An Ode to Single Aros

For the first time in years, I am finding myself incredibly into Valentine’s Day. But even in the midst of my newfound enthusiasm, or perhaps because of it, I am noticing how difficult a day this is for many people, particularly those on the aromantic spectrum. On a slightly different note, I’ve been noticing ace rep sneaking its way into YA (young adult) literature, and more and more LGBT+ YouTubers are taking it upon themselves not only to educate about what asexuality is, but that asexuals are not necessarily aromantic, may engage in intercourse for a variety of reason, etc. Amid the rising wave of asexual conversation, I am noticing that aromanticism, particularly the topic of it being its own spectrum, being brushed aside. I identified as aromantic for about a year of my life, and telling people I wasn’t interested in romance was met with pity nine out of ten times. My point: aromantics are not told they are complete and valid nearly enough, so, without further ado, an ode.

 

Ode to you, you majestic dateless ones.

Shunning the sweet psychosis of romance and daring to do what society continually

broadcasts is impossible –

being happy alone,

complete in oneself, refusing to hop on a shelf and tell yourself that real happiness will

come when you find “the one”.

And why must  the mystical one be tied to you with red and pink strings?

Can’t “the one” be a treasured friend? Someone with whom you have unparalleled fun?

You are not the one who is broken.

It is high time the inferno of romantic obsession cease to be stoked so that, in the

terrifying new darkness, the light of real friendship can shine.

Don’t you dare listen to the ignorant voices filling you with their own fears, you are just

fine,

not heartless, not cold, not a robot.

You are bold.

aro dragon

 

I apologize for the delay, this was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I had a run in with a traffic cone that then decided to wedge itself under my car. The good news is that after three hours and many phone calls it was extracted, but I was simply too mentally drained after that event and the hour drive back to my home to even think about doing anything but taking a bath and going to bed. Not that anyone necessarily needed/ wanted to know that, but there is it. My exciting Valentine’s day.  

 

Until next time,

Keep oooooon Aceing It!

 

 

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The Blessings of Being an Alien

This is my submission for the January Carnival of Aces, Hosted by Demi and Proud. The topic for this month is viewing asexuality as a blessing. 

One of the few moments I can remember stumbling across asexuality on YouTube in a mainstream channel was while watching Philip DeFranco. I am far from a news junky, and his videos are one of the only news sources I find palatable. I cannot remember the topic he was speaking on, but I believe it was something to do with a senator saying he would rather his son be dead than gay. DeFranco went on about how horrible it was that this attitude was still present in the twenty first century and, after all serious reporting was done, he commented, “If I could chose, I would want to be gay so I wouldn’t have to deal with women. No, actually, I’d rather be asexual so I wouldn’t have to deal with peole at all.” I was so pleasantly surprised to hear asexuality mentioned that it took me longer than it should have to consider the cons of his statement. For one, simply because one is asexual does not mean that they don’t want romantic companionship, and furthermore, even if someone is aromantic and asexual, they will still desire some meaningful interaction with fellow human beings. Besides the technicalities of his statement being wrong, I’ve discovered I find the overall mindset of, “I wish I wasn’t straight so I wouldn’t have to deal with the opposite sex” and the mindset of, “Oh, it would be so much easier to be asexual” rather ignorant. Are you honestly so oblivious to the struggles of LGBTQIA+ people? So unaware of the privileges you have because you’re straight? It’s quite insulting, really, but that is not the topic of this post. Anyone who is on the asexuality spectrum knows that it is not easy. Every coming out is a mini lecture on your orientation, and even if the person in question has heard of asexuality in regards to human sexual orientation, it is not guaranteed that they will believe in the validity of it. Despite all the struggles and frustration of people being unable/unwilling to understand, there are some silver linings. The obvious: not having to worry about unwanted pregnancy or diseases. Quick note: asexuality is a spectrum, and simply because someone is on it does not mean they are not sexually active. But that is a topic for another post.

