15 Day Asexuality Challenge: Day 4

Have you faced oppression because of your asexuality, whether institutional or societal? What have other people said about your asexuality?

I am never sure how to answer this question. I’m not technically “out” and don’t feel safe coming out to more than a handful of people. The fact that I don’t feel safe is a sign of oppression, but I’ve never been overtly oppressed because of my orientation because I don’t advertise it. I’m very picky about who I come out to so as of yet it’s only been positive or neutral responses to my asexuality (or confusion and denial). No one has as of yet openly expressed hate or been derogatory about my orientation to my face. Unfortunately it’s that same fear of negative responses that makes me hesitate to be a more active advocate for asexuality and my other A identities. I would rather just be myself and let people figure it out later when asexuality awareness becomes more prevalent.

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15 Day Asexuality Challenge: Day 3

Are you out? To whom? Tell the story of the first person you came out to.

I’m out to my younger sister, one of my younger brothers, my parents (technically), one high school friend and one coworker. The first person I came out to was my sister and she was awesome about it. Her reaction was like, “Okay, well, duh.” But she did pressure me into telling my parents before I was ready. That was a bit of a train-wreck, but it was a good lesson on the importance of T.P.L. (time, place, location) when it comes to coming out. Coming out is a very vulnerable position because you generally have no idea how people are going to react. I’ve also found out that I get better results when I just talk about my feelings without using community jargon. Instead of saying, “I’m aromantc/asexual” I say “I’m not comfortable with dating/I don’t think I need a significant other to be happy/I’m more comfortable being single/etc…” I play the “privacy” card like no tomorrow.

When somebody at work asks me if I’m in relationship (because that’s like the 1st question people ask me) I say, “Dude, I don’t even put that info on my Facebook. Privacy settings are a thing.” I feel more comfortable defending myself on a privacy issue than an LGBT+ issue. I firmly believe just because somebody asks you a question doesn’t mean they have a right to an answer. When in doubt, I plead the 5th.

15 Day Asexuality Challenge: Day 2

What does being asexual mean to you? Do you identify as a part of the queer community? What communities do you identify with?

I define an asexual as someone who does not experience sexual attraction or experiences low or rare instances sexual attraction, but not enough to act upon it. Libdo is different. The best metaphor I’ve seen is “You’re hungry, but nothing looks good.” The urge to have sex is different from wanting to have sex with a specific person. It can definitely be alienating at times to have to explain this to people when the majority of society believes that love and sex are part of human nature, thus implying that not having these things (not just abstaining) implies to be less than human.

I consider myself LGBT+ (or whichever is the current acronym). I’m not an active member of any local orginiztions, but will contribute sparingly to online groups. I’m most active with asexuality groups because there are few (read: nonexistent) aromantic and agender groups. Several of the asexuals I talk to on a regular basis are also aromantic and/or fall under the trans/non-binary umbrellas. For now that’s enough to give me a sense of community.

15 Day Asexuality Challenge: Day 1

What is your romantic/sexual orientation? How old were you when you realized you were asexual? What made you realize it? Where did you first learn about asexuality?

This is a bit of a refresher post since I’ve answered most of these questions already. I’m an aromantic asexual. I was 25 when I first learned about asexuality and 26 when I identified my romantic orientation. I found out about asexuality from personal blogs by asexuals. That’s part of the reason I started this blog. One day I just suddenly google searched “Is it normal to have never dated at 25?” and eventually I found a blog by an asexual man. The phrased that triggered my light bulb moment was when he said that before learning about asexuality he thought he was “straight by default” and that was the same thing I thought. I didn’t feel attraction to the “opposite” gender, so I thought I was straight for the most part and just didn’t have time for relationships. I wish I had thought to save the post because I have been unable to find the blog or the post again. It is my hope that my blog will similarly offer answers to those that need it.

15 Day Asexuality Challenge

Since I just wrapped up doing an aromantic challenge I thought I would do an asexuality one. The prompts I found are for a 30 Day challenge, but since I have already answered several of the questions repeatedly in past posts, I felt it was alright to skip a few and combined some of the questions.

