Carnival of Aces: Joining the Asexual Community

Carnival of Aces: Joining the Asexual Community

[This is my submission for the Carnival of Aces October 2016 with the topic of “Joining the Asexual Community”hosted this month by Yapbnweca]

My activity within the asexual community is restricted to online just because I live in a remote area and don’t have much opportunity to meet new people or travel to a city for meet ups. For me my community is made up of the dedicated folks on tumblr and the resources managed by The Asexuality Blog such as the Ace Chat and the pen pal project. It’s also through the Carnival of Aces that I’ve found a sense of belonging from the blogs I follow and from the submissions I get to read every month.

It’s fitting that my community experience is primarily online because it’s through the internet that I found out about asexuality. It was by reading person blogs that I was able to find the answers I needed. If you type into Google “why have I never dated at 25 years old” you’ll find a bunch of B.S. pages about “waiting for prince/princess charming” and “not to give up hope”. When I asked that question over a year ago I didn’t need “hope” I needed answers. It was the asexual community that provided the information I needed that I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else. It’s really sad that it took so long to discover such a key part of myself.

More than liking science fiction, more than being an absolute disaster in the kitchen, even more than my physical attributes that I see in the mirror everyday- Asexuality is a fundamental part of who I am as a person. It would have been nice to know that side of myself sooner. I owe a huge debt to the folks in the community who are speaking up against hate, against psudoscience, and getting the word out that asexuality exists and  that we are not alone. So, to everyone in the community doing their best to make the world a better place for asexuals and LGBTQ+ individuals everywhere- thank you.

If you’re into me, then you’re not straight: Orientations and attractions to non-binary people

Hey there, folks! Check out this awesome post by valprehension touching on Non-binary erasure and complication when is comes to orientation labels. The title says it all.

Non-binary people are a weird position in the dating world (ok, I mean, we’re in a pretty weird position all the time to be honest. But anyway, today I’m talking about the dating world)…

Source: If you’re into me, then you’re not straight: Orientations and attractions to non-binary people

My number one take-away from the post was the mention of the complication that came with people identifying as “straight” while still being sexually/romantically attracted to non-binary individuals and how “straight” and “heterosexual” don’t mean the same thing. I greatly enjoyed the post and will be thinking about this topic in the future.

All Eyes On You (How Important is Your Privacy?)

All Eyes On You (How Important is Your Privacy?)

Since I’m taking cyber security classes for my degree, the topic of privacy always comes up and I had a burning question about it: “Is privacy more important to minority groups than privileged groups?

Yes! Absolutely, a hundred times yes.

“Depending on where you live, your socioeconomic status and your race, maybe you’re less worried about the police, but there are plenty of law-abiding African-Americans and Latino-Americans who have good reason to be worried…”

Christopher Soghoian (principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union)

Mr. Soghoian did an interview (which you can view here) about why privacy online matters and it gave me the exact answers I was looking for. To understand what I mean about privacy you have to consider the kind of information you don’t want shared with just anyone. If you were to type your information into a Google search right now -Your full name, city, and birthday- think about the kind of information you don’t want to pop up. You might not be worried about the police or government having that information, but what about your boss, your school or your parents?

I don’t want the first thing people know about me to be is my sexual orientation or gender identity. I want to be the person in control about who knows that information so it’s not something I’m going to put on a public profile. Other things people in general don’t want to pop up in a search are medical records. I’m sure everyone remembers when the AshleyMadison “cheating website” got hacked and leaked, but many medical providers are switching over to digital. How secure is that information? Will that security hold up in two or three years? It’s not just local hackers we have to worry about either. When the US Office of Personal Management (OPM) got hacked, it was done internationally. Since I had applied through USAJobs before, that information (including my personal work history) had been compromised.

What if a support-group type website got hacked? What if the first thing that popped up on your self-Google search was a medical condition or mental illness? What if a vengeful ex put intimate photos of you up where everyone could see including future employers? When you turn in a job resume you’re not supposed to attach a picture because of potential bias, but what’s the point if an employer is just going to look you up on Facebook? There are some serious privacy concerns that we need to consider.

National Geographic’s Through the Wormhole did an episode on privacy as well titled “Is Privacy Dead” and I was less than impressed with some of the guest experts. They made the argument that privacy was becoming unnecessary or that people could adapt to a life without privacy. It was actually this episode that got me thinking about the question of privacy and minorities because the experts who were making the claim that privacy was passe were all white cis-men.

Sure, there’s a select few people who really don’t have anything to hide, but as  Christopher Soghoia pointed out, “…there are plenty of other people who do have things to hide and we shouldn’t flush privacy down the toilet because a few people are privileged enough to have nothing to worry about.”

In my opinion privacy serves as protection against judgment and prejudice. Until we can walk freely without judgment and until there exist no prejudices we cannot give up the people’s right to privacy and I believe privacy is an especially important issue for minorities.

15 Day Asexuality Challenge: Day 15

Anything about asexuality that you want to end with.

Whoo! Finally done with the challenge. It was getting hard near the end to post everyday just because of my work schedule and class stuff. For my last post on asexuality I just want to say how proud I am to be asexual. I’m not “out”, but that’s okay. I see my asexual orientation as something private that not everyone needs to know about.

I’m studying cyber security in school so privacy is something I think about a lot. However, just because something is private doesn’t mean it’s something to be ashamed of. I think privacy is important, but I think it’s even more important for LGBT+ folks because it’s a form of protection. A cis-straight-white-male may talk about privacy and privacy issues, but I think privacy is even more important for minorities and gender and sexuality minorities.

I was watching a science channel show-episode on privacy and two of the experts who were talking about how “privacy is a thing of the past” I noticed were white men. The argument could be made that “you don’t need privacy if you don’t have anything to hide”, but if you’re not white, not Christian, not straight, or don’t fit into the “ideal” citizen image privacy isn’t about having something to hide, it’s about being protected by obscurity against hate, disdain, and prejudiced. We need privacy because prejudice exists.

I’m proud of who I am, but until everyone can respect me as I am, they’ll just have to respect my privacy.