A huge silver lining of asexuality is the puns that can be made from the slang of the community. For instance, the word “ace” – I have a sticker (in pride colors of course) that says “aced it”. Because I am ace, it can be said that I “ace” everything – chuckle chuckle.  While playing cards with my cousins a year or so back, one cousin asked if I had an ace and it took a good amount of self control not to say, “Why yes, it could be said that I do. In fact, you all have an ace!” My best friend  and I agree – when an asexual person comes out, the official term should be “coming out of the deck”. By far the best part of her having realized her own asexuality is that I have someone to share the ace community puns with. And then there are the online shenanigans, namely – you guessed it – the memes.

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This last one isn’t all that comprehensible unless you’re a fan of the anime Hetalia, but here it is anyway:

acelandiceland

asexy

On a more serious note, a blessing of being a-spec is the incredible community, how we find support in one another. There is a kind of strength that develops when such a large part of you is continually brushed aside and falsely represented. For me, realizing my sexual orientation made me more compassion toward minorities, and constantly having my orientation erased/ questioned/ criticized, while causing much frustration, has ultimately made me a stronger, slightly braver person.

 

Thanks for reading! May you go forward feeling as badass as this cat riding a fire breathing unicorn.

badasscatridingunicorn

 

Until next time,

Keep on aceing it!

 

Heartbreak Part 2: A Letter to My Father

I feel like the title of this post is pretty self explanatory. Forgive me for the break in (semi) regular programming of LBGTQIA+ topics, my brain is absorbed by family drama at the moment.

