Calling for Submissions for The Carnival of Aces for April 2016! What is a blogging carnival? See the master post here! Last month’s topic of “Gender Norms and Asexuality” was hosted by valprehension and you can see the round up of submissions here!
For this month’s prompt I’ve decided on the topic “Be yourself (but stretch)”. What I want to know is how on a day-to-day basis you affirm and express your asexual identity while navigating though established social norms that are, unfortunately, unavoidable. The term “be yourself, but stretch” comes from authentic leadership techniques, where to be an effective supervisor you need to be authentic (be yourself), but also stretch to match the expected norms that come with leading others.
Growing up in the 90s I feel like a major moral of every kid’s show was “Be yourself”. The many episodes would start off with one of the main characters trying to blend in with the cool kids or try to reinvent themselves after an embarrassing mishap, but in the end they realized that all they needed to be happy was to be themselves. I wish a screenwriter or two had had the foresight to write and episode where “Be Yourself” didn’t work. You know, something for the rest of us who came out to our parents and it backfired, for those who came out to friends who still think we’re “basically straight” or just “gay and won’t admit it”, or maybe something for those of us who haven’t come out and have to fake chuckle at bad sex jokes at work or artfully dodge awkward questions about the significant others we don’t have.
I’m looking for posts, stories, comics, poems, art, videos, or a comfortable digital medium of your choice about how “Be yourself” doesn’t always work; About how you would love to be out and proud, but can’t because people just don’t get it or you can’t risk your livelihood or it’s just not worth the drama. How do you be your wonderful, asexual self and how do you “stretch” to fit in the roles you need to be to make a living or just make it through the day?
If you’re still not sure what to write about, here are some suggestions. These are not meant to be all-encompassing, only to provide possible ideas.
-Have you mastered the art of balancing your ace identity and your family, friend, and work relationships? Make the How-To guide you wish you had a year ago.
-Any advice for making it though that awkward family dinner that’s just around the corner? Parents/Grandparents are probably going to be asking some uncomfortable questions.
-Do any of your friends not accept your asexuality? How does that affect your friendship? What compromises are you willing to make between your identity and loyalty to friends?
-What do you do or who do you go to when you need a confidence boost or to reaffirm your ace identity?
-Show some support for your fellow aces who haven’t come out and don’t plan to because of some very good reasons.
-How do you be yourself when most of society says that isn’t good enough, that we’re “missing out” on what is considered part of human nature? If you wrote an article to your local news paper about being asexual in your community, what would you say?
I will be accepting submissions until midnight Eastern Standard Time Saturday April 30th, so you’ll have plenty of time to whip something together.