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Is your sexual or romantic orientation a bigger part of your identity?

Which is a bigger part of your identity?  

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I brought up in the asexual thread that I identify with being aro more than being ace. Not wanting to derail that thread,  and also to not exclude anyone,  I've decided to make a new thread. So, which do you feel is a bigger part of your identity: your sexual or romantic orientation? Or do you feel they are equally important?  Or do you just not care? If you want, you can post your answer along with a reason why you feel the way you do. Anyone can answer this poll; you don't necessarily have to be aro.

 

I personally identify with being aro more than being ace. This is mainly because, to me, being aro is a much bigger lifestyle change than being ace. Being ace to me is like, "cool I don't want sex, what of it?". Whereas as being aro affects the type of relationships that i can form withother people and has a much bigger influence on the way other's see me.

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I've been identifying as grey ace/ro since basically joining AVEN about 2 years ago. For me, that was more like finding out something about myself and questioning certain things. For me, it's more about something that's a part of me than an actual identity. I've never been a sexual or a romantic person, so this has hardly affected anything I've done.

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Romantic orientation. Being an (...grey??) ace doesn't really feel like it's had much impact on my life. I thought about it, ID'd with it, and moved on. But being aro, that I struggled with a lot more, made me feel a lot more excluded and took a lot longer to accept. Not following the traditional "dating lifestyle" has a much larger impact on my life, I feel.

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I agree that being aro is a lot more of a visible thing than being ace as far as I can tell, but that might just be because I'm so ace that I just legitimately kind of forget that sex is a thing that other people are interested in, regardless of whether they're in a relationship or not. I feel like people are a lot more accepting of not wanting sex than not wanting romance, because our culture has a lot of things like waiting until marriage and the very weird and problematic classification system of people based on how many partners of that nature they have that can all be used as a reason to not be interested in that sort of thing regardless of orientation, so it's something of a less alien concept to people in that respect. Meanwhile, society still hasn't gotten over its fixation that everyone has to have someone they're madly in love with, or else they're just waiting to be swept off their feet by someone, or any of those other cliches that are considered to be universally applicable and part of human nature even though they absolutely aren't, so people are a lot more confused when they run into someone that just doesn't apply to.

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For me, being ace is a larger part of my identity.  I suspect this may be because while I *am* intensely sex-repulsed, I'm not romance-repulsed..  Just romance-impatient.   My 'meh' attitude toward romance has never been considered as 'problematic' by others as my total revulsion to anything remotely sexual.  

 

I've also identified as ace a lot longer than I have identified aromantic.  Up until last year, I thought of myself as sort of heteroromantic, but only by default.  I didn't really ever feel attracted to men, but I had never really thought much about it.  I knew I wasn't homoromantic, biromantic, panromantic, or any of the other orientations, but I'd never really thought of it beyond that.  Then, as I read more from aro posters, I realized how much their thoughts and feelings mirrored mine.  So being aro is just newer to me than being ace.

 

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I feel like both are important. But if I had to choose, romantic orientation is much more visible, and has such an impact on relationships and on the way others accepted me (or didn't accept me, to be exact). And I definitely don't share the same experiences as the average romantic asexual, there is just too much difference.

But it's more a general involuntary and inborn state of mind. Just a general inability to be attracted to others in any way, with very rare exceptions. Feeling love and affection without attraction, defining relationships in terms of desire to choose and add new family members. Even despite having experienced attraction twice, this way of viewing the world in entirely platonic mode is a core part of my personality, and I hope it always will be, because I like it this way.

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I definitely think being aromantic plays a bigger role for me than being ace. When I realised I was asexual I was like cool that explains a lot but when I realised I was aro it shattered all of my preconceived notions about the world and I had to overcome some huge internalised biases so after that long process I'm definitely a proud aromantic.

 

Because I didn't know I was aro for a while I had surrounded myself with an ace community which is great but it was all very centred on "but aces can still fall in love!" so I found refuge here and some peace from the aro prejudice on AVEN..

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Neither are really important to me. The only thing giving my romantic orientation importance at the moment is discussing it here with you (wonderful) guys, and similar with my sexual orientation, there is only one thing that keeps it on my mind (the fact I don't know what it is). My labels aren't defining of me, they're just descriptive.

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To me, being aro is much more significant, as I identify better with aro-spec people than with aces.

