Lace it up and wear it.

Gather round my friends. I have something I need to say about performative activism.

Stop.

There aren’t any ally cookies, you know?

Can we just… please, pretty please, with sugar on top STOP boosting angry, hurtful, confrontational voices?

I’m tired y’all. VERY tired of it.

No, it’s not cause I’m old.

I am not in any way trying to say not to share your experiences. DO THAT. Please. I’m not the ‘be nice’ fairy. (I’m the don’t fucking bully people or I’ll thwap you fairy, I’m meaner.)

Please be careful whose message and voice you choose to not only listen to but boost on social media.

Wanna know why?

Because there are people who don’t know their IDs yet who are trying to figure it out.

Because by spreading misinformation, or being a militant activist, or a gaslighter, or even by providing a platform for people who engage in those activities You’re Being Part Of The Problem.

I’m seeing a lot of people boost some rather loud, & unfortunately harmful voices of late. I guess that’s really not a new thing. I’ve had to speak out against bullying a time or ten already.

Now, *today* I’m seeing it VERY clearly in the aroace community.

Aro=Aromantic

Ace=Asexual

(My blog post with definitions and links about it all)

Day before yesterday it was white feminists coming after a person for writing their mixed-race ID. Seeing that go down hurt me for two reasons.

One, because I’m mixed race & I almost always write my characters that way.

Two, because I know the pain of ‘never being enough’. Of being called into question for trying to figure out how to be this person descending from multiple races and cultures and the feels it leaves us with.

Seeing what’s going down today with regard to the aroace community is hurting me a bit. Only a bit because I’m solid in my IDs. I know who I am and I’m good with it all.

For what it’s worth, I’m Gray-ace (demisexual and autochorisexual) and gray aromantic.

You know who IS hurting because of the kind of confrontational bullshit I’m seeing today? (and have seen for months now across all the intersectional IDs I’m either blessed or cursed with).

Questioning aces, questioning aros, those are the ones being hurt. Many of whom are young, or who might be older, and hesitant because these words didn’t exist when we were kids. Or if they did, we certainly weren’t taught them.

That kind of confrontational behavior, that nitpicking, it makes people like me gray-aro, gray-ace, afraid to say boo to anyone. To share our own damned experiences.

I have a book coming out in April. It’s one with a demi-sexual, gray aro, touch averse first person point of view main character. I basically ripped my soul out and bled it onto the page for that book.

I’m repping my experience of being gray aroace in that book. It’s own voices.

And *I’m* afraid that I’ll be attacked for sharing my own damned ID.

But I’m a grown up (don’t tell my kids I just ate ice cream for lunch, no lie, I did, butter pecan.)

I knew that by writing that book, by choosing to publish it, especially with a queer publisher it would garner attention.

I’m as ready as I can be for that. If I get flack, I’ll take my lumps and try to learn whatever lessons I can from it.

You know who *ISN’T* ready for that kind of heat?

People who still aren’t comfy with the words they want to claim. The experiences of their IDs. The ones I wrote that book for?

Yeah. Them.

The ones the *militant activists* pretend to be educating for and defending?

Yep, also them.

The very ones they’re trying to ‘protect’.

That’s who this kind of shite hurts.

That’s. Peeps, that’s so fucking harmful I can’t eloquently express how very, very bad it is.

 

Today, some voices who have historically made gray aroaces like me feel unwanted, unsafe and like we don’t have a voice in our own community are being loud.

Again.

The only point I’m gathering from the nasty noise I’ve seen today is that as my grandmother used to say… someone has a bug up their butt.

Jeebus. Sit the fuck down, will ya?

YOUR experience is not the same as another aro ace’s experience and no one elected you the fucking spokespeople for all of us!

I’ve already had two aroace teens in my inbox today asking for help understanding what’s going on.

I don’t *get* what the repeated dust ups are always about with regard to this one person’s words & this one platform. They’re trying, okay? Give it a rest?

Are they perfect? Nope. They’re human.

Did they do their due diligence? Damned straight they did.

Now, Sit. The. Fuck. Down. And. Shut. Up.

I’m saying that as a not so outspoken member of the aroace community.

I’m not the only one tired of your BS. STFU now. Please and thank you.

If you want to share *YOUR* experience of your ID. Please do. Don’t be telling other people they’re wrong, when honestly?

That’s you.

Being aro or being ace or both is a spectrum. They are NOT the same thing, though they are often conflated.

Each is a sliding scale of its own and where one person falls on one is not going to be the same as where you do.

My experience of being aro is definitely not the same as someone else’s. Which, you know, is okay? It really is?

