Mention Asexuality

This is for the September 2014 “Asexuals, Advocacy, and Allies” Carnival of Aces.

***

I have written before how reading blogs helped me finally identify as asexual and how other people mentioning asexuality brought me to the blogs in the first place. Specifically, it was this linkspam and this second linkspam by unusualmusic which brought asexual blogs to my attention. My classmate who casually brought up asexuality in a face-to-face conversation (okay, not specifically my face, a lot of people were there) also was a good ally at that particular moment, though she probably did not think about it that way since she probably was not versed in social justice discourse and rhetoric.

So, how did these allies get it right?

– unusualmusic linked to things written by aseuxals, which a) made sure she did not mess up when talking about asexuality because she let the asexuals do most of the talking and b) highlighted the asexual bloggers rather than herself
– unusualmusic linked in asexual blogs in generalized linkspams which were not specifically about asexuality. This is a great way to spread awareness of asexuality – after all, people who are not aware of asexuality probably are not reading much specifically about asexuality
– likewise, my classmate brought up asexuality casually in a discussion when it happened to fit into the conversation, rather than forcing asexuality into a conversation and Making It a Big Deal (sometimes asexuality is a big deal, but I think it is generally better for allies to casually mention asexuality once in a while and let asexuals themselves take the lead when Asexuality Is a Big Deal).

In other words, I am asking allies to mention asexuality sometimes when it is relevant, and to direct people to what asexuals are actually saying rather than talk about asexuality in place of the asexuals themselves. I have personally been helped by this kind of allyship.

And I base my own advocacy based on what has worked for me – namely, mentioning asexuality in different contexts. This blog is not all about asexuality all the time. I like to talk about different topics, mostly because I like to talk about different topics, but also because I hope I can introduce people who are reading about A that there is also B. For example, I suspect some people who first started reading me because of my blogging about Chinese language and culture at Manga Bookshelf and Hacking Chinese later became interested in my asexuality-themed writing. In the other direction, sometimes people who initially find this blog through the asexual content become interested in things I have written on other topics.

I do not think I will ever be the kind of visibility activist who runs an asexuality-focused organization, or even deliver a formal Asexuality 101 presentation. Bringing up asexuality in different contexts is most of the “visibility-work” I do (here is an example of me doing this in a college classroom), and I think this type of visibility work complements more focused activism quite well.


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