation or even no sexual orientation, and if so, how would you explain that some aros distinguish sexual and romantic orientation in a way that’s appropriate for all audiences?
  • Would you show/mention that some aros find it useful to talk about types of attraction that aren’t sexual or romantic, and if so, how would you go about explaining it?
  • Would you show/mention that some aros can be interested in dating/relationships/qprs/etc, and if so, how would you go about explaining it?
  • Would you show/mention the aromantic spectrum, and if so, how would you go about explaining it?
  • Would you show/mention aromanticism as being part of the queer community, and if so, how?
  • Would you show/mention different online communities, and if so, how?
  • What parts of aromantic culture would or wouldn't you show/mention?
  • What else would or wouldn’t you show/mention about aromanticism? 
     
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There could be a character who is always single, doesn't understand falling in love, and yet is happy with eir life in general. There was some quote about love being shared with all friends rather than one romantic partner, this definitely could be used in a show. A "squish" could also be easily presented, and the difference between that and falling in love is not that difficult to explain on a show.

 

Sex-positive (allosexual) aromantics would be more difficult to present, since having sex without being in a romantic relationship is not positive according to Disney's standards. One could mention the character still finding girls or boys "pretty" without the desire to be in a relationship.

 

 

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So I work in child care and usually when I talk to kids about aromanticism I don't actually use the label "aromantic" 

 

Kids have a lot of questions about relationships so usually I instead say things like "I don't get crushes" or "I don't want a boyfriend/girlfriend". The point isn't so much to teach kids the word as it is to open kids up to other ways of thinking about romance, and I think with children's media that would also be the best way to do it.

 

When I tell kids I don't get crushes they tend to come back with questions a few days later. "Won't you be lonely?" "Who will you live with?" And "can you marry a friend?" Are some of the more common ones. I think there are definitely ways a program like Disney could address these questions through an aro character, especially sense those questions are ones that aros frequently have to grappel with themselves.

 

But yeah I think Disney has enough personal growth and exploration stories that this wouldn't be to hard to do, but I think having an affective aro character also means addressing the questions kids have about it.

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