But some of these speakers, the ones who CONSTANTLY embattle the same people for writing either their experience or someone else’s experience… W/PERMISSION AND DUE DILIGENCE.

They’re militant. They’re scary. They have platforms and others boost their words like they are the word of god. They’re not. They’re so not.

This angriness, this confrontational stuff, this ‘my way or the highway’ attitude I keep seeing from the same people, over and over again…

That’s not how activism and education is supposed to work!!

The way it’s supposed to work is this.

I read/saw something I’m not happy with.

Sorta like I read those comments today.

Then I take to *my* social media (lol, this blog post was supposed to be a thread, guess I had more words to say about it) and say…

Um… that’s not really how it works in my experience/educated opinion.

Then I can share *my* experience of the topic in question.

I can leave it there for people to see and take part of as they wish.

I haven’t attacked anyone, made unpleasant accusations, nor have I tried to pick a fight. 

I’ve said… I’m seeing X, I don’t like it, here’s Y.

See?

Education and activism.

 

I’ve very purposefully withheld the names of the loud, angry, thinking-they’re-always-right people from my attempt to get people to think. Peeps, this is a very disturbing trend I’ve seen consistently growing and developing more and more heads.

It’s not okay.

If you’re one of those people, and you think I’m talking about you?

morgan-freeman-hes-right-u-know-if-that-shoe-fits-feel-free-to-lace-that-bitch-up-and-wear-it.jpg

Cause I’m tired of your shit.

I’m tired of questioning queer folk and other gray aroace’s being terrified to say anything because of you and your words.

 

Enough.

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Aro/Ace

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Narrated version here

I’m an Ace/Aro writer, so I should write words about this, yeah?

I want to. The emotions are there.

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Yet it’s an incredibly un-fucking-comfy thing to talk about.

Some threads.

Mine

and others

 

Wait, wait, I know what you may be thinking, Kae, you write different stripes of romance, don’t’cha?

 

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Yup.

In short, it’s because I’m

Autochorissexual

 

 

 

Some definitions for Asexuality, which has far less scientific research than it needs.

Wiki Asexuality

Asexuality.org

The excerpts from this TIME book blurb (so much YES, for me, personally on this one)

I dislike the format, but the INFO is good here, PSYCH TODAY, OUR BODIES OURSELVES

Aromantic Wiki

Finding fiction words are so much easier for me than discussing anything resembling my real life. But. Here goes.

My first kiss… I was 12,

dolphin-1974975_1920.jpga reasonable enough age for the time and place, it excited me as a milestone… cause I’d been reading ’70s era romance (If you haven’t, don’t, it’s a feminist, racist nightmare). But it didn’t excite me, if you get my drift.

Between my monthly visits to the book mobile (lol, yeah, I’m old enough that the internet didn’t exist and to get books we went to the traveling library on wheels instead of the actual library because we lived too far away) the only things I had to read were either mom’s romance, dad’s dry as fuck civil war histories or the Encyclopedia Brittanica… wait, Oxford Dictionary, book-1850739_1920which I’d read by the time I’d turned 9.

 

While I really enjoyed reading (page by page, I’m totally serious) the Encyclopedia Brittanica, library-488678_1920and the Dictionary, and the thesaurus too, come to think of it (what? I was a special kind of kid) and I enjoyed reading the romance… it left some rather strange ideas in my head.

Things like, well… of course, you’ll like and want to have sex.

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I just can’t get over the expression on the deer’s face. It’s hilarious! But that said, yeah, it’s kind of how I feel about this overwhelming assumption that 99.9% of society has that well… OF COURSE… you’ll like and want to have sex, love and romantic relationships, I mean, who DOESN’T???? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

owl-158411_1280Um. Me?

Lot’s of people LIKE me?

Backing up a little, I tend to use the terms gray-ace, gray-aro or gray-aroace, though words are tricksy things. Most of the time, I’m pretty sure I’m demisexual, which is a sub-set of asexuality. I use the other terms more often than demisexual because it’s slightly more recognizable, and it’s not incorrect. Just not as specific.

So for me, personally, given the right emotional connection to someone, I can and do enjoy sex.

TMI? Just wait.

Did you know that Merriam-Webster as of the time I’m writing this post doesn’t have an accurate definition of aromantic or asexual as per human sexual identification? They have the biological term, they have ‘lacking sexual relationship’ (which really isn’t accurate for many of us), and nothing that I can find under aromantic. There’s been rather a lot of public outcry on this of late, and I’m hoping they change it… but, shrugs.

You can check their current responses here…

To put it bluntly. It’s erasure. Even though I’ve only understood that there IS an actual definition for my life experiences in regards to sex… for, maybe a bit over a year or so?

I’m getting sick of being erased.

impossible-701686_1280

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it’s everywhere.

