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aro representation in book


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I'm writing an aroace side character and I need a little help.  Him being aroace is not focus of the story but I do want to mention it, so aphobes can't go and say "don't assume his sexuality, he just isn't into romance, that doens't mean he has to be aromantic, etc...". So I decided to go like this:  

[ "Damn it, you could have given me her number, she was very pretty", I say while taking some weird pink berry from his smoothie glass. He shrugs and rests his head on his hands. "I guess so".  I shake my head. "You have no taste, man". He crosses his arms and raises his eyebrows. "I said 'I guess so', conejito", he laughs. "I can see if someone is pretty. I'm not blind".  Santos also always seems to know which actresses are hot, even though he isn't into women. Actually, he isn't into any gender. I chuckle and take a bite of the berry I just stole. "I'm just joking. She didn't seem very sympathic", I say and gaze over to the other tables. "But I bet she has some information". Santos sighs as rolls his eyes. "Mary please no".

Okay now the thing is, one friend of mine said, that I should add more explanation and that people who never heard of aromantism wouldn't get it. Another friend said I should just leave it that way and anything else would be to much. I'll have to say that I'm not exactly trying to educate. I usually prefere representation by the way and not explictly stated. But if there is a reason to change it, I would put more direct "aro info" in it.  

So, what do you think? Should I leave it like that or explain aromantism more? Or should I just ignore the aphobes and leave it out completly and just go with, "he doesn't like romance, he turns down everyone,..." and this kinda stuff? 

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3 hours ago, arofox said:

I'll have to say that I'm not exactly trying to educate. I usually prefere representation by the way and not explictly stated.

This is generally my preference too. I don't think you need to go through a detailed description about what aromanticism is unless you are specifically trying to educate. I like representation the best when it is people with different experiences living their lives. Only think I reacted to is that "isn't into any gender" seems a little stiff, it could just say "isn't into anyone".

In my opinion "isn't into anyone" or "isn't into any gender" sums up being aroace perfectly well. My guess is that would be even easier to understand for someone who's never heard of aromanticism than a discussion about attraction would be.

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48 minutes ago, Jedi said:

Only think I reacted to is that "isn't into any gender" seems a little stiff, it could just say "isn't into anyone".

Maybe it is because I am not an English native speaker, but someone could interpret as "isn't into anyone" as "into anyone for now", something that is less likely to happen with "isn't into any gender".

Now, if you want to be sure people get it, you can use the word aromantic (if it fits the universe), something like "Actually, he's not into any gender as he is aromantic", but I don't think it is necessary.

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Okay, thank you guys! You helped me a lot

28 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

"Actually, he's not into any gender as he is aromantic",

1 hour ago, Jedi said:

"isn't into any gender" seems a little stiff, it could just say "isn't into anyone".

I'll definetly try these out and see what they sound like

 

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43 minutes ago, nonmerci said:

Maybe it is because I am not an English native speaker, but someone could interpret as "isn't into anyone" as "into anyone for now"

 I'd interpret it like that too... and assume that it was foreshadowing the character meeting their "special someone"

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It's short, simple, gets the message across. I do get what you mean, though. One of my characters is aroace, and it feels awkward to just say 'aromantic' on paper, when saying that they aren't interested in anyone or not interested in either gender can mean anything to anyone. But romance is at the bottom of my story's focuses, so, not like anyone will probably notice nor care.

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10 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Maybe it is because I am not an English native speaker, but someone could interpret as "isn't into anyone" as "into anyone for now", something that is less likely to happen with "isn't into any gender".

 

10 hours ago, Sam Spade said:

 I'd interpret it like that too... and assume that it was foreshadowing the character meeting their "special someone"

Interesting. I am not a native englishspeaker either, so my opinions should be taken with some salt. My thought was that in the context of "He isn't into women." The added "or anyone for that matter" would be indication of that he is aromantic rather than gay, and I don't see how it could be interpreted as being just momentary absence of crushes. I can see how just "isn't into anyone" on its own would seem like that though.

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