Forgiveness does not mean allowing toxic people to continually complicate your life. I forgave you for years of absenteeism in my life and for your addition driving my mother and I away from our home, but the fact remains – my depression and anxiety undoubtedly stem from that, from your mistakes. Every friend I made at that horrible school I was dropped in when we moved ended up stabbing me in the back, and just when I’d met someone good, someone I could have a lasting friendship with, it was time to go home. I was forced to build a new life just to have it torn away. It took me years to learn how to be truly happy again. You have never, ever made me feel safe. Sometimes I wonder if you quit meth when we left because you wanted us back, or because your parents wouldn’t include you in their will if you didn’t. It has always disgusted me how you shameless depend on my grandparents for income. I let go off all this anger long ago, but when you treat my mother this poorly and spit in both of our faces by bringing up divorce, long healed wounds are ripped wide open and you leave me a furious, bloody mess. It would be so, so easy to hate you. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike because you didn’t have time to teach me and my codependent mother insisted it was a father’s job to teach his daughter how to ride a bike. People would have thought my mother was single if she hadn’t worn her farcical wedding ring because you never went anywhere with her – you were either sweating to feed your habit, getting high in the garage, or sitting on your ass in front of the t.v. after a day off nonstop meth earning. You were high when I was born. You were high at my christening. You were high when you spoke at my grandfather’s funeral. We almost lost the house because of your screw ups. You almost missed my eighth grade graduation because you were playing tennis. My mother had zero tolerance for anything but perfection in my behavior as a small child because she felt she had to do the job of two parents. When you would try to quit and camp out in front of the trustee idiot box while riding out with drawl symptoms, she was even more short tempered than usual – and that is to say, if I moved wrong, I got screamed at. To this day, every time you drink you pick a fight with my mother. There is so, so much more, but I don’t want to dwell in this place of fury. It would be all too easy to hate you, but I can’t find it in me to do that. You may be the most selfish, insensitive person I know, but you still feed the cat goat kefir and rub her belly whilst she lounges by the heater. When the fluffy beast delivers us birds, you always try to save them. You adore every small child you come into contact with, and they automatically adore you. My earliest memory is of you with a giant, curved cushion on your back pretending to be a turtle and giving me rides on your back. One of the only reasons I started playing softball was because I knew it would catch your interest, and the first time in my life that I felt like I had your full attention was when you were teaching me to pitch. Practicing at the park with you and H. on an overcast spring Saturday is one of my fondest memories. I love that you love my passion for books and the Russian language;  that you’ve never refused to take me to a bookstore. I love that you are constantly making random chicken noises and comically remixing songs. I love that you admire me for being a vegetarian and have never interrogated me about dating or argued with me about not wanting children. You soothed a deep, dark fear in me when I finally came out to you as asexual and homoromantic. I told you I thought I had been a coward for avoiding coming out to you for so long, you said you didn’t think I was cowardly at all – on the contrary, you told me that you had absolutely nothing negative to say about me. When I caught my cousins gossiping about me, saying I was doing nothing with my life and that my parents should be ashamed of me, you sent a letter defending me and telling them that you could never, ever be ashamed. I asked you to wait until I had sent text messages confronting them, and you were so amped up you could hardly restrain yourself. You taught me that rubbing the stomach of a Blue Belly lizard puts it to sleep, that documentaries are entirely underrated, and that pancakes are best cooked in a pan. As hard as I try not to need you, I do. I have always needed you, and you’ve never been able to give me enough. I don’t know if it’s because your first wife destroyed you or if it’s because your own father was away traveling for much of your childhood, but I don’t think you’re capable of the love that parenthood requires. I know you’re not capable of the love that a healthy marriage requires – and even as I type this, I remember the moments scattered across years that you were, and hope that I’m lying. Your good is heaven, and your bad is hell. I can’t handle the whiplash anymore, and I don’t even want to imagine how my mother feels – my mother, who, for all her faults, loves more deeply than anyone I know. My mother who, for reasons beyond me, is still hopelessly in love with you. If I know one single thing for certain, it is that you do not deserve her.                                                              You haven’t used meth in ten years – true. You are not an addict – false. The facts or the facts, and addict is not a dirty word, simply a description – in your case, a description of someone for whom reality is determined by their needs. If you are tired, then the world must be quite so you can sleep – if there is the slightest noise, the world is out of balance. Never mind that you sleep in the living room every night, and there are other people in the house who need to eat in the morning. If it’s eleven in the morning and you’re still tired, it’s abominable of my mother to make breakfast because you’re sleeping. When you’re watching a football game and the dog needs to be taken out, you ask your daughter – who is in the middle of doing her math homework – to do it for you. Perfectly logically. And if she has a bit of an attitude while she does it, she is being completely unfair, because you were watching a game! And when sports are on t.v. , nothing else in the world matters. You start the day by drinking two energy drinks, don’t eat lunch, go play tennis, and then expect everyone in the house to wait on you when you return home because you’re exhausted, yet you refuse to eat better, and you love the caffeine rush too much to avoid the crash. That’s just it. The drugs are out, but nothing’s really changed. Meth has been replaced by energy drinks and wine on the weekends, the house hold activities still revolve around you, my mother still brings you dinner in your chair nearly every night, and you still blow a gasket whenever someone says something you don’t like or when you have to do something you don’t want to, such as paying bills or being put on hold on the phone. Sure, you rearrange the pillows on the couch when you get up everyday, but you seldom show my mother any affection, and you only hug me when you’re drunk. I remember telling a counselor about a fight you and mom had years ago and the subsequent fit you threw – the details are muddy now, but she responded with a disbelieving, “Wow. That is such addict behavior.” I think that was the first time I realized it – you aren’t using, but you’re still and addict. You quit on your own, which in and of itself is a bit impressive, but programs exist to break the patterns and mindset that addiction leaves people with, and you should have swallowed your pride and enrolled in one.                                                                                                                                        I love you, and think I’m always going to, as much as it would be easier just to rip you out of my heart and forget you. But I can’t stay on this rollercoaster. My God calls me to forgive, but he does not call me to embrace toxicity – and you are a toxic person, especially when you are behaving as cruelly and childishly as you have been this past week. I remember telling my counselor years ago that I was finally realizing you weren’t capable of change – that the dad I had was the dad I was stuck with. Change is what I want. You make yourself capable if you truly love me. You treat my mother with respect, act like an adult, and go to marriage counseling with her, swallow your pride, and admit that you are an addict. Admit that you put her through twelve years of hell when you were using, that you continue to torment her with your selfishness, and you work  at seeing the world beyond yourself and your needs. If your incapable of doing that, I’m done. I can only take so much. My heart did not heal simply for you to rip it, still beating, out of my chest. My wounds did not heal for you to leave deeper scars. The tragic thing is, I know I’m lying. The pain you’ve stirred up in me these past few days is going to take months to subside. I should face the future with absolutely no fear because nothing – absolutely nothing – can hurt like loving you has.