1. What is your romantic/sexual orientation? How old were you when you realized you were asexual? What made you realize it? Where did you first learn about asexuality?
2. What does being asexual mean to you? Do you identify as a part of the queer community? What communities do you identify with?
3. Are you out? To whom? Tell the story of the first person you came out to.
4. Have you faced oppression because of your asexuality, whether institutional or societal? What have other people said about your asexuality?
5.Your favorite asexual Tumblr site. Your favorite asexual website.
6.Tell us about a time you met another asexual, whether in real life or online.
7. Your favorite asexual character/celebrity/person.
8. Your favorite “asexual” book (as in, sex and/or romance are not the main focus) and/or Your favorite “asexual” movie.
9. What is your favorite asexual pride image?
10. What do relationships mean to you?
11. Write something or post a picture about asexuality that upsets you.
12. What do you believe causes asexuality?
13. What is the worst argument you’ve heard against asexuality?
14. What is your favorite types of cake? (Or, is pie an acceptable replacement for cake?)
15. Anything about asexuality that you want to end with.

15 Day Aromantic Challenge: Day 15!!!

What do you like about being aromantic? What do you dislike?

Likes:

I like the fact that I’m different. As a writer my worst nightmare is being a cliche. Some cliches are okay, but I don’t want to be one. I like the independence that being aromantic gives me. I wasn’t like several people at my High School who married young and had two kids by the time they were old enough to drink. I like that I get to wear a lot of green and I like the look of the pride flag. I like that my aromanticism complements my asexuality. I like that I can feel platonic and family bonds more strongly. Comrade is one of my favorite emotions. I like that being aromantic has forced me to have a unique world view. I don’t have any romantic emotions or worries or entanglements to distract me from my goals in life. I think I can focus better and have more time to improve myself as a person. I like that I feel complete without missing “another half”.

Dislikes:

I dislike how lonely it can be sometime. I dislike being the third, fifth, or even sometimes the seventh wheel when I go out with my family and their significant others. I dislike that one of the first questions people ask when they try to get to know me is if I have a boyfriend/girlfriend. I want there to be more non-villain aromantics in media. I want there to be more aromantics in media period. I want there to be more representation for my demographic not just the crappy, “Oh, you just haven’t met the right one” or “Prince/Princess Charming is waiting for you, don’t give up!” blog posts. People try to empower single people and in the same breath say that single people just need to “hang in there!”, because there’s someone out there for everyone. I dislike how few aros there are. I don’t belong to an aromantic community or know too many aro blogs or resources. I basically just want more aro stuff and aros to hang with.

Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed doing the blogging challenges. Because of my school and work schedules I can’t do the deep and wordy blog posts that I want to do. The blogging challenges are a nice compromise since I can be as wordy or brief as I want or have the time and energy. I’ll probably continue to search for challenges to do until such time I can fully commit to the post type that I want. If anyone else is doing similar challenges I would like to hear about them in the comments section, Thank you!

15 Day Aromantic Challenge: Day 14

What is your favorite aromantic song?

I don’t know about any songs that are openly aromantic, but I do listen to a lot of music that are devoid of romance. Folk songs and folk-like songs are my favorite. When I listen to music I want to feel moved. My favorites tend change on a daily basis and I’ll often spend extra money on CDs so I can find obscure songs that aren’t available on download. The most recent CD I bought was “Set You Free” by namos. The sing song I was after was Poor Weary Wanderer, but the rest of the CD is also very enjoyable. I love Celtic music, but I’ll listen to pretty much anything folk.

Here are the lyrics to Poor Weary Wanderer:

My heart goes out to you, poor weary wanderer
Forced to travel this world alone
Forced to wander away from home
You must sow what you cannot reap
You must hope but you cannot keep
You must fear what you cannot know

You must feel what you cannot speak

Nobody wants you
Nobody loves you
Nobody cares for you
Nobody slaves for you
You can’t see the angels
Gathered all around you
You can’t hear what they are saying
And Heaven all about you

My heart goes out to you, poor weary wanderer
Forced to travel this world alone
Forced to wander away from home
My heart goes out to you, poor weary wanderer

You must lie in the cold clay
You must travel ’til the end of day

Sometimes songs are vague enough that I can attach an aromantic meaning to them and on rare occasions,  when I’m in the right mood where overt romantic messages don’t overwhelm me, I’ll listen to pop music or the radio. I very rarely listen to the radio while I’m driving. People get on my case for preferring Pandora to Spotify, but Pandora filters my preferences better since I’m trying to tune out what feels like pretty much 99% of songs. Finding songs that aren’t romantic themed is hard and I feel like I just can’t relate to them.

My absolute favorite song is I’m Going to Go Back There Someday by the Muppets. I’m trying not to live up the the childish stereotype unfairly attached to aro/aces, but it’s actually a really beautiful song. As I mentioned, I like songs that move me. I’ve found that exciting and upbeat music loses its shine after a while, but the slower, more meaningful songs stay with me and never dull.