 

 

Whenever I talk to aces in my local area or chat with them online, topic seems to quickly turn to issues they have with being in romantic relationships(or lack theirof) 

Since large(r) part of aces are alloromantics, I understand why they get to talk more about those issues, especially if they feel romantic attractions and desire romantic relationships with allosexuals. But since I don't really have much in common in that area(romantic relationships/dating/partners/marriage, etc), I often feel left out on that subject. And I'm rather uninterested in hearing their thoughts on it, too (Oops, sounds too cold?:()

 

That being said, people in general also tend to talk a lot more often about romance and marriage. Romance is practically an everyday topic, with friends, families, even with random co-workers. About sex, we don't bring it up unless it's between partners or close friends.(it's just my observation though:eyebrow:

 

So I have to live my life through romance-prevalent society, while sex is just not my thing, that's it. (Sex has been a major issue while I was pondering on my sexual orientation, but now that it's settled.. :))

 

Better yet, I certainly feel more connected to the world when I'm talking to aros, including people here on Arocalypse. So I'm more at ease when being aro and identifying with aro people. :P 

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Like most people here, I feel like being aro is a much bigger part of my life than being ace. It just affects my life a lot more. The few people who ever showed me that they expect me to have sex, seem to expect me to have sex when I get into a romantic relationship, but no one seems to expect it from me while I'm single and I plan to stay single, so I'm not that bothered. With my aroness however it's a bigger problem. People think I want a boyfriend and keep bringing up the topic and talk about it as if getting a boyfriend is a thing that is definitely going to happen, as if there's no other possibility.

I guess people believe that a romantic relationship is a neccessary thing to have before you can get into a sexual relationship. When it comes to my romantic orientation the expectations are just a lot bigger than when it comes to my sexual orientation.

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Both are equally significant, this combination keeps me on my toes. :D

 

Not really because I consider them significant personality traits, but because society reminds me quite often that the majority of others are rather different. I do want to seek out both communities and talk to people about it.

 

Funny thing is, I see my gay more clearly when I'm around aros, and my aro is more obvious when surrounded by lesbians.

 

When I'm talking about my aro experiences, I notice my homosexuality a lot more, because I have to explain it, so people see the full picture. Being on this forum made me realise how deep queer culture runs, and how little do outsiders actually know about it. Its not just the sex or sexual desire, there is a lot more, its really a subculture with its own art, language, fashion, music, politics, literature, history, etc.

 

And among lesbians, I feel and act very aro. Romance is usually a major thing for gay women, especially because they have to fight for it a lot more than straight girls would. Many aspects of queer culture are not really palatable to me because of my romance repulsion. I'd usually also have to dodge the five a day servings of Discourse, and cope with the stigmas and slutshaming as well. And because the dating pool is tiny, I'm on the radar more frequently, and often my aromanticism puts me into a tricky situations.

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I think I already said this in multiple other threads, but my aro informs everything else. 

This makes it easier for me to put my sexual orientation on hold, since as long as I don't find another aromantic partner, it just doesn't factor much. No matter my initial attraction.

 

As I pass as female, I'm considered lesbian by most people who don't bother to ask me about my orientation, but they never really confront me with that. I'm also not in LGBT spaces. For one, because I don't think I can contribute anything but gray-confusion. On another note it's because I, too, noticed a strong focus on romance in the gay's I've met so far. Because of that, some of them are less accepting of someone like me, while others are just indifferent. Couple that with the current discussions about Aros and Aces not belonging in the LGBTQ+ community and... well... I just don't really feel welcomed. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. My focus is just too different. 

 

Overall, I just feel more welcome here among all the aro's in this forum, because finally someone is talking my alien language and I don't have to pretend to "get it" among Allos.

I agree with most of the people here: Nobody nags me about my sex life, but not a day goes by where I'm not reminded of my incapability to fall in love. 

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To me, aromanticism and asexuality have almost fused together by now.
I do relate more to what aros say (because of the romantic side of most aces), but as a person I feel like they are both equally important to my identity. They both match my personality so well that whenever I try to imagine myself without one of them, it feels like a totally different person.

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2 hours ago, Ugh... said:

To me, aromanticism and asexuality have almost fused together by now.
I do relate more to what aros say (because of the romantic side of most aces), but as a person I feel like they are both equally important to my identity. They both match my personality so well that whenever I try to imagine myself without one of them, it feels like a totally different person.

^ tbh I couldn't agree more

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I definitely feel closer to other gay people than other aros, but then again I've also faced more homophobia and transphobia from cis aroaces, cishet aros, and sometimes even bisexual/pansexual aros (i.e. "monosexism" nonsense) than arophobia or transphobia from other gay people.

 

Because, yeah, there's a lot of transphobia in the gay community but it's usually not directed at me, it's more directed at trans women. So while that still does hurt me, I'm still not the target. And there's also transphobia in the aro community so...

 

I'd love it, though, if all aros and aces would team up and actually form a cohesive community, beyond a website that's basically Ace Reddit founded by a homophobic cishet man, this place, and a few Tumblr tags that usually say ridiculous, unhelpful things like "ALL aces and aros are totally Kweer!!!1!" and denying aphobia's roots in misogyny, ableism, racism, gender hegemony, and misdirected homophobia. We should organize support groups, helplines, resources for anyone questioning if they're aspec or struggling with their gender/sexuality. And stop with this "allo" and "dirty sex havers" BS. Plus we need to acknowledge that no, not all aros and aces experience the same thing, and we need to make the A+ community safer for those of us who are more marginalized: disabled people, intersex people, women, LGBT people, and people of color.

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6 hours ago, Kojote said:

I think I already said this in multiple other threads, but my aro informs everything else. 

