Carnival of Aces August 2020 Round Up: What are you Hoping to get out of the Ace Community?

[If I’m missing anyone’s submission please post a link or a note in the comments or send me an email at lettredemarque(at)outlook(dot)com. I’ve been checking my spam box but life happens. Speaking of life happens if anyone has a late submission they want me to retroactively add I’m okay doing that too]

Greetings! This takes us to the end of this month’s Carnival of Aces and I’m happy to present our five fabulous submissions based on this month’s topic of “What are you hoping to get out of the Ace community?”

First of up we have Coyote, the author behind The Ace Theist here on WordPress, with “Directions for Ace Community Advocacy”; It’s a quick read that brings up several advocacy points the community needs to be thinking more about and individuals should probably be incorporating into their advocacy plans:

…I see mental healthcare as a key issue for the ace community for a number of reasons — because it can be psychologically damaging to be trapped in a sexnormative culture, because it can be difficult to access treatment for other mental health issues when anti-ace narratives stand in the way, and because “low sexual desire” is officially pathologized as a disorder in the DSM. For all these reasons and more, I think ace advocacy should be prioritizing therapy as an important area of concern…

Up next we have redbeardace’s post “Get Out Of It” about wanting to step back as an activist but not willing to leave the community floundering to repeat past mistakes or without a clear direction forward:

…For years, the primary drive has been visibility.  Shouting “WE EXIST!” as loud as we can until someone hears us. Okay.  They’ve heard us. What now? How about fighting singlism, pushing for better mental and physical healthcare, tearing down compulsory sexuality, inclusion in anti-discrimination policies, more and better media representation, sociological research that’s not mind-numbingly out of touch…more and stronger advocacy groups and closer ties/direct involvement with general queer groups, reaching all the people who are long past high school and feel lost and broken and confused because they haven’t heard of asexuality yet, and that’s just the beginning

Moving right along Henry sent me a submission via email; “A Disconnected Past, and A Curious Present” brings the perspective of feeling unwelcome and disconnected to the ace community. This post actually reminded me of when Vivek Shraya (a Canadian trans activist) visited my college and mentioned that community spaces were some of the loneliest places she had ever been in and it was in the art community that she found love and acceptance. Henry had a similar experience and reminds that while there’s a lot of shared experience among aces, not everyone’s asexual journey is going to look the same:

…I had instead followed my fantastic side to a very different community. This other community is all about self-discovery and self-expression, and both is very open about sexuality and extremely non-heteronormative. Their art was the perfect thing to feed my imagination and my fiction writer’s pen. The friends I made were just who I needed. Not only could I talk to them about my imagination, but I could write very NSFW stories from it they would eagerly lap up…

lokiofjotunheim’s post simply titled “Carnival of Aces – August 2020” talks about being relatively new to the ace community, how they discovered asexuality, learning community history and what they’re hoping for in the future:

…I want other 15, 16-year-olds, 40, 70, 90-year-olds who’ve never quite had a word that fit to find that for themselves. I want people to not have to be resigned to (and I was resigned, heavily) living life as “straight by default.” I’m not active in the sense that I’ve done activism. I have my Tumblr, sure, where I reblog ace posts and sometimes add a comment or two on the occasional post. I’m in several ace discords, and I have my ring, and my flag but…that’s about it…

Lastly we have my own submission for this topic, “I am not an Activist” which is basically just me venting about acephobia for three paragraphs and listing things I appreciate about the ace community; namely it’s nice not to feel alone in my experiences as an asexual even if I don’t have the skills to necessary to carry the community forward.

Edit: Not your professor, I accept late submissions! Drop a link below and I’ll add it to the round up. Here are the posts that were added after Aug 31st:

Elisabeth talks about “Virtual Meetups” (click here to read part one of “Increasingly Accessibility” series). Your asexual movement isn’t inclusive unless it’s accessible. With the world in the middle of a global pandemic the logical thing seems to move meetups online, but that doesn’t automatically mean online meetups are fully accessible to everyone:

My biggest problem with the state of virtual meetups in asexual communities right now, though, is just the sheer amount of effort it takes to even find out about them. Most groups are set to private, so you have to already be a member to know what they’re up to

The Call for Submissions for September is already up with the exciting topic of “Manifestos”

Please help us keep the conversation going by volunteering to become a future host!