While Poor Weary Wanderer has a sorrowful tone, I’m Going to Go Back There Someday strikes me as sweet and hopeful. For me it represents what I think most aros are looking for, that perfect “home-like” feeling we can find in another person. We are vaguely aware of the possibility, but it feels like the world is against our dream. It feels like the world says the only relationships worth making are romantic ones. I think the current narrative is that friendship should be effortless and it’s really not.

In movies and films people just always seem to have a best friend that magically spawned out of nowhere and all the protagonist’s energy is spent towards the romantic interest. I wish Hollywood made “Falling in Best Friends” stories, because those are the stories I need. I don’t have a lot of friends right now and I’ve lost the youthful ability to magically spawn them. If I want friends, I have to put in the effort. It would be nice to see this as normal instead of the exception.

As an aromantic I’m not looking for True Love. I’m looking for something a little softer, a little sweeter, and although it may appear childish to others, I think it’s probably the strongest, most innate relationship we can build. This trick is finding the right person or people willing to build that same dream.

My favorite lines in the song is the last verse, “There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just me./Part heaven, part space, or have I found my place?/You can just visit, but I plan to stay./I’m going to go back there someday.” I’m waiting and searching still, but I’m still hopeful for “someday” to happen soon.

 

15 Day Aromantic Challenge: Day 13

What is your ideal job/career?

My ideal job/career would be a screenwriter. I’m not a terrible writer, but I don’t have the connections needs to make a living in writing for television or movies. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Sure, I got a grade of 102% in my screenwriting class (extra credit, boom!), but nobody is going to pick up a no-name writer for their new TV series.

That doesn’t stop me from writing. Even if I can only write a small measly blog post a day, I will continue to write a small measly blog post every single day. On days when I’m flat out of ideas I have prompt books that I write in. I make it a point to write at for at least 15 minutes every single day. I make it a point to continue learning about writing and learning how to make my writing better. I’m listening to an audiobook right now on how to write better sentences. I have a whiteboard on my wall with the three act structure written out in permanent marker so all I have to do is fill in the blanks. Hard work isn’t enough. Working damn hard isn’t enough. If I want to break into the writing field I’m going to need to work insanely hard and be damn lucky at some point in time. I don’t have kids. I don’t have a relationship. Writing is the love of my life and my stories are my babies.

Basically writing is already my job, it just doesn’t pay the bills.

15 Day Aromantic Challenge: Day 12

Who is your favorite aromantic character?

I haven’t really ready anything with a canon aromantic character. I’ve seen hints and winks and speculations, but I haven’t read anything that in plan text say “This character is aromantic” outside of fanfiction. Which is probably why I read a lot of fanfiction. A friend of mine was trying to create an aromantic character, but the interpretation was all wrong and I had to come in and say “No, that’s not it. Stop it. Stop making us look like unfeeling robots.” And then they stopped taking my advice, so that clearly didn’t go over well.

I think part of the problem is people who aren’t aromantic don’t really understand what it’s like to be aromantic. Heck, I’m aromantic and asexual, so I have no idea how it feels to be aromantic and lesbian, or aromantic and bi, or aromantic and pan. They would have a completely different experience than me and I would probably conduct some interviews before I even think about making a character.

I don’t know what’s worse. Having no aro characters or having bad aromantic characters. I read a lovely post a while back about how aromantics are often the villains in stories. We don’t know what love is so we must be the bad guys right? Because True Love always wins in the end? I’m really hoping some beautifully talented people out there are busily working to change that. I think we are long over due for an aromantic hero, so I’m going ot say my favorite aromantic character hasn’t been written yet.

 

15 Day Aromantic Challenge: Day 11

What’s your favorite fictional friendship?

I know I’m probably going to get some hate for this, but my favorite fictional friendship is Judy and Nick from Disney’s Zootopia.

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I know they’re basically canon since everybody and their mother ships them, but I like them better as BFFs and I headcanon them as such. I’m a sucker for buddy cop movies. I feel like adding a romantic element actually takes away from the story and for me personally the story feels richer if I think of them as platonic-life partners. I picture their happily ever after as pretty much tied at the hip, inseparable best buds. I also headcanon Judy as asexual (because why not?), but anyone she would think about dating would have to be cool with Nick too. I see them as a packaged deal, just not a romantic one, because my ideal friendship would be like that.