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Popular TV

Music

Watercooler talk

Social media

Novels, especially romance novels (which, I really love to read and write, because while I don’t feel romantically inclined in real life, within the pages of fiction, it’s really nice.)

Our families, our world, it’s everywhere. An asexual or aromantic can’t go or do or see anything without being reminded that we’re different. That the rest of the world… if it doesn’t actively think we’re wrong, or that there’s something wrong WITH us…

they forget about us. YOU, forget about us.

elephant-1090834_1920.jpg

It’s in all the little patterns of speech that we hear, from the time we’re little… the micro-aggressions.

Just a few that come to my mind…

You’ll want a husband someday.

Well of COURSE you’ll want sex/romance, it’s, it’s… normal!

It’s just a phase you’re going through because you broke up with someone, plenty of fish in the sea.

I think I was maybe 11 when my mom and one of her cousins were visiting while we kids played, they were listening to a song with one of the lyrics as ‘love makes the world go round’… I honestly didn’t understand it, and when I expressed that I’d be quite happy without a relationship, my family laughed at me. Uproariously.

Except, I could be. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, that’d be uncomfortable. Yes, I’m married to a man I’ve loved for over 19 years. Yes, I’m quite happy that fate thwapped me upside the head with a board and I actually did fall in love with someone.

But I wasn’t looking for it, and it came as a HUGE shock when it lightning-880154_1280happened. I was single, wasn’t really interested in romance, like, not at all. I just didn’t get it.heart-1976653_1280(never really have been interested in romance in any way other than fiction), or in sex. Sex with people just didn’t seem to do it for me, and it never had until I met my husband. I tried so many things, thinking that maybe this time, it’d work and I’d feel ‘normal’. (I’ve really learned to loathe the word normal… just saying.)

Lol, that makes me sound like I had relationships with non-humans. Nope, not that either.

Asexuals/aromantics can still feel sexual impulses, we can still desire orgasm and masturbation… depending on where exactly you fall under the umbrella of asexuality. umbrella-1986924_1920.jpgSo… yeah, books and toys. I’ll stop there cause this is really going too far with the TMI.

But it’s important that if you don’t know about asexuality that you know we’re all people, and we all express in different ways.

dancing-156041_1280.pngThere are asexuals/aromantics who don’t want sex ever, and who don’t feel sexual desire AT ALL. And that’s okay.

There are asexuals/aromantics who are interested in romantic fiction and have toy collections to rival the stag shop. And that’s okay.

deer-1982416_1280  Oops, wrong stag. (Not really, I just think I’m hilarious.)

There are asexuals/aromantics who want to live in an intimate relationship which doesn’t include sex. And that’s okay, too.

There are aromantics who ONLY want sex, no relationship, nothing… I mean… look at the existence of the Tinder app for proof of that. And that’s okay, too.

There are all kinds of asexuality and aromanticism, and we’ve existed from the dawn of time.

evolution-296584_1280.pngWe aren’t new. What is newer are words to express who and what we are, how we feel. Ways that we can identify, to ourselves and to others.

Words that everyone needs to know and understand.

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‘Cause, even as an adult with more than a little understanding of life, it still hurts to be utterly erased by everything around you.

 

 

rodeo-720779_1280The assumption that just because I find a girl or a guy gorgeous that I’d want to ride-that-ride.

 

 

 

 

That I’ll be ‘complete’ only if I’m in a loving/sexual relationship.

eyeball-155174_1280Seriously??

That I’m wrong or abnormal because I’m not passionately searching for relationships and sex and all the other things that seem to make up a lot of society. (We’re polyamorous, so being married doesn’t preclude that for us.) wedding-443600_1280

You know, when I was a kid, reading those terrible romances (okay, they weren’t ALL terrible, but a lot of them really were.)love-164338_1280.jpg

It would’ve been amazing to see asexuality mentioned… anywhere.

It would’ve been eye opening to see the massive amount of diversity that exists just under the ‘asexual’ umbrella, so that I’d know I wasn’t made wrong.

It would’ve been thrilling, downright awesome to read about a demi-sexual girl or boy during my formative years when I was being pressured by my then boyfriend, who I didn’t love, to have sex. I detailed more about that here…

That’s why we as adults need to be always growing and learning about… well, everything really, but especially this, we’re raising the next generation of asexuals and aromantics now.child-817369_1920.jpg

I, for one, want them to see themselves everywhere, so they know they aren’t alone. That they aren’t broken. If we’re not doing that in our fiction, our music, our social media, the way we speak, our television…

Then we’re helping them feel broken…

In fact. We’re breaking them.

broken-glass-1818066_1280.jpg

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