I am Not an Activist

[This is my own submission for the Carnival of Aces hosted this month by me, for the prompt “What are you hoping to get out of the ace community? I will be posting the Roundup on Monday night, Aug 31st, so if you’ve submitted something and have not received a like on the comment or a “thank you” acknowledgement let me know because that probably means that I missed it. If you sent me something via email and didn’t get a response please resend it and let me know in the comments here or the Call for Submissions post so I can be on the look out for it. Thank you!]

As the title says, I am not an activist. I don’t think of myself as an activist, I don’t call myself an activist, and I try not present myself as an activist because I am not an activist. I merely exist as an asexual (and aromantic and agender) person and I infrequently ramble on my personal blog (and admin a Twitter account that posts screenshots of aphobes being assholes on the internet, which is also definitely not activism).

The thing is just existing as an asexual person comes with caveats. For instance if an acephobic troll shit-post goes viral on Twitter (or tumblr or Facebook or any mainstream online media) you literally have hundreds of armchair pharmacists, evolutionary biologists, and psychologists swarming the comments trying to pick apart your existence based on what they probably remember from their high school biology textbook. LGBTQ exclusionists demand “proof” of your existence and “oppression” in the form of peer reviewed journal articles and hard science while hypocritically using PowerPoint slides that they’ve clobbered together based off of a preliminary study/article they either obviously didn’t actually read or obviously didn’t understand how the data was being interpreted because the orginal source overtly contradicts their claim. Then there are “well meaning” family members and friends who instead of listening to you as you share a deeply personal, core aspect of your very self and personal identity, they brush you off or offer irrelivant/harmful advice because what you are saying contradicts the status quo they’ve been conditioned to believe without question their entire lives. What I’m hoping to get out of the ace community is just a goddamn break.

It is completely and utterly exhausting to go through life feeling isolated, disconnected, and othered by every emotional support system you’ve build up, especially if you can’t fully trust the medical systems in place because of heteronormative bias on top of cost/availability. It’s almost like life decided to push out of a plane with just a spool of thread instead of a parachute and you just have to find a way to deal with it. Okay, the parachute thing might be just a bit over dramatic (again, personal blog, I can vent if I want), but just because I’m “complaining” it doesn’t automatically make my perception untrue or “out of turn” and it’s really nice to know that there’s a group of people who understand that. Day-to-day I’m really just hoping for bare bones, basic dictionary definition of “community”.

I am looking for a human connection that I literally cannot get in my regular life. It’s nice to have a conversation with a stranger who already knows what asexuality is. It’s nice to have someone who’s sympathetic to my crappy coming-out-to-my-parents story. It’s nice to know there’s other people who also didn’t realize until later in life that there’re more options than just “straight or gay”. It’s nice to know that even though I barely had the energy to put a new coat of gorilla tape on my car today, there are other people who are working really, really hard on the daily to make real, meaningful changes to laws, medical practices, and general awareness regarding asexuality. I’m not an activist, I can’t organize people, I don’t consider myself charismatic, I don’t know anybody important, but I do a pretty good impression of a warm body when the situation calls for it. It’s not much, but it’s also not nothing either.

[Carnival of Aces Guest Post] The Ace Community and Me: A Disconnected Past, and A Curious Present

This is a submission for the Carnival of Aces August for the topic of “What are you hoping to get out of the ace community” written by Henry:

I would like to thank Lib for posting this. Though you can find me in a couple places on the internet if you look for me, I didn’t feel any of them were a place to host this essay.

That fact is probably a pretty good introduction: you are about to read about my early struggles with asexuality, why I didn’t feel like the community spoke to me then, and why I am cautiously looking into it more now.

