Black Rings on Allos

Today I received the following message from LMS, about rings:

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Affective Contortions

Some fragments on gender, neurodivergence, and emotion, inspired by the TAAAP Chats theme for July. This relates back to some other conversations from the past couple of years, but I’m unable to fully unspool all those connections at the moment, so for now, take this as just a personal reflection piece.

[ Crossposted. Preview image by Ninniane, CC BY-NC 2.0. ]

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A Retrospective on Stagnation and Renewal

This post is my submission to the July Carnival of Aces on the theme of “Renaissance.” Since there weren’t a lot of suggestions provided on how to approach the theme, I was initially unsure about where to go with it. After all, the word “renaissance” paints a much more grandiose image than a simpler word like “change.” It wouldn’t seem right for me to say that ace culture has undergone a renaissance, so I won’t try. What I can speak to is a kind of revival in my own ace blogging and which factors are the most responsible for that. So here I’m using this prompt for a kind of seven-year retrospective, with a specific emphasis on some turning points around 2015-17 and 2019.

The short version: tiresome old things got stale, and then discovering new people and new things to talk about renewed my motivation. Breathing new life into the community as a whole, though, would call for a lot more than that.

[ Preview image by Jeremiah John McBride, CC BY-ND 2.0. ]

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Replies

This post is being made solely to furnish a comment section for someone who’s contacted me anonymously. It concerns a prior anonymous message and a couple of other posts that I’ve made in Pillowfort. If you haven’t already been following this conversation, I don’t expect this to be of interest, but I’ll provide links to context here and quote the full text of the newest message before getting into a response.

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3 Lessons From Pride For The Ace Community

Conventionally, “pride” is sometimes understood as an emotion, even within the context of orientational identity. In the June Carnival of Aces call for submissions, one of the prompts attached to the theme asks, “Do you feel proud?” This matches some of the language I heard at one of the TAAAP Pride Chats, where I listened to some of the participants talk about “having” pride or “feeling” pride. That approach doesn’t work for me, as it happens, because my emotions don’t work like that. For me, the meaning I draw from Pride events has to come from somewhere else, which is why I’m turning instead to the role it’s played in LGBTQ advocacy and some lessons I can draw from that — on organizing, on visibility, and on the threat of co-optation.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Sergo Grey.]

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An Actual History Of The Term “Split Attraction Model”

Once more, from the top: The term “split attraction model” came from anti-ace and anti-bi reactionaries on Tumblr. In this post, I rehash why this is relevant to explain and then link specific sources that demonstrate the nature of its origins. If you’ve been using the term unironically/without scare quotes, then I’d kindly ask for you to stop.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Cement.]

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Aces Have More Than a Day: Failures of Community Memory & Advocate Integrity

Given that everybody makes mistakes, what do we do once we’ve made one? Ideally, we apologize, make things right if we can, and commit to doing better in the future. In other words, everything that didn’t happen after Faith Cheltenham erroneously claimed that BiNet USA owned legal copyright of the bi pride flag, kicking off a chain of baffling missteps that may have permanently damaged the reputation of the entire organization. It’s one thing to spout out nonsense on the internet, but it’s chilling when the person doing so is operating at the helm of an advocacy group and stubbornly doubling down against all legitimate criticism.

This incident was still fresh on my mind when I learned about another, completely separate fiasco unfolding in the ace community: one part ignorance of the past, one part refusal to heed other’s concerns, equal parts unnecessary stress and headaches for everyone.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Kishjar.]

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In Sickness

When I picked “leaving” as the theme for the March Carnival of Aces just a few months back, little did I know that March would become a time of not leaving. This month, Siggy has picked the theme of “quarantine,” and I’m taking that as an opportunity to reflect here on the implications of contagious disease for a geographically-scattered community, as well as some potential directions for ace advocacy in the area of health & medical issues.

[Note: This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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How do you talk about sexual norms in an ace-competent way?

There can be a lot of complexity involved in articulating the nuances of societal norms around sexuality, and even in the briefest of offhand references, sometimes people can miss the mark. One of the most common mistakes I see (and the one that I’m the most sensitized to, for the same reasons that I identify as ace) are the mistakes that zero in on the types of sex you’re told not to have without accounting for the types of sex you’re told to have, to the point of being not just incomplete but outright inaccurate. Neglecting the latter leads into overgeneralizations as ludicrously inaccurate as “everybody tells you not to have sex,” instead of attending to the specifics of which particular subjectivities and choices are condemned. This, in turn, is functionally how you end up with people arriving at the notion of asexual privilege.

So how can that be avoided? I don’t claim to have the answer completely sorted out, which is why I’m inviting input here in the comments. As an opening to the discussion, though, here are some things that I think are important to understand: 1) there is no one singular monolithic “society” that speaks with one voice, 2) other sexual norms can intersect with sexnormativity/compulsory sexuality, and 3) when talking about other types of sexual norms, you should try to take that intersection into account.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview photo by Marco Verch.]

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Asexual Privilege: Revival of an Anti-Ace Idea

A post about “asexual privilege,” the online debate surrounding the concept in 2011, and its later contemporary manifestations in an aro community context.

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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