Obligatory Blog Post VI: Obligation Goes to College

A very tiny update to say that Concept Awesome is officially 6 years old.  Holy cow, I’ve been at this for a while.

Some notable things I’ve written this year:

Thanks for sticking around for 6 years, folks.  Here’s to a good year seven.

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Teeny tiny ace validation linkspam

I arise briefly from my slumbers with a linkspam.  (Did you really expect anything else from me?)

I’m putting this together for an ace group I recently joined that has a bunch of folks worried about imposter syndrome.  Rather than copying and pasting individual links into a post there, I figured I’d copy and paste them into a linkspam here.  Efficiency!

Most of these are on the older side, but still worth reading.  (If you have more recent recommendations, have at it, although I’m mostly interested in long-form writing.)  Anyway, here goes.

Self-doubt and self-invalidation

If You Can See the Invisible Elephant, Please Describe It by Sciatrix

Switching On Airplane Mode by Sciatrix

You may also be interested in the Carnival of Aces on doubt.

But what if I just think I’m asexual because…?

Asexual, because reasons by Siggy

There is no control group for the universe by Coyote

An Ace Survivor’s Manifesto by @queenieofaces

You don’t owe anyone a tour of your scars by Coyote

You may also be interested in this Carnival of Aces on the concept of the “Unassailable Asexual,” this one on asexuality and mental health, and this one on asexuality and disability.  There’s also always the @resourcesforacesurvivorsrecommended reading list.

For the grey and demi folks

Many ways to be between by Siggy

What It Means to be Ace: Building Community on Shared Experience by Jo

Shared Experience, Different Words by Siggy

What do we need a word like “semi-arid” for? by Coyote

Here’s a whole linkspam on greyness.  Here’s another one.  Here’s one on demisexuality.

Self-validation

How do I keep from invalidating myself?, advice from @queenieofaces

You’re not alone.  I’ve been there too. by @redbeardace

Sex is just one planet out of galaxies by Coyote

Superlative by @aceadmiral

Linkspam of Queenies

As long as I’m doing absurdly self-referential linkspams, have a linkspam of some notable pieces I have written.  By “notable pieces” I mean “pieces I still like, somehow, not necessarily the pieces people know me for.”

AAW linkspam of linkspams

Did you think I was joking?

I wasn’t.

“But wait, Queenie!” you say.  “Didn’t you threaten to make a linkspam of linkspams of linkspams?”

Yes.

I did.

I wasn’t joking about that either.

AAW linkspam!

This is for @redbeardace‘s AAW 7 Day Linkspam Challenge.  I’ve decided to compile two of them, because only 7 links?  As if I could ever compile so few.

I’ve intentionally decided not to do 101 pieces this time around, since there are already about 400 compilations of 101 resources out there.  (Here’s one, just in case you need it.)  I decided to link to a maximum of one (1) piece per author to up the difficulty level.  (I also decided not to link to anything I’ve written–if there’s interest I suppose I can put together an AAW linkspam of my pieces, but it’s honestly less interesting to me than curating other’s writing!)

Linkspam #1!  Some posts on asexuality that focus on personal experience and I think are particularly well-written.

Linkspam #2!  Essays I think everyone in the community should read–we shouldn’t just be focusing our AAW education efforts on people outside the community!

Linkspam for supporters of ace survivors

resourcesforacesurvivors:

A selection of posts from RFAS’s recommended reading list, plus a few extras.  See also @resourcesforacesurvivors‘s #for supporters tag, as well as the education category on our website.

This is very much a work in progress, so feel free to recommend additional links/resources/categories!

In general, it is best to assume that all of these have trigger warnings for sexual violence attached.  Many (but not all of them) have additional trigger warnings listed at the top.  Proceed with caution and respect your triggers!

Basic information on asexuality and sexual violence

Asexuality 101

The Twisted Logic Used for Trauma by @captainheartless​ is about how asexuality is taken as an indication of trauma, and asexual people (especially those who have been traumatized) are expected to search for their “real” selves.

On Sexual Abuse, Repulsion, and Aversion in the Asexual Community by @rainbow-after-the-stormy​ addresses the idea of trauma shaping identity (including sex-aversion/sex-repulsion), and ultimately rejects the idea that an identity influenced by trauma is “fake.”

Challenges faced by asexual spectrum survivors of sexual violence by @queenieofaces​ is what it says on the tin.

For friends and family

Stop bringing up sexual assault to dismiss asexuality! by @swankivy

Pro-tips for interacting with Rape/Sexual Assault/Sexual Abuse Survivors by @buxombibliophile

How to Be an Ally to People with PTSD by Lydia Brown

“That totally happened to me, too!”: The Urge to Relate by Miri

How Not to Say the Wrong Thing by Susan Silk is about “comfort IN, dump OUT.”

Avoiding Awkward: A conversation about how we talk about rape when we talk to survivors by SCAR

Supportive Words for the Gray Areas by Coyote is about how to affirm people’s experiences and feelings even when they won’t or don’t want to refer to what happened to them as rape or sexual assault.

 

Why Triggering Someone Is Not Therapeutic by @shulamithbond

On friendships, part 1: feeling I am not entitled to friendship, and I am a burden by Elizabeth is a personal narrative about the difficulty the author has had getting support from friends as an ace survivor.

For activists and ace community leaders

Things supporters can do to actively make ace spaces more welcoming for ace survivors of sexual violence by @queenieofaces

Disingenuous, “shallow” support by Elizabeth is about how passively supporting survivors isn’t enough and abuse can even come from in-group members (such as other aces).