This makes it easier for me to put my sexual orientation on hold, since as long as I don't find another aromantic partner, it just doesn't factor much. No matter my initial attraction.

 

As I pass as female, I'm considered lesbian by most people who don't bother to ask me about my orientation, but they never really confront me with that. I'm also not in LGBT spaces. For one, because I don't think I can contribute anything but gray-confusion. On another note it's because I, too, noticed a strong focus on romance in homosexual men and women. Because of that, some of them are less accepting of someone like me, while others are just indifferent. Couple that with the current discussions about Aros and Aces not belonging in the LGBTQ+ community and... well... I just don't really feel welcomed. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. My focus is just too different. 

 

Overall, I just feel more welcome here among all the aro's in this forum, because finally someone is talking my alien language and I don't have to pretend to "get it" among Allos.

I agree with most of the people here: Nobody nags me about my sex life, but not a day goes by where I'm not reminded of my incapability to fall in love. 

Don't call gay people "h*m*sexuals". It's a dehumanizing, pathological slur and can only be reclaimed by gay people. Don't use the word allosexual or any derivative of it either. It's used to make creepy, invasive assumptions about people's sex lives, even minors. Plus it groups gay and bi people with our oppressors, and the person who coined it now regrets doing so and has asked people to stop using it.

And of course you belong in the LGBT community. You're not cis. But sometimes SGA/LGBQP people have issues specific to us and conversations that need to revolve around our needs specifically, which aren't necessarily going to include you because you're not attracted to your same gender.

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I used to think that gray-ace/demisexuality is a bigger part of my identity, but lately I've came to think that aromanticism is a bigger part of me. Because while I don't want romantic partners, I still desire some QPR(-ish) things. But since I don't know any other aros, I often feel quite isolated. I also value friendship much more than most people, and that sometimes causes some inbalance in my friendships...

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@morallygayro I'd really like it, if you would not get instantly aggressive after making assumptions. In my language, h*m*sexuals ist just the umbrella term, since our translation of gay is for men only and I wanted to be inclusive. I'll stop using it in english then. I also meant alloromantics, with this derivation, not sexuals.

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Guys, can we please stay on topic here. I'm pretty sure we don't need another thread derailed with unnecessary aggression and personal attacks

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Personally, I feel like being aro is a bigger part of my identity.  It's the part of my orientation that's most visible to others, and so it's most apparent to me when I don't feel it.

 

That being said, you might not know that from talking to me, because I tend to spend more time talking about asexuality than aromanticism.  I also spend more time in asexual spaces like AVEN than I do in arp spaces.  Asexuality is easier for me to define I think, but since it's so hard for me to distinguish between romance, QPRs, and close friendships, I feel like sometimes it's harder for me to convey my thoughts properly when talking about my experience with aromanticism.

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1 hour ago, Kojote said:

@morallygayro I'd really like it, if you would not get instantly aggressive after making assumptions. In my language, h*m*sexuals ist just the umbrella term, since our translation of gay is for men only and I wanted to be inclusive. I'll stop using it in english then. I also meant alloromantics, with this derivation, not sexuals.

I'm gay and literally telling you that it's a homophobic slur. you are not gay, which means you don't get to debate with me about what is and is not homophobic. and alloromantic still groups gay and bi people with our oppressors, it's still homophobic, and it still derives from allosexual.

 

also calling out homophobia is not aggressive. Being homophobic, and arguing with a gay person when they're telling you that you're being homophobic, is.

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I'm gonna stay on topic as best as I can. Personally I think my romantic orientation is a much bigger difference than being asexual. Not having any desire to pair up makes me a bit of an outsider in a world where romance is so important.

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This is my second warning. If this derailing and aggression continues, this thread will be temp locked.

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I posted equal

 

I think my romantic orientation is way more troublesome for me than my sexual one. in short I never experienced much trouble with my sexual orientation and my famely and friends are supportive.

however I identify as queer and I see both my sexuality, gender, way I bond and everything as a mixed part of my queerness. here my sexuality and gender is often most in focus to the point that i have to consider my level of safety when I travel. I dont have to do that in the same way with being aro I just have to say im not interesteed. however I think being aro is hard in other ways because even within the lgbt comunity its very invisible. also I dont think being aro nessesarry makes you safe from homophobia. Somethimes when I have just been friendly with friends and we are viewed as being same sex, I got homophobic comments, small things as just talking or hugging nothing sexual nor romantic but its apperently enough.

 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Simowl said:

Romantic orientation. Being an (...grey??) ace doesn't really feel like it's had much impact on my life. I thought about it, ID'd with it, and moved on. But being aro, that I struggled with a lot more, made me feel a lot more excluded and took a lot longer to accept. Not following the traditional "dating lifestyle" has a much larger impact on my life, I feel.

 

Same.  Being aro affects the way I relate to people and society in general much more strongly than being ace does.  Also, like others have pointed out, romantic orientation is often more visible.  I can't count the number of times I've been interrogated about whether or not I'm dating, have a partner, etc. and subsequently judged for my choice to be single. On the other hand, I don't typically get interrogated about my sex life.

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