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CharCharChar

Intro --- Prioritizing Aro Identity

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Trigger: discussion of arophobia

The prompt this month for Carnival of Aros is about whether or not and how you prioritize your aro identity. 

The truth is I don't. I'm aro-inclusive in my projects, but that's about being a good ally not because I'm aro too. I joined the carnival of aros, but that's just because I joined the carnival of aces and it makes sense to do both as an aroace. I hosted an aro ace panel, but that's because I was volunteering for an ace event. I still have the mindset that it's unfortunate not to be alloromantic and have access to the normative "happily ever after". 

There are steps I can take to deconstruct my internal arophobia, but I don't have to rush into it. I can join this forum. I can make vague plans to read more aro fiction. I can get amped for AroWriMo and collect aro writing prompts. 

But it's not an aro emergency. I recognize there are other prioritize in my life right now (both time wise and emotional energy wise). I can lay the ground work now, inch forward in the coming months, and attempt a deep dive in February while the community is amped up for ASAW. 

So ... I here. 🦎

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Welcome! It's interesting how we each often seem to be more at home with one aspect of our orientation. I'm aro graysexual myself and I find sexuality to be muddy confusion I most often don't want to wade into.

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This might sound blunt, but you don't have to get involved if you don't enjoy it. I think it's pretty common and understandable to be more comfortable with one part of your identity than the other. I'm bisexual but that isn't nearly as important to me as being aro and I don't really feel comfortable in bi spaces so I kind of just forget about my sexual orientation. It's good that you want to deconstruct your arophobia, just don't feel compelled to participate because "it makes sense" to do so.

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@Vhenan I'm good with blunt 🥳 

The "it makes sense to" comment was about past incidental participation before I reflected on why/if aro is important to me, it's not my reason for being here now. 
My theory is that prioritizing my aro identity --> will help me be more comfortable with my aro identity ---> will make it easier to be happy.

But it's a good point that I'm not obligated to prioritize my aro side until it's "equal" to my ace side, and I'm not obligated to be active in the aro community because I'm aro. 
Although, I subscribe to the philosophy that as a content creator I have a moral obligation to understand the larger concerns and intersections of my identity-communities to reduce the risk that my identity-content causes harm. But this "moral obligation" can be fulfilled with spot checks. I'm choosing to explore further for myself. 

I enjoy introspection and advocacy and talking to people. I want to be here. 

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6 minutes ago, CharCharChar said:

I enjoy introspection and advocacy and talking to people. I want to be here.

Well, then, welcome! I hope you like it here. 💚☺️

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I've got to remind myself that deconstructing an internalized stereotype is often easier than I predict it will be. Especially since I've had practice doing this for other aspects of myself. 

After just a few journaling exercises and short conversations, I feel my belief shifting from "it's not nice to think aromanticism isn't nice, and logically I know that's a stereotype"    to    "it's not true that aromanticism isn't nice."

I'm not saying "I'm done", but the "not nice" stereotype was bothering me the most and I can breathe easier now. It's unpleassant to value being "nice" while holding the perception that an aspect of yourself is "not nice". 

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I absolutely understand this. I’m aroace, and accepting that I was ace was so much easier than accepting that I was aro, because sex in general never appealed to me like the “true romantic love” did. Getting over the hatred I had of myself because I couldn’t feel romantic love took years, and, honestly, I’m still working on it. But, you deserve to love yourself for who you are. It will get better and it will get easier, with time if nothing else. 
I don’t know if this is something you relate to, but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

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23 minutes ago, arohoneybee said:

you deserve to love yourself for who you are.

That's such a great way of putting it!

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I don't prioritize it, politically speaking, for a few reasons.

One, I think there's nothing inherently that sets me apart from non aros since a lot of people have a complicated relationship with romance, want to prioritize friendships over romance, and have trouble differentiating between romantic, sexual, and platonic feelings.

Two, it's really not an oppressed identity and in terms of shared experiences I really don't have much of anything in common with an aro cishet man the way I do with, say, a genderfluid bi woman who isn't aro. That doesn't mean it doesn't matter to me.

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