Weekly roundup: The holidays and community

So apparently spending the holidays with three (married, allo) couples can lead to some uncomfortable moments. It wasn’t anything big, but just enough small things to add up to me feeling a lot more romance repulsed than normal. I don’t remember feeling this way last year (same group of people), but I hadn’t yet gone through my romantic orientation crisis and recognized my occasional romance repulsion. So maybe it did happen and I just didn’t realize it.

Then I left my family and went off to a big dance event for the New Year’s Eve, feeling like I just didn’t want anything to do with romance. There’s one other ace person in that community, and just knowing that I wasn’t alone helped so much. I don’t actually know her romantic orientation, and we didn’t talk about my feelings, but just being around someone that I could assume would understand and sympathize if I said something made a difference.

Community is important.

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AVEN Thread on Cake?

I’m sure I’ve read an old AVEN thread where the cake thing got started, and it isn’t any of the ones linked here. http://wiki.asexuality.org/Cake

Help?

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Weekly Roundup: Limerance

I came across the term limerance when I was delving into old posts on attraction. I know I’ve encountered it before and looked up what it means, but it’s been a while and I wasn’t totally sure anymore. So I wound up reading the Wikipedia page, which, aside from a few assertions that it has to be based on romantic attraction (and one assertion that it has to include sexual attraction), was quite enlightening. As I was reading through the page, I realized “I’ve totally experienced this! In a major way! More than once…”

I texted my sister-in-law, because she’s the kind of person that I can just randomly text “I was reading about limerance today” to and she’ll roll with it. I included the Wikipedia link, and her response was “That sounds like the first stage of love for most people.” Then I said “Huh. Really?” and she said “Yeah, most people go insane. It’s very counterproductive.”

After that, I thought: All of these songs and poems about love–most of them are really about limerance. And suddenly, it makes a lot more sense why people write these songs, why there are so many of them. I’m still not interested in listening to them, but it makes more sense now.

Then, I clicked a link to the Wikipedia page on romance, and… bad idea. I just had to tell myself “no, stop, don’t let this limited understanding of romance mess with your sense of self.”

I’ve seen this poem more than once, but it strikes me every time. I’d love to have a nice poster print of it.

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Weekly Roundup: Reading Ace and Aro Characters

This week I started reading City of Strife, by Claudie Arseneault, which has several aromantic and/or asexual characters, and I think I’ve found my sweet spot for aro/ace representation. I’ve also read a few young adult books with asexual characters in the last few months, but I find them very emotional. They have mostly been all about relationships (including friendships), and it makes me wish I could have had what they have. In City of Strife there’s plenty else going on in the plot, and the aromantic and asexual orientations are just mentioned here and there (along with brief mentions of other orientations). I want to read more books with ace or aro characters, but I need breaks in between the emotionally intense YA variety. I could read multiple City of Strife type books in a row.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what attraction really is this week, but have nothing coherent written yet.

I’ve also had a couple of real life conversations with (non-ace) people about asexuality and romantic orientations, so that’s good.

 

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Weekly Roundup (October 26 2018)

I’ve decided to try out doing a weekly roundup summary of my thoughts on asexuality and aromanticism and queer stuff that week.

I’m getting a lot more involved in the queer community at my university this year. Previously I didn’t get too involved because of a combination of feeling out of place as a grad student among undergrads; not being sure of my welcome as an ace person; and general shyness. This year, we’re actually starting to form a queer grad students group; at the first non-grad student-specific event I went to, there were two other ace people; and I just know more people in the community now, so I feel less shy. I’ve now realized that having other ace people around is more important to me than having other grad students around.

If we accept the 1% figure, and there are 800 some grad students at my university, where are the other 7 asexual grad students?! (Yes, I know statistics don’t actually work that way. Actually, the fact that there are at least 6 ace-spectrum people that I know of out of a student body of 9000 some feels pretty amazing!)

Spending more time in queer spaces/with queer people/with ace people also means I’ve been spending a lot more time thinking about queer and ace things, which is good. It’s what I want. But it’s also exhausting. I was following link trails through old Asexual Agenda posts, and the analogy of being a phone (or laptop) constantly searching for service really rang true. Sometimes I really do just want to turn on airplane mode and stop thinking about this all for a little while.

I was at a party where we decided to play Cards Against Humanity; normally this isn’t something I’m willing to play. Between the pop culture references I don’t get and uncomfortable sexual stuff (I have to say these words out loud?!), it’s just not my thing. But in a queer space, with other aces, where people know I’m ace, it was ok. I did start thinking, though, if you took out all the sexual stuff, you might not be left with too much. But what could you replace it with to make an ace version? (Is there a card that just says “Cake” already?)

At an Asexual Awarenesss Week event, someone (non-ace) asked, “What should I do to support my ace friend?” We didn’t come up with much beyond “Don’t ask them personal sex-related questions,” “Don’t try to make everything about asexuality,” and “You know, normal friend things.” It makes me want to come up with a list of specific things you can do to support an ace friend. (This feels more specific than just “how to be an ace ally.”)

I think I’ve finally found the right way to describe my romantic orientation! I’ve been in a “hovering between greyromantic and aromantic but neither of those labels feels quite right” zone for a while. Every time I try to construct the arguments for either side, they just fall apart. Last night, it just popped into my head: “I’m asymptotically approaching aromantic.” As a mathematician, this delights me; I even made a cute picture about it, to make it clear that I am not approaching aromantic from the direction of romantic.

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Identity

This article in The Asexual sums up so much of how I feel about my identity and the relationship of queerness and asexuality. I am queer and asexual. I’m a queer asexual.

Yes, I am attracted to people of all genders. Just not sexually, and not in particularly normative ways even beyond that. It is equally as much for the non-normativeness of my attractions that I identify as queer as it is for the people to whom I am attracted.

Queerness is part of my asexuality and asexuality is part of my queerness. Queerness and asexuality are, for me, entirely discreet and entirely overlapping at the same time. My two identities are one identity; my one identity is two identities.

I’m a queer asexual. I am queer and asexual.

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Ace Pride Shirt

I made myself a shirt to wear to my city’s Pride Festival, because I couldn’t find quite the right one online, and anyway, I left it too late and anything I bought online wouldn’t have arrived in time. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Now I just have to be brave enough to wear it…

I’m volunteering at my university’s Equity and Inclusion Office’s booth. I’m not generally out as Ace, but there are some people involved who might know or guess. At least, I brought up Asexual Awareness Week last Fall, and organized putting up posters around campus. (I am more generally out as queer.)

I think I’d better practice my answers to some Asexuality 101 questions.

 

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