 

I apologize for the lack luster post, I was sobbing as I was writing this, and while it was rather therapeutic, it is far from my best writing. I am sure I’ll be in a better place soon, and I am determined to raise the bar for the next post.

That being said, I hope this mediocre letter that I will never have the guts to send makes someone feel less alone.

 

I Want to Know

Greetings, happy 2019! While I have made many resent attempts at blog posts, the thoughts just aren’t flowing. I have been feeling very poetically inspired these past few months, however, so in the spirit of not going three months without posting, here is a poem. 

 

I want to know you,

Your thoughts,

Your wants,

Your needs,

the sound of your heart beating,

Heating me with hope as we explore book hoards.

I want you to know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I want you to push away the external doubts that clog your well rounded mind and see that we are not meant to be uniform.

I want to know your darkness,

I want to know your pain,

I want to know how it feels to hold your hand and dance in the rain.

I will support you, I will accompany you as you forge your trail, even if it leads you away from me.

Come from Heaven you are, for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I pray with all the piety left in me that it’s the third, because I want to know the brush of your legs against my legs as we cradle each other on a chill fall morning.

I want to know the feel of your lips on my cheek,

I want to know how it feels to walk with you every Saturday, twin souls seeking peace in a hectic world.

Your pupils wide, your irises silver-blue-green in the sun, I remind myself not run forward, but to enjoy the stroll, no matter what path we embark on.

I fawn over you in my mind,

and the truth is that I have never felt so nauseously, nervously, euphorically alive.

I want to know what it is to love you,

and I think I’m halfway there.

I want to know what it is to be loved by you, to be held by you and to haunt your dreams,

But if our paths were to split

if you were to choose the one more often traveled, I would make myself be okay,

remembering that solitude has been my ever-constant companion.

If you love me,

if you want me,

if you need me,

I would never abandon you.

 

 

 

 

 

Community is Vital: Why I Started Blogging

Community (noun) – 1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I recently discovered a new ace blogger, Alice Ajisai, and was inspired by her post, “Home on an Alien Planet” in which she shares her experiences growing up in a small town, feeling like the odd one out for her love of Japanese language and Asian pop culture, to moving to San Francisco where her interests were considerably more mainstream, but still feeling like an outsider, to discovering her asexuality and the ace community. The post is heart warming and well written, if you would like to check it out, here is the link: https://lifethroughthelookingglass.home.blog/

If someone ten years ago told me how much comfort the internet would bring me, I would tell them they were insane.  Ten years ago, I only used the internet to occasionally Google a topic and to access Webkinz – today, it is where I find the reassurance that I am not alone in the world – that I am not the only asexual pescatarian progressive feminist Christian that lives on planet earth. I shutter to think of how lonely I would feel without my various online communities – if not for the internet, I would definitely think I was zedsexual, would possibly still think I was straight, and undoubtedly would have a much narrower world view.                                                                                                                            The first mentions I heard of asexuality were in person, but my process of discovering the nuances of the word and where I fit happened on the internet – not literally, I was lounging on my couch while I did the majority of my early asexuality research, but I think what I mean is understood. Even if I somehow did identify as asexual without the use of the internet to lead me to my conclusion, and more importantly to the online ace community, discovering why identifying as straight never quite fit wouldn’t have been a freeing experience. It would have been an isolating experience full of mourning.                 I have yet to go to an in person ace meetup – the nearest one to where I live is an hour and twenty minute drive and it is in danger of shutting down – but the online community I have found has provided me with irreplaceable joy and comfort, allowing me a place to rejoice in this part of myself and celebrate others in the process. It is often gut wrenchingly terrifying not only to come out to non-asexuals, but simply talking about asexuality can illicit cricket chirping. Never mind actually celebrating it. I suppose the reason I started blogging in the first place was to add on to the ace community – to add my own shade of purple to the flag, so to speak. Also, I suppose starting the blog was motivated by frustration that the majority of the time my experiences as an asexual were immediately shot down by those close to me (excluding my best friend, who miraculously came out as asexual a year after I did) and wanted to create a place where I could safely share, and where others might even appreciate my sharing, find comfort in knowing that they are not alone. Thank you to all the ace bloggers I follow for sharing your experiences – I hope you can find some comfort in mine and the knowledge that you are in no way broken or alone.

