October Carnival of Aces: Asexual Community

This post is for the October Carnival of Aces: “Joining the Asexual Community”.

I live in a town that has no real LGBTQ or asexual community. There are LGBTQ events in a regional town where I live, but I’ve never been a part of them. To be honest, I’m not sure whether they are actually asexual inclusive. When I was studying Community Services Work about three years ago, I found out about a group called Hume Phoenix. Again, I’m not sure whether they are ace inclusive or not. Anyway, I didn’t end up completing the course and I’ve never had anything to do with the organisation. I’ve read about different meetups/ events advertised in their local paper, but have never been involved. My connection with the asexual community has been solely online. I’m signed up to Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), but haven’t been able to keep track of my passwords. I haven’t tried getting into it for probably a couple of years now. My main connection with members of the asexual community has mainly been on Facebook.

On Facebook, there are many groups for Asexual people; some general, there’s one that’s meant for asexual people who hold certain beliefs (i.e. a “Conservative Asexual”, ‘Asexual Christians’, etc), some with age restrictions, (18+ asexuals), and ones aimed at certain romantic orientations; homoromantic asexuals, aromantic asexuals, etc. I’m in a few, but the one I’m most active in is a closed group for asexuals of all romantic orientations, nationalities, beliefs, etc. Partners and spouses of asexual people have also joined the group to gain a better understanding of their partner/ spouse. I think that’s commendable. From what I’ve seen, these people are treated quite well.

The group is meant to be inclusive. Discrimination against anyone – including cissexism, trans-phobia, anti – allosexual attitudes in general, racism, ableism, etc is condemned. Any group member who breaches these (and other) rules risk being banned from the group.¬†Sensitivity to others experiences and using appropriate warnings (e.g. trigger warnings, content warnings, graphic), are usually expected. This rule has caused a bit of heated debate over the years as some people don’t see the point in such warnings, or think that they are used too frequently, but generally, people use them without too much drama.

 

What I like about the group is how broad it is. It makes it easier for new members to express their doubts. ¬†More often than not, other members will express similar experiences. Confused about your romantic orientation? You’re not alone. Christian? You’re not alone. Think your romantic orientation is fluid? You’re not alone. Question your sexuality because you have a sex drive? You’re not alone. Yout get it. It’s a broad circle. That’s what I like about it.

 

I’d really recommend people who have questions about asexuality either for personal or educational reasons to send a request to the group admins to ask to join (it’s a closed group. Prospective members have to be let in to look at content and participate). Don’t be shy! We don’t bite. If you abide by the rules pinned at the top of the group wall, you should be fine. Have fun and be informed while you’re there. Even if you are asexual and have identified that way for years, there’s still things we can all learn.

 

What asexual groups are you involved in on Рline? Feel free to drop a comment. Please remain respectful to me and other users as always. 

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Asexuality and Symbolism

Since I’ve been coming to terms with my asexuality and getting involved and researching the asexual community (mainly through Facebook), I”ve become acquainted with the symbolism that is often used to represent asexuality.

First, the flag. For anyone who hasn’t seen an asexual flag, it’s purple, black, white and grey. Here’s one for people who don’t know.

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Sometimes the flag features a purple triangle shaded with white, grey and black.

 

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If I remember correctly, I think the flag was voted by members of the Asexuality Visibility and Educatoin Network by members in early 2000’s.

 

Second popular symbol in the asexual community is the black ring, which is often placed on the middle finger, rather than the ring finger. Some people use this as an outward expression of their asexuality.

Thirdly, the last major symbol attributed to the asexual community is that of cake. I think this was also decided on AVEN by users. In a way, it creates an endearing and social aspect to online communities for people who may otherwise feel isolated due to their asexuality ( along with other factors usually).

I’ve thought about getting a black ring before, however, I’m not really a jewellery wearer, so in that respect, there’s probably little point for me to get one. It may be an interesting way to start discussoin though (if it ever came up). But other than that…. I really see no need for one personally.

I like the flag. I guess it’s sort of the equivalent to the rainbow flag usuallly attributed to the LGBT community. I’ve never really felt overly attached to the cake idea. Not that I don’t like cake, but, as a symbol, it’s never really grown on me, although I respect other people who do.

To members of the asexual community (or other communities), how do you relate to symbols often associated to your particular group? Do you embrace it or don’t you really care either way?

 

 

The Value of Online Forums

I’m quite an active member of various Asexuality groups on Facebook. Technically, I’ve signed up to AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network), but haven’t logged on for ages because I can’t for the life of me remember my username or password (guess I’ve got too many, lol).

The groups on Facebook are generally great. It allows members to ask questions and get answers and find themselves out. It’s also great to see the various views on certain topics too, such as children, marriage, etc. Discrimination and demonising non – asexuals is condemned by Admins of the groups and people who continuously do it, or harass anyone are banned. It’s also great for people who aren’t asexual, but who may have an asexual partner/ spouse to get a better understanding of how they may feel and how to deal with any issues and gain insight into their partners’ feelings.

It’s great to know that your not alone, especially if you live in an area where there is practically no discussion on the complexities of sexuality and asexuality in particular. People have expressed relief that, in fact, they are not alone in their lack of attraction and that they are OK the way they are. For me personally, what I’ve found great is to discover that asexuality is just a part of a person and, the way in which people experience their sexuality is unique and that’s fine. It’s not about being in a clique or trying to fit a certain stereotype. It’s about being who you are and learning to be OK with that.