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Mau

How can health and education professionals be more inclusive of aromantic young people?

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Hello!

My local LGBTQ+ youth charity is looking to make a short resource on how health and education professionals can support LGB+ young people, particularly those who are questioning their orientation.

For reference, they have already made an equivalent resource for supporting gender questioning young people, which includes basic information and tips on: pronouns and names, clothes and appearance, toilets and changing rooms, listening and communication, transitioning, confidentiality, transphobia, and a short glossary of terms.

 

They are not currently explicitly inclusive of either ace or aro identities and none of the staff or volunteers are particularly educated on them as far as I know.

 

So far the main points I want to bring up with them to add are, in rough order of priority:

-- What aromanticism/the aromantic spectrum is, as well as and basic attraction theory.

-- Brief overview of interpersonal and familial issues aromantic people may face.

-- How mental health professionals and counsellors in particular can be supportive. Namely, aromanticism isn't a mental illness or personality disorder and seeking 'causes' for it is ultimately unhelpful at best.

-- How professionals can use aromantic inclusive language, including using less amatonormative wording and comments, ensuring that people know it's alright to be aromantic.

-- General questioning stuff which will probably be in there anyway: it's alright to change labels, providing young people with advice on how to healthily explore relationships and sexuality with an emphasis on not encouraging people to put themselves in uncomfortable situations to 'confirm' or 'fix' things (including setting boundaries, and both sexual and non-sexual consent). Etc.

 

 

These are my ideas so far. However, I am but one aro and would like to see what others would most want to see about their identity in a basic resource. Any suggestions for the glossary, perhaps?

 

If anyone has any ideas or questions feel free to add on.

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On 4/1/2020 at 6:17 PM, Mau said:

These are my ideas so far. However, I am but one aro and would like to see what others would most want to see about their identity in a basic resource. Any suggestions for the glossary, perhaps?

 

If anyone has any ideas or questions feel free to add on.

Your points are all really good, I think you've got pretty much everything in terms of aromantic people, might be good to do the same for the ace side if you haven't already. Thank you for bringing aromantic inclusivity! 🥰

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Posted (edited)

Your points are all good!

Do you plan something about the split attraction model too? (I think it can be useful to both ace and aro communities, but even for LGBT+ in general because I think we are not the only people to use it).

On 4/1/2020 at 7:17 PM, Mau said:

-- How professionals can use aromantic inclusive language, including using less amatonormative wording and comments, ensuring that people know it's alright to be aromantic.

I saw some people complaining about how even therapists may have difficulties to get that being in couple will not necessarily increase our happiness. So in the same idea of being less amatonormative, I would say : acknowledging that ways to happiness differ for everyone.

 

Thanks for your work!

Edited by nonmerci
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I think aromanticism can be really hard to identify. I spent years trying to figure out who I was attracted to and I didn't even realize there was an option for... not. So I think it should be included in as many places as possible to help spread the word to questioning teens that this is an option too. 

 

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I guess you probably have it covered but peer pressure to be like everyone else, especially if 'everyone else' seems to be in relationships, can be quite isolating. Some common peer pressure tactics are probably useful so just pointing out the fact of it's influence is enough for the professional to have an idea what to do. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/2/2020 at 4:17 AM, Mau said:

Hello!

My local LGBTQ+ youth charity is looking to make a short resource on how health and education professionals can support LGB+ young people, particularly those who are questioning their orientation.

For reference, they have already made an equivalent resource for supporting gender questioning young people, which includes basic information and tips on: pronouns and names, clothes and appearance, toilets and changing rooms, listening and communication, transitioning, confidentiality, transphobia, and a short glossary of terms.

 

They are not currently explicitly inclusive of either ace or aro identities and none of the staff or volunteers are particularly educated on them as far as I know.

 

So far the main points I want to bring up with them to add are, in rough order of priority:

-- What aromanticism/the aromantic spectrum is, as well as and basic attraction theory.

-- Brief overview of interpersonal and familial issues aromantic people may face.

-- How mental health professionals and counsellors in particular can be supportive. Namely, aromanticism isn't a mental illness or personality disorder and seeking 'causes' for it is ultimately unhelpful at best.

-- How professionals can use aromantic inclusive language, including using less amatonormative wording and comments, ensuring that people know it's alright to be aromantic.

-- General questioning stuff which will probably be in there anyway: it's alright to change labels, providing young people with advice on how to healthily explore relationships and sexuality with an emphasis on not encouraging people to put themselves in uncomfortable situations to 'confirm' or 'fix' things (including setting boundaries, and both sexual and non-sexual consent). Etc.

 

 

These are my ideas so far. However, I am but one aro and would like to see what others would most want to see about their identity in a basic resource. Any suggestions for the glossary, perhaps?

 

If anyone has any ideas or questions feel free to add on.

I think there should be a distinction between aromantic people (those with no romantic attraction at all) and their issues and issues faced by greyromantic, demiromantic, etc. people.

Edited by Momo
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