Fun fact: did you know a community of meerkats is often called a mob or a gang?

cutest gang ever

Happy Ace Week! Are you doing anything special to celebrate/ anything to spread awareness? Would love to hear in the comments. 🙂

Until next time,

Keep ooooooon Aceing It!

 

History of Asexuality

Reliable sources about asexuals in history are scarce, depressingly so, but I just stumbled across this video by Amelia Ace on -you guessed it- asexuality before AVEN. I had no idea that as early as 1896 not only was the word “asexual ” being used to describe people, but that in 1997 an article was published online titled, “My Life As Amoeba”. It was one of the earliest instances of an asexual person talking about being asexual, and not only that, but other seeming aces were engaging with the author in the comment section, and all of this was a good for years before AVEN. Here is the full video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA6UHhJMLyU

Happy Asexual Awareness Week! Here is devilishly cute kitten in honor of spooky season:

Until next time,

Keep oooooon aceing it!

There’s Sex Without Love, Why Not Love Without Sex?

Just stumbled across this lovely article on an ace-centric page I follow on Facebook: https://fit.thequint.com/let-us-talk-sex/asexual-woman-love-and-relationships-without-sex?fbclid=IwAR28p5wfMMaLzhDSP0rgUKjdR9zyqPt8-EifZXKKmyQ86gZ9p7SUq-k3b48

I can’t help but feel incredibly sorry for the author, being sex repulsed and pushing herself into uncomfortable circumstances in relationships simply because of the ignorant attitude of society that love can’t exist without sex. I know the best way to spread the knowledge of asexuality and all its nuances is by being patient, but honestly, a part of me lately just feels like shrieking, especially after reading stories like this where people go through so much discomfort and are made to feel broken just because society hasn’t caught up yet/ just isn’t willing to grasp. In my limited experiences with coming out, once people get over the gag reflex response, ” You just have t found the right person yet”, ( I can’t type that without rolling my eyes) most people don’t find the concept of asexuality so hard to grasp. Whether or not they believe it to be real is another matter completely. It seems to be when a romantic ace brings in wanting romantic love without sex that things get complicated. Love without sex is every bit as deep, as valid as love with it, and yet for so many people, sexually attraction is the defining value of love. I just find that really sad, honestly. There definitely is sex without love, why not love without sex? In my view, love without wanting anything in return, feeling nothing for a person but overwhelming joy being in their presence, seems like the most valid kind of love.

It’s so odd. I see such mixed attitudes when it comes to romantic asexuals. So many people find us perplexing, but there are also a handful of people who look at us and say, “Oh, thank heaven! You’re not a robot after all, you can feel!” I find the second attitude absolutely disgusting. While the confusion perplexes me (really, how complicated is it? Take the butterflies, flirty feelings and deeper affection, subtract sex, boom) the second attitude is the more toxic one. What those people are really saying, I believe, is, ” Well, at least you’re somewhat conforming to how you should be” – particularly if said romantic ace is heteroromantic. I find myself so incredibly grateful for people like the woman in the above article who are sharing their experiences with the broader world, but I find myself infuriated with the broader world simultaneously.

Happy Asexual Awareness Week! Romantic, aromantic, or somewhere in between, you are valid, beautiful, and no where close to an unfeeling robotic or a sociopath- and if you do happen to be a sociopath, it has nothing to do with your orientation(s).

Until next time,

Keep oooooon Aceing It!