Here goes everything by @queenieofaces is about the way that ace survivors’ narratives are utilized for specific political means in ace communities, while survivors themselves are ignored and silenced.

 

A revolution for the crooked souls by @lemonyandbeatrice​ is about the ways in which the Unassailable Asexual and the Model Rape Survivor intersect.

 

Responsible Sharing: When to Avoid Linking a Survivor’s Story by Elizabeth is what it says on the tin.

Ace Survivors as Rhetorical Devices series by @queenieofaces is a step-by-step guide to how ace survivors are utilized in political arguments, and suggestions for how to talk about ace survivors in a sensitive, non-exploitative manner.

For ace advice blogs

Basic Resources for Ace Advice Blogs and Examples of Bad Ace Advice by Coyote

Please give survivor-competent ace advice! by @queenieofaces

“Is this abuse?”: A Guide for Aces and 5 Tips for Identifying and Handling Abuse as an Advice Blog Mod by Coyote

For health professionals

Asexuality Basics for Health Care Professionals Printable Info Sheet by RFAS (en Español)

 

Advice for Therapists of Asexual Clients by Coyote

Why It’s Okay to Refuse Therapy by Stormy is about how avoiding therapy can be healing, especially given the difficulty in obtaining proper care if you belong to a marginalized group.

 

See also this collection of posts on asexuality and mental health.

 

Obligatory Blog Post IV: Bride of Obligation

It’s Concept Awesome’s fourth birthday!  Yay!

Things I did this year:

Notable stuff I wrote this year:

This year was not super productive for me–between examinations sapping all my time and energy and some pretty bad burnout, I dropped blogging most of the year.  I also wasn’t involved in much offline activism, which was a bummer.  I’m done with exams, but I’m still dealing with a lot of fatigue and reduced energy, so it’s unclear if this will be the new normal for me or if I’ll bounce back at some point in the future.  I guess only time will tell.

Having very little time or energy definitely pulled some things into focus for me–especially with regards to where my priorities lie, and what I want to be spending my energy on.  Now that my exams are over, I’m hoping to get back into blogging, but I’m thinking that I’m going to try to put more of my energy into collaborative projects for RFAS.  We’ve got a lot of cool stuff in the works over there that I think will be really helpful to a lot of people.  I’m also finding myself wanting to put more energy into making my department a better place, so that my kouhai don’t have to deal with a lot of the garbage that’s been contributing to my fatigue and burnout–thus my finishing examinations and immediately spending a considerable chunk of time writing a massive guide to examinations, so that the next group of students to take their exams will have a better idea of what they’re in for than I did.

Don’t get me wrong!  I’m still planning on blogging over here–I have a lot to say about a lot of things, although leveling up in the academic world hasn’t made me any faster of a writer, so it may still take me a long time to actually get things polished enough to release them to the outside world.  But I have a couple of posts in the works that will hopefully be ready for public consumption sometime in the near future.

In any case, yay for another year of blogging, and here’s hoping that next year will be a little less exhausting.

Today’s my third anniversary of writing for The Asexual Agenda!

Continuing the grand tradition, here’re some notable things I’ve written in the past year:

Asexual Awareness Week Linkspam Challenge linkspam

Thanks to everyone who submitted to my linkspam challenge!  I got a bunch of really great submissions, and I’m looking forward to reading/watching everything you recommended!  If I somehow missed your submission, please drop me a line and I’ll add it.

Without further ado, here is a linkspam of linkspams submitted to the linkspam challenge:

@ace-muslim ran a series of linkspams: day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, day 6, day 7.  She also posted bonus linkspams on resources and asexuality and Islam.

Coyote made a linkspam on the trouble with the sex-indifferent, -repulsed, -favorable trichotomy.

Sara made a linkspam of blogs that she read when she finally started identifying as asexual.

@sexyaussiekirkland made an asexual YouTube linkspam.

@queerascat made an Asexual PoC links masterpost.

@queerlaurabarton made a list of asexual resources for non-aces.

@tristifere made two international aces visibility linkspams.

Linkspam of things I mentioned on last night’s panel

I’m probably forgetting some, so if there’s something I mentioned that I forgot to include, please let me know and I’ll add it!  (Also, if I said your url on the panel last night and horribly mangled the pronunciation, I am so sorry.)

@tristifere encourages folks to stock their local libraries with ace books for AAW.

If you want to talk to/get in touch with (Japanese) aces in Japan, @harris-hijiri is probably your best bet.  I interviewed her for The Asexual Agenda’s international voices series a year back.  If you’re interested in the perspective of foreign aces in Japan, @queerascat is a good person to talk to.  I also generally recommend AceAdmiral’s (Broad-Strokes) Guide to Living as a Queer Gaijin in JapanI’ve also written about being ace in Japan.

Here’s the Carnival of Aces on asexual history.  Also, I was incorrect; Sennkestra’s post on ace community memes and in-jokes was actually for the Carnival on “An Asexual Culture?”  In general, I highly recommend both of those Carnivals, as they are a treasure trove of information.  (I mean, every Carnival tends to be, but I probably can’t convince all of you to read everything…)

Here’s the Ace Reads database, which is run by @agentaletha.  She also writes reviews for a bunch of the stuff she reads!  All around, it’s a great resource for folks who are interested in asexual spectrum representation in fiction.

Also, I did not explicitly mention this on the panel, but I think it’s worth linking to the asexuality and race resources document; if you’re wondering about the intersection of race and (a)sexuality or why aces of color might find the community alienating, that’s a good place to start.