Continue reading “[Carnival of Aces Guest Post] The Ace Community and Me: A Disconnected Past, and A Curious Present”

Capture the Flag (Part 2)

I need everyone to take a deep breath because this is going to be a trip. In a previous post I mentioned that flag discourse on Twitter was making me nervous because of the misinformation that came with it. Since then I’ve been keeping an ear to the ground because drama in other communities tends to leak over.

So, there’s been some pan flag discourse again.

Twitter screenshot: pansexual flag was stolen from a South Indian flag

The person who wrote that tweet deleted it a while ago time ago and apologized, but the screenshot has resurfaced on Instagram and things blew up. I searched high and low for anything related to this topic. Exact phrasing, nothing. Not even a tumblr hit and there’s always a tumblr hit on discourse. It was unbelievable. When I did a keyword search I got ONE hit.

Screenshot: fandom.com wiki pansexuality

So I did a less strict search and I just have a couple of questions…

Nothing major, just…where…

Screenshot blog post

…are all…

…the primary sources?!

My next question is how easy is it to make magenta dye before 1949, but we’re going to put a pin in that because I forgot to mention that there’s a exclusionist/separatist group running around on Twitter and I forgot the rest of the internet doesn’t know that.

Twitter screenshot

If you would kindly note the twitter ribbon in asshole #1’s profile pic, that is one of the “eclipse” flags. And I’m just going to let them explain it:

That sums up today’s Twitter drama.

Mini Rant: Exclusionist “Sources”

A personal pet-peeve of mine, but here I am banging my head against freaking paywalls trying to find actual evidence that the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee (the first LGBT organization according to Wikipedia) was asexual inclusive, meanwhile this (see image below) is what passes for “sources” among exclusionists:

screenshot “source list”
Twitter Screenshot

Exclusionsts will grab whatever quotes from whatever pops up in their Google search they think might support their argument without actually checking if they read the material correctly or if it even supports the argument they are trying to make. Nothing in that linktree mentions asexuals. But that’s what somebody sent me when I asked for their sources on their post on asexuals. It’s like they think my nerdy ass isn’t going to check.

Anywho, a gay activist named Carl Schlegel was asexual inclusive in 1907 and I’m trying to figure out figure out if that was a him thing or if he adopted it from the WhK. Unfortunately, I don’t read German and there was that rise of the Nazi thing that destroyed a crap ton of priceless LGBT history. But sure, a instagram linktree is a “source”.

John Oliver headdesk reaction image because words cannot fully express my frustration right now

ANYWHO, self-care today is putting a pin in the WhK thing (for now) and watching my all time favorite film, Denial (2016), to remind myself that it is not my job to debate people on Twitter and I don’t have a crack team of researchers who can pour over everything my “opponent” ever wrote. ALL that considered, I’m doing fine…..

(minus, you know, global pandemic and upcoming US election. “Fine” might be relative)

What’s it Like Running an Aphobe Hot-takes account?

Greetings! My internet is absolutely crap right now so I just wanted to do a quick post and the easiest topic I can throw together is about running @Aphobehottakes on Twitter. It’s actually not very exciting.

TW// aphobia because I will be showing some screenshots. yay. Fingers crossed that all of my screenshots still load after I hit “Publish”
(TW is short hand for trigger warning)

Continue reading “What’s it Like Running an Aphobe Hot-takes account?”

What are you hoping to get out of the ace community?

This Carnival is already closed and you can find the Roundup Post Here

Greetings! This is the call for submissions for the Carnival of aces for August 2020. A blogging carnival is where a bunch of blogs will get together and post about the same topic and a host will select the topic and gather all the links in a round up post at the end. Future host spots are open!!! To see past round ups or volunteer to be a host check out the Masterpost on the Asexual Agenda. The topic I’ve selected is “What are you hoping to get out of the ace community?” To see July’s roundup on the topic of “Renaissance-people’s experience with ace culture and how they have seen it change.” hosted by the Ace Initiative Center (AIC) the link will be HERE when it becomes available.

