In case you missed it, here is the ace spectrum atheists panel that I was on during FTBcon 3.
Before you watch it though, please be warned that we talked about some pretty heavy stuff, including sexual violence. If you have triggers related to that, and you find the panel setting them off in a way that you’re having trouble dealing with, you can go to Resources for Ace Survivors. Queenie has a list of ace survivors who are willing to talk to other ace-spectrum/questioning people dealing with sexual violence.
A couple of comments:
- In my introduction, I mentioned writing a more detailed blog post about my history with religion. If you’re interested, you can find that post here.
- This panel was somewhat unusual representation-wise (you’ll see what I mean). A little more diversity would have been nice, but we didn’t really have the time to arrange it. The whole conference was moved back several months, and when some of our previously scheduled panelists dropped, we had to switch things up with barely more than two weeks to go, too. I think it went very well despite the lack of certain perspectives, though.
- Even though we were able to exceed our allotted time because we were the last panel of the night, I still managed to forget several things I had wanted to say! And there were some things we just didn’t get to touch on, or only spoke of very generally, because the topic is so huge. If anyone still has questions, feel free to ask them here. Just mind the comment policy.
Apparently there were some trolls who kindly provided evidence to support all the points we made. If you look at it on Youtube, you’ll notice the number of dislikes on the video is much higher than the number of likes—most of them didn’t even watch, they just showed up to tell everyone that they don’t accept our existence, and then left. I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that the people continuing to press the thumbs-down button are probably also not watching.
Thanks, trolls. Your belligerent commitment to ignorance has been duly noted.
I do find it funny that the jerk who instigated this sad fanboy drive-by attack just assumed we’re from Tumblr, considering that this panel is one where the majority of us do not use Tumblr (as far as I’m aware), and all of us were around well before it became a big thing. At least half of us dislike the format, and I personally am just a straight-up crotchety old WordPress supremacist.
Despite the trolls, though, the panel had enough interest to run long, and had a good response from the people actually involved in FTBcon. I wasn’t paying attention to the chat channel during the panel, but from what I could tell, the response seemed mostly positive/supportive. Big thanks to Jason Thibeault for facilitating, so that I could safely ignore both the harassment and all the wonderful supportive comments we were getting!
I want to briefly mention one thing that Jason brought up in the hangout chat, which I had wanted to respond to but then forgot about: the desire to help, but also let asexual people speak for ourselves—to not talk over us or ‘splain. That’s a sentiment that I do appreciate, especially because we tend to get a lot of people going, “No, I’m the psychic expert on your subjective internal life experiences, not you.” But I also wanted to point out that there will be situations where we’re either not comfortable speaking up, or just too worn down to do so. So creating an environment where we feel safe to speak—and ideally don’t have to do the very basic education work that precludes making finer points ourselves—is very important. And I think this conference managed it.
I had fun chatting with everyone, and I’d like to see more panels like this in the future, on many more ace-related topics. One day, I think the asexual community could successfully create our own whole conference using the same model as this one. I’m not sure how far we are from being able to make that happen—I suspect it would depend on how many people (including allies) would want to get involved. But I think it would be a very good thing for us, scattered as we are throughout the world, to be able to come together (in our pajamas) from our various spheres of ace-fluence to have discussions on topics we normally wouldn’t be able to talk to each other about, because we exist in such separated domains.
So if anybody wants to make that happen, I’m down.