Tag Archives: asexual umbrella

Oriented Gray

I’ve had to summarize this situation for other people a few different times now, so I decided I might as well put together a post on the subject for future reference. Basically, this is a post about that whole “oriented” business and everything that’s wrong with it.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort.]

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A gray kind of ace

Gray is a purposeful metaphor. An expression of imprecision, blending, and betweens. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about gray-asexuality again. It’s been a few years since I published “Experiences attraction infrequently” doesn’t cut it, and while I know that post is still useful to people, it’s also been long enough at this point that I’m embarrassed of my own writing. So this is a short reflection piece on why I still identify as gray-a, going on about six years now. 

[This post has been crossposted to Pillowfort; cw: sexual violence mention.]

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2013-2014 in Ace Tumblr: the Gray Wars

A compilation of links to the arguments made on gray-asexuality and demisexuality in the Tumblr segment of the ace community, back when they were a big point of contention around the year 2013. This doesn’t aim to include everything, but it is 1) what I was able to recover, and 2) what I consider representative. Disproportionately many of the original aggressors have since changed their URLs or deleted their posts, but I believe I’ve provided enough context here to read between the lines, even if you weren’t there for it all.

A note about the imprecision of the title: Technically, I’m going to include a few links from 2012, as prelude, but the bulk here will be from 2013. Also, you may spot a couple of links to WordPress and AVEN in the mix as well. These are to allow further context and examples of where the conversation had spillover, but this particular post is going to focus mostly on Tumblr.

A note on why I’m writing this: While it might be just as well for this mess to go forgotten, witnessing it unfold was something seriously impactful on me at the time, as someone just starting to read ace blogs and (at the time) newly questioning whether or not to describe myself as gray-asexual. I had no prior contact with the community outside of this, of course. For me, this was one of my very first introductions to the community — a debate over whether or not a given group of people, a group that I kinda sorta maybe was realizing I might be a part of, belonged in the community. You better believe I watched it closely — and slowly formed an impression of who had the best case.

It would have been helpful to have this compilation back when I was trying to explain gray context in 2015, but oh well. More recently, however, there have also been some newer conversations I’ve wanted to reference it in, such as contrasting some gatekeeping in the ace and aro communities, so a post on this may still be useful yet.

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

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Five Years and Counting

[link]

A playlist for dealing with the anti-ace brigade.  Just a themeless, totally not-ace-related sampling of perspectives on ongoing internet conflicts, from “this is why we lie awake” to “I don’t want to hear about the bad blood anymore.”

This Is Why We Fight – The Decemberists / You’re So Vain – Carly Simon / Don’t You Ever Get Tired – Bettye Swan / Dirty Laundry – Don Henley / Hate On Me – Jill Scott / Mean People Suck – NOFX / Civil War – Guns N’ Roses / Gives You Hell – The All American Rejects / Shut It Tight – T Bone Burnett / 3 Minutes – Mashrou’ Leila* / Numb – Marina & The Diamonds / Bad Blood – Bastille

*I could hide in your skin.  I could wear all your faces… I could be you if you want me to.  I could sing all your words.  I could act out your life, when you hear me in your mirror.  Tell me please who to be.

 


who wants to start an imzy community

with (for) me

about like.  ace umbrella anti-abuse bondage anarchist… stuff… or just… non-d/s kink… nonsexual kink… or, I guess, any of the combinations of things that I can’t find enough content on, that I want to talk about with more people…


On “A-” Homogenization

Companion piece to this post on lgb homogenization, I suppose.

A while back, when I criticized the terms acephobia/arophobia/aphobia for the phobia suffix, I got a comment disagreeing with my replacement suggestions on the basis that we supposedly need “aphobia” or some equivalent in order to bundle anti-ace and anti-aro concepts together in one term.  A short argument resulted.

In light of that, this post and its tags feel like support for what I was trying to say there:

#the replacement with ace- and aro-spectrum with a-spec; and allosexism and amatonormativity/ace- and aro-phobia with aphobia?#really really obnoxious and lazy and imprecise and it drives me up a wall ok#there are REALLY DAMN GOOD REASONS both in terms of denoting ideologies and being able to point out intracommunity issues with having those#*having those terms and ideas be SEPARATE THINGS

…Yeah.

And granted, Sangam did say:

I never argued for doing away with the terms you proposed entirely — I simply don’t think they are sufficient to act as a REPLACEMENT for what “aphobia” already covers, which is the subject of this discussion.