What are you hoping to get out of the ace community? This is intentionally a broad topic, but here some suggested ideas to get you started:

  • How did you find the ace community and why did you decide to join? If you’re not an active community member, why not?
  • How is your experiences in the ace community different from the larger LGBTQIA+ or other communities (ethnic, religious, ect..) you belong to?
  • What are new activists doing that you think is working or not working? Who are your favorite activists and why? What have activists done in the past that you’d like to see make a comeback or you’re glad people are no longer doing?
  • What would you like to see more of in the ace community or is there something lacking?

Submissions can be blog posts, videos, Twitter threads, poems, whatever, as long as it relates to the topic. Just drop a link in the comments below or send an email to lettredemarque(at)outlook.com. I will be posting the round up on September the 1st so please have the submissions in to my by then. Happy blogging!

30 Minutes into My New Project and I’m already Conflicted (Quick Read)

Ever since taking a deeper look at the Medium Article ace-exclusionists like to cite I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a rebuttal as just sort of a demonstration that literally anyone can write and post something to Medium, but instead of just doing a sloppy copy-paste like the original I would treat it like more of a final project worth 25% of the class grade. Research actually isn’t one of my favorite things, I much prefer direct teaching methods like you find in traditional math classes, so I let the idea simmer for about a week to see if it would go away. It didn’t.

Another reason I was hesitant to adopt the rebuttal project is all the community college campuses are closed because of Covid so I don’t have easy access to archives and databases which limits my pool of sources to secondary and tertiary sources. I wouldn’t be satisfied with that. If I’m going to put time and effort into a project like this, because it’s about my sexual orientation it needs as pristine as I can possibly accomplish even if that pushes the timeline back. There’s no real rush. The original Medium article, despite the blatant copy-paste format isn’t going anywhere.

Just to test the inquisitive waters I started looking at the section of the article I could address, the part about David. The original article referenced rumors (although it didn’t refer to them as such) about David Jay being homophobic and a misogynist, but didn’t actually cite any sources. Since I had already gone down that rabbit hole before it was just a matter of going over the tumblr posts again specifically looking for things I had missed.

Tumblr is both a curse and a blessing because even if the original blog is deactivated any posts that were reblogged are still preserved. One blog in particular kept popping up in my search as not necessarily the original source of the rumors, but was definitely an agent in passing them on. When I went to their bio I found a link to her book. She had a book. This was no longer a nameless, faceless person on the internet. This was a writer and activist living in Montreal. What am I supposed I do with that information?

Do I blast this woman on Twitter (obviously not)? Should I pass the information on to ace activists (maybe)? Do I include that information in my rebuttal? Is her identity even relevant or is citing the original tumblr posts enough and it doesn’t actually matter who actually wrote it? I guess the shock of actually putting a face to the baseless tumblr claims rattled me. This is why I don’t like research, the pursuit of truth isn’t about comfort and the truth is rarely comfortable.

What Does Iris Young Actually Say About Oppression?

In my previous post I pointed out that a Medium “article” commonly cited by exclusionists looks more like it was written by a rushed undergrad who cut and pasted their paper together hoping the prof wouldn’t notice than a serious article. In the “article” the author cited Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression” not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times so it might be worth a quick look at why this thirty year old paper is so important and how it relates to the topic of ace exclusion.

First things first, who is Iris Young? Turns out she’s a pretty big deal. “Five Faces of Oppression” (pdf link) is just one of many, many publications she wrote on political and feminist theory. But for today we’re just going to be looking at the Five Faces paper.

Continue reading “What Does Iris Young Actually Say About Oppression?”

That One Medium Article Acephobes Love to Cite

There’s a Medium “article” that acephobes like to cite as “proof” that Aces aren’t inherently part of the LGBTQ community. Throwing the link into the Twitter search bar is an easy way to get a block list going.

Twitter Screenshot: “This article does a great job at explaining why asexuals are not inherently LGBT”
Twitter Screenshot: “worldpride madrid is wrong”
Twitter Screenshot “cishet aces in our spaces put us at risk.”

Today I’m going to put this article under the microscope. Who wrote it? What sources did they use? Is it accurate or is it just a hodgepodge of tumblr posts spliced together to look official?

Continue reading “That One Medium Article Acephobes Love to Cite”