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Aro/Ace representation: The Do's and Dont's?


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So I am sure there is already an in depth guide somewhere on the internet, but I think its better to get multiple opinions from people who Identify as aro, ace, or aroace (+any variation that comes with).

 

To be more specific, I plan on writing/developing some aroace characters (for my webcomic) and as an alloaro, I want to make sure I don't accidently misrepresent my aspec peers. Although the story won't revolve entirely around their relationships, I still want to make it an important part of their identity due to the lack of aroace representation.

The first character is a side character who exists to be the mentor/father-like moral support of the small community he lives in. I thought about making him aroace with either being sex/romance repulsed or indifferent.

The second character is ace, but maybe not aro?? She has no interest in sex nor would anything in the story put her in that kind of position (shes an anthro bird and the whole comic is sfw with the exception of an innuendo/implied themes here and there).

I even thought about putting the two main leads (this including the second character previously mentioned) in a sexless QPR to show how strong of a platonic bond they have to the point where its more than a simple friendship.

 

With all of this in mind, are there anything I am either doing wrong? Are there things I think I should include that are related/exclusive to an aroace arc? Any sources/guides you would like to share? Feel free to give me your two cents, the floor is yours. And feel free to ask questions/clarification.

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I found an in-depth guide once but I can't remember the blog. (I'll try to find it again)

From an aroace perspective, it doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong. We need ace romances, QPRs, and characters who don't want relationships. 

I've read that your aro or ace characters shouldn't be robots, aliens or villains (the whole 'don't feel romantic attraction = evil and heartless' stereotype). And having an emotionally distant, traumatized or socially awkward ace character could play into stereotypes too. 

A helpful quote from https://simplyoriginalcharacters.tumblr.com/post/162641610574/how-to-write-an-asexual-character - 

"Do include multiple asexual characters in your story. Doing so decreases the burden of representation. E.g. If your story has one character who’s asexual and introverted your readers might assume all asexual people are introverted. When your story contains both introverted and extroverted asexual characters, readers are less likely to make that assumption."

(this goes for all minority characters btw)

Edited by Sam Spade
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17 hours ago, Sam Spade said:

I found an in-depth guide once but I can't remember the blog. (I'll try to find it again)

From an aroace perspective, it doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong. We need ace romances, QPRs, and characters who don't want relationships. 

I've read that your aro or ace characters shouldn't be robots, aliens or villains (the whole 'don't feel romantic attraction = evil and heartless' stereotype). And having an emotionally distant, traumatized or socially awkward ace character could play into stereotypes too. 

A helpful quote from https://simplyoriginalcharacters.tumblr.com/post/162641610574/how-to-write-an-asexual-character - 

"Do include multiple asexual characters in your story. Doing so decreases the burden of representation. E.g. If your story has one character who’s asexual and introverted your readers might assume all asexual people are introverted. When your story contains both introverted and extroverted asexual characters, readers are less likely to make that assumption."

(this goes for all minority characters btw)

Thank you so much for all of this, I especially found the blog really helpful!

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You seem to have a great idea, nothing about that sounds hurtful to me.

On 1/9/2021 at 6:34 PM, GhostyPeppers said:

Are there things I think I should include that are related/exclusive to an aroace arc?

Don't know if it will work with your story, but I think one thing that is exclusive to aroace is thinking that we are bi or pan because of equally lack of attracted in all genders make us think we are equally attracted to them both, instead of unattracted. On the other hand, some aroaces know very young they are not into relationship at all. It depends. But it sounds different than what I heard from allo aros, who can confuse their sexual attraction with romantic attraction.

Something you can think about too is his relation to his identity. Some aroace care more about their aro identity, some more about their ace identity, some care about it equally. It depends on the person and probably on their experiences.

Aroaces can also feel torn when there is conflit between the aro and the ace communities.

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