This post is my submission to the January 2018 Carnival of Aces under the theme of “Identity.” Specifically, this post deals with topics of sexuality, identity, alienation, labeling, doubt, touch, trauma, and abuse.
This impetus for this post is a tumblr post about “being stone vs. being asexual” that Rowan shared with me, after it came up as a recommended post on their dash. There’s maybe a few different things I would question in that post (emphasis on question, since some of it is beyond my depth), but maybe chief among them is how stone sexuality & asexuality are being presented as either/or, i.e. mutually exclusive.
Update: the sequel.
Note: the font I’m using for these is Card Characters from Harold’s Fonts, which is a free download, so feel free to use that to make your own playing card-themed stuff.
A short linkspam of linkspams (and some individual posts) on ace intersections, including intracommunity issues and problems faced outside the community. I’m still not all there in the head but, hey, wanted to do a thing, still.
Note in case of tumblrwarp: please visit the original wordpress post in case of future edits/updates.
Gender (Identity and Alignment) – Carnival of Aces November 2011: Gender and Carnival of Aces March 2016: Gender Norms and Asexuality feature posts on being trans, being female, and being nonbinary.
Race and Ethnicity – Vesper’s APoC Resources page has tons of links to content on/by/for asexual people of color, including articles and videos on racism inside and outside of the community, such as The Large Space That White Supremacy Occupies In Conversations About Sexuality.
You can also find some posts on being Jewish in the roundup for Carnival of Aces October 2014.
Gay, Bi, and Queer – On this subject, I’d highlight Living gay (and ace), On “no romo”, and Being asexual, “of the bi-ish persuasion,” and afraid, as well as this post on guilt over desire for representation. For further reading, see Queenie’s so-called teeny tiny linkspam on asexuality and queerness.
Illness and Disability – Carnival of Aces June 2015: Mental Health and Carnival of Aces October 2013: Disability and Asexuality feature posts on being mentally ill, being disabled, and choices on the part of the ace community, disability activists, and health care providers.
Sexual Violence – Queenie’s Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices series explains how to avoid damaging rhetoric about survivors of sexual violence.
The RFAS (Resources for Ace Survivors) Recommended Reading page covers a broader range of topics under the same umbrella of asexuality and sexual violence.
Miscellaneous – Examples of Bad Ace Advice and Hezza’s Asexual identity prescriptivism linkspam address identity-policing and other issues.
Going back to old, old stuff…. I’ve gotten to thinking about this more, the implications of this idea… a definition of straightness that suggests, if not requires, an explicit hierarchy of straightness. All straights are straight, but some straights are straighter than others.
That’s what comes of a working definition of straightness that depends on absences & on what is *not* experienced (re: patterns of desire, attraction, unwilled feelings, etc.), without any dependence on what *is* experienced (re: patterns of desire, attraction, unwilled feelings, etc.), deliberately shaped to include pathologized experiences off of that list, as long as they meet the given absence criteria.
I just wanna say — it might actually be workable, for all I know, but there’s a couple things I haven’t seen addressed.
[Content Note: I’m sorry, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot again. This is a post about the word “queer.”]
It keeps happening, is the thing. And I just plain don’t know how to handle it appropriately.
Mermaid friend was making a comparison between me and someone else, and so she gestured to them and said “small gay” and then gestured to me and said “small…” and then just trailed off. So I asked something like, “What? You couldn’t decide on a noun? Ace can be a noun,” and she said, “No, I just don’t know how you feel about being referred to as a gay.”
…I don’t know how to explain to her that “how I feel about it” is mainly this strong sense of you’ll get in trouble.
What I actually said, for the record, was something along the lines of “the real gay people wouldn’t like that.”
me: [overhearing friend listing names/identities on skype chat in the other room, and then raising my voice to comment from behind a wall] Why is my name being mentioned?
her: [also raising her voice to reply through the wall] I was saying that you’re ace, and we’re playing gay bingo, so that’s worth a certain amount of points.
me: I mean, I, I guess that’s worth being outed for, but — [loud sputtering/incoherent reaction]
her: I can’t hear what’s happening, but I think I just started an argument.
me: No, no, I’m trying to warn you.
her: About what?
me: About the danger.
her: The danger?
me: Of saying that me being ace has any gay points. You’ll be excommunicated.
her: Excommunicated from what? Being gay?
the engineer friend: Because it’s really hard to find a LGBT-affirming church that isn’t…
me: Unitarian Universalist?
the engineer friend: Basically, yes.
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.