…but while anti-aro acts and anti-ace acts do have overlap, sure, I still don’t think a combo-term (1) deserves to be used to the exclusion of specifics (as I’ve seen some people doing — using “aphobia” in all cases instead of using more specific terms like compulsory sexuality, amatonormativity, etc. as the case may warrant) or (2) does what Sangram says it does, re: “solidarity.”  A non-aro-spec ace using “aphobia” doesn’t communicate anything to me as a quoiro and doesn’t do me any good on that front, so I don’t know what model of solidarity we’re using there.  And anyway — being able to label amatonormative junk that goes on in the ace community is more important to me than having a term that homogenizes aces and aros in a way that doesn’t distinguish where populations and experiences diverge.  I mean, maybe that should be important to me, but right now it’s not really.

…So it’s actually quite fascinating to me to see “a-spec” proposed as something that could mean “a spectrum of nonattraction, unspecified” (or as James puts it, “a specific phrase meant to emphasize inability or lack of desire to distinguish one’s own aro and ace identities as separate pieces rather than a composite whole”) as opposed to its current meaning of “aro spectrum and ace spectrum combined as one umbrella for all.”

Related addition 1/19/18: Vesper tweeted about the relationship between the ace community and the aro community


dearlie lyrics

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A Matter of Discrete Divisions

In contested questions regarding the asexual umbrella, I’ve seen a lot of this “you either are or you aren’t” approach to classing identities.  “You either are or you aren’t” binary talk is pretty familiar to me as a gray-a, as you can imagine, if you know anything about 2012-era ace-intracommunity conflicts.

So that’s what I think about, naturally, when I see framing like “are you trans y/n” and “are you attracted to ppl of your own gender y/n” deployed in flowcharts aimed at telling aces what things are and aren’t for us.  I saw one such flowchart today, didn’t save the url, and when I decided to reference it in this post, went, “eh that’s okay, I have the url of a different reblog of the same thing saved somewhere” — and then, upon checking, I realized that the url I had saved was actually of a different flowchart featuring the same questions, distinguishable only by the style of arrows.

This post isn’t about the controversial q-word or how many letters should be in lgbt or any of that.  This post is is just some wondering aloud about the metrics I’ve seen used to discuss those issues.

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no time limit

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Call for Zine Submissions

call for submissions

Aces in the Church: a zine from under the asexual umbrella about experiences with(in) modern Christianity

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Too often, non-aces will speculate about what it’s like to be ace under the gaze of one of the most politically powerful religious groups to date, making assumptions about what we do or don’t face, without asking those of us who have the relevant experience.  This zine, “Aces in the Church,” is intended to be a compilation of ace experiences with & within Christianity, to bring our stories together into one place and close the door on any need for speculation.

Who can submit content?

Anyone who fits both criteria:

  • past or present identification with asexuality, gray-asexuality, or some other identity under the asexual umbrella (questioning people welcome)
  • past or present participation in/involvement with/exposure to a Christian church or community (or Christian and Christian-leaning individuals)

If you’re interested but you’re on the fence about whether you or your experiences count, you are invited to submit something anyway.

What content can you submit?

Any personal reflections, mini essays, vignettes, stories, short comics, or other works dealing with being ace while engaging with Christians and/or in relation to Christianity.  For example, you might submit something about:

  • messages from within the Church about marriage and sexuality & how they’ve impacted you
  • abstinence-only sex education as experienced by an ace
  • how a Christian upbringing has affected the way you or others feel about the legitimacy of your ace identity
  • a time when you disclosed an ace identity, lack of interest in sex, etc., to a Christian
  • consequences to not believing in Christianity and consequences to not expressing sexual desire
  • parental expectations with regard to sex and God
  • dating (or not) as a Christian and an ace
  • interplay between religious and sexual trauma
  • things you would tell your younger, more devout (or less devout) self about attraction, dogma, and community
  • positive experiences of explicit ace acceptance in a Christian context

There is no minimum length requirement.  A couple of sentences is fine.  A short note saying that the subject is too difficult for you to talk about can count as a contribution.

All submissions will be subject to the editor’s approval prior to publication.  Pieces with objectionable content, such as antigay sentiment, will not be tolerated.  You can opt to supply a contact method if you would like to resolve any issues that may arise.

The editor will add content warnings at its own discretion, and you are welcome to specify some yourself.  There is only one mandatory rule about this: please place a note at the top if your submission includes sexual content.

How can I submit something?

You have two options!  Either drop the full text into Coyote’s askbox, or email the file/document to theacetheist@gmail.com, with the subject line “zine submission.”  These methods can also be used to send questions about the zine, but in that case, make sure to include a contact method for the reply, unless you’re a regular reader of The Ace Theist.

Please specify what name (if any) you would like the piece to be attributed to for the byline.  In other words, please say who your submission is from.  Your submission can be from “Anonymous.”  If you choose not to remain anonymous, you may use an alias or a url, or both.

When is the deadline?

The current deadline is August 15, but that’s subject to change depending on the response rate.  Feel free to drop Coyote a note to request more time.

[note for people who don’t read the tags: full text copying of this post is permitted & encouraged so this will spread]