This is a submission to the October Carnial of Aces: “Joining the Asexual Community”.
Step One: Private Identity
My first step towards joining the asexual community was identifying with asexuality. Whenever I fill out a survey which asks ‘when did you first realize you were asexual’ I always have to put in some variation of ‘I don’t know’. There was not a distinct moment when I could say that before that moment I identified as asexual, and after that moment I did not. It was a gradual process.
However, what really solidified my identity as asexual was discovering the asexual blogosphere in late 2009. Before then, my feelings were ‘maybe I’m asexual, maybe I’m not’. I had figured out that I was different from my heterosexual peers, and I never thought I was homosexual or even bisexual, but being non-hetero/homo/bisexual did not necessarily mean I was asexual, did it?
After reading long descriptions of asexuals’ experiences on blogs (I’ve written a post about that), my reaction was ‘this makes so much sense, I guess I am asexual’.
However, even though I was privately identifying as asexual, there was enough going on in my life that I did not feel I had the time and energy to actively participate in the community.
Step Two: Starting This Blog
Aside from occasionally commenting on asexual blogs, this blog is the first active effort I have ever made to participate in the asexual community. I started it exactly one year after my arrival to Taiwan – to the very date – and that is not a coincidence. My first year in Taiwan was about settling into a society I had never been to before, in a region of the world (East Asia) I had never been to before. Suffice to say, I was not much interested in exploring my asexuality during that time. I had even stopped following asexuality blogs.
However, after a year, things had settled down, and I had been thinking about starting my own blogs for years. So I decided to go ahead and do it. Though this has never been strictly an ‘asexuality’ blog (I discuss whatever miscellaneous thing I want on this blog), it turns out that asexuality is something I want to blog about relatively often.
I did not know that at the time, but I started this blog at the time there was a major transition in the asexual blogosphere. It was a time when a number of major asexual bloggers quit blogging, and a number of new prominent bloggers got started. The most significant event, however, was possibly the creation of the Asexual Agenda about six months after this blog.
However, at this time, I was living in Taiwan. At that time, Taiwan had no asexual community that I was aware of, so I was limited to interacting with the asexual community outside of Taiwan.
Then I left Taiwan.
Step Three: Meeting Asexuals Offline
One of the first things I did after I returned to the United States of America was go to the meeting of a local asexual group. Since then, I’ve become a regular at the local asexual meetup group.
What I get from offline meetups is different from what I get from online blogging. The blogosphere is where I do / receive the most critical thinking on asexuality, so the offline meetups are more about hanging out with people who happen to be ace rather than doing specifically asexual stuff. That said, I think simply doing social stuff with other asexual people has helped me bond with the asexual community in a different way that I can through asexuality blogging.
Will there be a step four? I don’t know. I guess I will find out.
My experience with face-to-face asexual meetups is similar. We rarely talk in depth about asexuality, but it’s so comfortable to be around other asexual. I’m not out in any other context, so an ace meet up is the only place where there’s no expectation that I will follow a sexual script. It’s a relief!
Yes, one of the other regulars at my local ace meet-up group says that the reason he keeps on coming is that he can hang out without explaining why he isn’t trying to get dates.
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