This post is for the April 2018 Carnival of Aces (“All the birds but us…”). Cross-posted to The Asexual Agenda.
Content Note: contains a brief mention of sexual assault, and discussion of the impact of trauma on relationships.
The question for this month is, “How did your (a)sexual and (a)romantic orientations impact your (expected or imagined) future?”
When I was a child, honestly, I didn’t really have an expected or imagined future. I didn’t know “what I wanted to be” when I grew up, and I found the question so obnoxious that I started to routinely protest it by giving an impossible answer. (“A cat!”—because nobody ever asks cats that kind of question.) Continue reading
I’m taking an American Sign Language class right now. I’ve always thought it would be cool to learn ASL, but in the past several years it has become especially pertinent, because I now have a family member who uses some ASL, due to being autistic and mostly non-verbal. I’ve also found it helpful to use basic signs to communicate with my partner at night, since (without getting into medical details) both of us have some issues that can make it painful to speak that tend to flare up at night. There are a lot of benefits to learning a gestural language, and I’ve been enjoying it a lot.
We had a group assignment recently to perform a funny short skit. We could do whatever we wanted as long as it wasn’t inappropriate or anything, but the teacher strongly suggested fairy tales as something that would likely be the easiest.
“Let’s do Cinderella!” one of my group members said.
“Yeah! I’ll be one of the stepsisters!” She pointed to me. “Elizabeth can be Cinderella!”
“Huh? Wait, why me?”
“You’d be perfect for it! You’re blonde,” she reasoned. Continue reading
I don’t share links very often, because honestly I’m pretty bad at keeping track of them. I’ve been trying a new method of saving them for myself to look at later, and it’s working out better… but now I need a way of clearing them out so that it doesn’t get too cluttered. So I’m posting some here. This isn’t something I plan to do on any kind of schedule, since this can be quite draining work, but I might do this periodically from now on. In the future, these probably won’t be as long as this one.
If you’re looking for some things to read, here are some articles I recommend from the past six months or so. This is pretty long, but I’m not trying to make this an exhaustive list or anything, so please keep in mind that these are just the articles I still have on hand in my little saved list, that I haven’t already linked to somewhere else.
Readers, you are welcome to share links you recommend in the comments, too.
Asexuality & Queerness
- Asexuality BC (Before Cake) – This is an expanded-for-2017 version of Nat Titman’s notes/slides for a talk on the early asexual community (starting in the 90s) at the 2012 WorldPride Asexual Conference in London.
- Even though I first started paying attention to the ace community in late 2004 which is after the time period discussed here, much of the things discussed here are familiar to me, as they were still pretty apparent when I joined. It really was a very different time, and people who weren’t around back then mostly don’t have an appreciation of just how much the separatist, exclusionist faction shaped community norms back then. Talking about sexually active asexuals really was unthinkable for a long time and got the barest minimum of attention if it did happen, which is one reason I started this blog. Unfortunately, partly because of aces fighting against exclusionism and partly because of the allosexual gaze, the idea that aces might have and enjoy sex has over time become over-represented, if not in the amount of people actually talking about that, at least in the amount of articles shared and in 101 materials. I regret that I am partly responsible for that too. It was never something I anticipated.
- The Ace/Aro Atheists panel at OrbitCon – with Siggy, Sennkestra, and luvtheheaven
- I had a bit of a running commentary on this one while watching it, as my partner walked in and out of the room and played Skyrim. At one point, someone said something about uh… asexuality just getting ignored I think? So my partner goes, in the style of NPCs in Skyrim detecting skeaking, “Huh? What was that? Oh… must have been asexuals.” LOL, accurate.
- Sennkestra (I think? paraphrasing): “It’s kind of hard for people to hate asexuals if they’ve never heard of it.” Me: “Not that hard!” — I mean yeah, there’s more open and unprompted hostility explicitly targeting asexuality now, but… eh, you know, I sure did experience a lot of hostility towards the concept of asexuality even before people were aware of it as a word that applied to humans. Although yeah, I was particularly unlucky.
- How bisexuality gets erased, explained by the reaction to Cynthia Nixon’s candidacy – Caroline Framke at Vox
- Why it’s so unhelpful to talk about the male or female brain (apparently retitled “The non-binary brain” but I feel that’s less informative than the original title, since it doesn’t really talk about NB-identifying people’s brains) – Emily Willingham at Aeon
Mental Health & Disability
…I guess I don’t really have a lot of stuff that fits in this category but doesn’t really talk about/focus on sexual violence. I’m putting all of those behind a cut and obviously, all kinds of content warnings for those.
Ace readers, prepare to cringe. Consider this a blanket trigger warning for the rest of this post and most of the links. To my fellow ace survivors, I hope you are taking care of yourselves, and please don’t feel that you have to engage with this.
Teen Vogue published an article by Jaclyn Friedman entitled “Why Sexual Pleasure Must Be Included in #MeToo Conversations” — and of course it has the tagline, “Let’s refuse to be silenced about our sexualities, and celebrate them instead.”
Okay, fine, let’s do that. I’m refusing to be silent about my sexuality.
I am asexual. Continue reading
[Content note: All the trigger warnings for this post. However, the worst part is front-loaded, and brief.] Continue reading
This post is for the March 2018 Carnival of Aces on the topic of “Physical Health and/or Our Bodies.”
I don’t talk about my body much. I tend to think that people don’t want to hear it, and that the world needs more body positivity rather than contagious insecurity, especially coming from someone of average weight and relative privilege. But not talking about these things doesn’t make them go away, so for this one little post, since it’s on-topic, I’m going to try to stop ignoring my discomfort and examine it for a little while.
Fair warning: it’s mostly trauma and aging-related stuff, with some mention of racism. I’m not getting into weight or diets or anything like that, though.
Feel free to tune out now, but listen in if you want. Maybe a few people will find this relatable. Continue reading
This post is for the January 2018 Carnival of Aces, on the topic of “Identity.”
This is going to be completely off-the-cuff rambling, so bear with me if you will. There’s some stuff that I’m trying to get at that is very difficult to describe, so I’m doing it in a roundabout way. I’m also barely editing this post before I publish it, because I tried writing about this before and then scrapped the entire draft last minute because I didn’t like how it was going. Instead, I’m just going to do a “thinking out loud” style post.
I don’t really like writing about (my own) identity.
There. I said it.
Maybe that’s surprising to you, I don’t know. Maybe not. It seems like it might be surprising to some, considering that the entire reason I started this blog was to discuss a particular identity, asexuality—and more specifically, gray-asexuality, which I no longer identify with. There, I suppose, is part of the reason I don’t like talking about identity. When you’ve come to be known for having a particular identity, and then that changes? Well… Continue reading
As my final farewell to 2017, I’m writing up some game reviews. The year had a very definite mood for me, and I found that the commonality within the three games I played the most of (besides Pokemon) was being post-apocalyptic. So here I want to compare and contrast them a little bit: what kind of outlook do these games present? What can we learn from them?
My first horse in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This game is amazing. I don’t know what I can say about it that hasn’t already been said about a million times before, but seriously, it’s incredible. Before this game came out, I thought it was probably over-hyped by an extremely dedicated fanbase. I had never played any Zelda games and never been especially interested in them, so I thought it might not be as great as people were making it out to be.
Then I played the game.
I’ve been reflecting back on my hard-won personal progress of the past year and making notes about what’s working best for me now, so that I can come back to this post in the future and remind myself of these strategies when I need to. Continue reading
Let’s be real: 2017 was a bullet-hellscape full of dumpster fires orchestrated by a cartoonishly evil rich white predator, surrounded by a bunch of rampaging swamp monsters spewing corrosive acid at the foundations of democracy and decency. This state of affairs is not normal.
We all know this. But this post is not about politics. I’m not going to let the bitter, caustic acid of hatred and bigotry we’ve had to endure all year be the focus of this post.
Instead, as the year draws to a close, I’m looking back on it intentionally with an eye towards what progress I’ve made, in my own personal life, so that I can take from it what lessons I’ve learned and apply those toward the future. Because I’m definitely going to need them. There’s a long, hard road ahead and many more battles to fight.
[Content note: So this is a pretty personal post and usually, I would put some content warnings right here, but honestly, I’m not really sure what to warn for in this one. It’s mostly a very general discussion of PTSD/trauma symptoms, with mentions of abuse, and some discussion of lack of access to medical treatments and med-shaming. But I’m actively avoiding getting specific. If you see something else I should warn for, please let me know.]