Tag: ace pride

One Ace Activist’s Journey


This blog post was originally written with the intent of being posted to the official Ace Week website as a guest post: https://www.aceweek.org/stories but due to some complicated circumstances, never was. I was asked to write a post, did my best to cover personal history and stuff, and wrote a very long blog post
(over 7,000 words in length), which you can now read below. The post was written end of October 2020, with slight edits I made on December 5, 2020 to the “2019”, “2020”, and “Looking To The Future” sections. I’m finally sharing it below.


I baked and decorated a cake for Ace Week 2020 using all 3 of my pride flags (all 9 total colors for the 12 stripes on the ace, aro, and pan flags). Purple is the dominant color because it’s Ace Week!

Ace Week (or as it used to be called, Asexual Awareness Week) is a special anniversary time for me because it was during Asexual Awareness Week near the end of October 2013 that I first embraced the truth that I am asexual. I had been questioning my sexual orientation for years in a passive way, and much more actively for a few months. At that pivotal moment seven years ago, after feeling consumed with confusion for a long stretch of time, I finally felt certainty around my newfound identity, and felt like I finally understood such a key part of myself. I was 23 years old. (My birthday is in January, so my age typically lines up quite well to the year‚ÄĒI was 23 years old for the vast majority of 2013.)

In the seven years since then, I’ve been on a much richer journey than I ever would have imagined. One piece of that is a continued exploration of the nuances of what identity labels work for me in what seems to be a potentially always evolving process. Often, as I experience new situations within my interpersonal relationships, I learn more about myself. I currently identify as a pan-alterous, demi-sensual, gray-aromantic, sex-averse asexual. I think some other terms describe me well too, but I don’t claim them as orientations or as important things to label.

The history of Asexual Awareness Week is described here. I didn’t even know until this year (2020) that the celebratory week was launched in 2010.

2010 and earlier:

Reflecting on it now, I realize I was 20 years old when the initiative was beginning. That was a time in my life when I was still assuming I was straight-by-default, all while never having dated, kissed anyone, or had any romantic or sexual experience whatsoever.

For the decade prior, age 10-or-so till age 20, there were little signs of my orientation, had I known what to look for. There were many moments along my journey where I felt a disconnection from my peers and from the cultural narrative of what feelings “everyone” supposedly starts to feel during puberty. But I didn’t know what to look for. And even if asexual online communities were all starting to exist during those years, it was a small corner of the internet and that information certainly did not reach me.

As a cis person who mistook herself for straight, I was not spending time in any LGBTQ+ community spaces yet, including online ones. A possible exception was enjoying fanvideos with canonically queer ships. In 2006 when I had been 16 years old, I’d entered the vidding fandom community. By the time I was 20, I had already become entranced with a handful of stories of people questioning their sexuality, all while stuck feeling convinced I must be straight if I was not actively attracted to women. I didn’t know there were any other options.

I was also 20 years old when I first started reading fanfiction in some of my favorite fandoms, and encountering sexually explicit scenes at times, although never purposefully seeking them out. I was starting to grow more and more aware that I didn’t fit allosexual narratives, and yet I didn’t understand why or how.

With only one Asexual Awareness Week having taken place, and the target audience that first year being LGTBQ communities, it’s no surprise I was not yet aware of asexuality. As far as I’m aware, I didn’t hear the word asexual in relation to sexual orientation for the first time in my life until May 2011. If I had heard it at any earlier point in time, it left absolutely no impression on me.

2011:

Continue reading “One Ace Activist’s Journey”

Asexuality, Shame, and the Importance of Ace Pride

This post was written for the March 2017 Carnival of Aces, which is themed around Ace Pride. The call for submissions was here – and the round up post containing all of the submitted entries is here: http://purrplelace.tumblr.com/post/159167437413/march-2017-carnival-of-aces-round-up


We’ll get to Ace Pride by the end of this post. First, I need to talk about Ace Shame.

[Content note: Heavy discussion of anti-ace sentiments, invalidation, shame, negative emotions, etc. Some NSFW text. Unhappy ace/allo sexual relationship dynamics also touched upon. It’s a bit of a rambling mess too.]


shame: n. A painful emotion caused by the belief that one is, or is perceived by others to be, inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of one’s actions, thoughts, circumstances, or experiences.

  • What is there to be proud of? Isn’t asexuality nothing?

pride: n. a feeling of honour and self-respect; a sense of personal worth

  • “Are you sure you’re not repressed? because you grew up Catholic?”
  • “Everyone masturbates – and the few who say they don’t? are lying.”
  • What do you fantasize about though?
  • Everyone is turned on by some type of person.
  • “Maybe you should talk to a doctor about your hormone levels.”
  • “WAIT — you’re 22 and you’ve never been kissed??”
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin is a great movie, made me cry. I’m so happy that he finally lost his virginity at the end.
  • “It’s natural and healthy to have sexual thoughts and desires”.
  • You’re betraying feminists if you fight Flibanserin (Addyi) being on the market.
  • Who do you have a crush on?”
  • “You should watch this tv show, if for no other reason than the eye candy, you know what I mean? ūüėČ “
  • “Philosophical or psychological hypothesis: What if all human desires are, deep down, influenced by sex because it’s instinctual that we need to want sex in order for our species to survive? I mean it’s probably true, it just makes sense.”
  • My mom: “You don’t have to get Confirmed Catholic if you really don’t want to however… You might want to belong to a church for when you get married?”
  • “A soulmate is your other half,¬† the person who completes you, everyone is waiting to find theirs unless they are so lucky to have already found them.”
  • lust can be such a powerful feeling that it motivates people to cheat with a stranger they just met
  • without ‘passion’ in that marriage can you blame that miserable spouse for cheating?”
  • OK Cupid question: “How many dates will you want to go on before you’re ready for sex? One? Three? 12?” (See the 100 words prose poem thing I wrote, which I just tonight posted about this topic.)
  • Check a box: “Which of the three fits you best: straight,¬† gay,¬† or bi?”
  • “Have you tried having sex with both men and women and didn’t like it? Only men? You probably just didn’t give being lesbian enough of a chance.”
  • “Ok interesting.¬† But. Are you absolutely sure you haven’t just not met the right person yet? You don’t want to close yourself off to that possibility too young”¬† (said to me when I’m 24.)
  • Me before I accepted I’m ace: “I… this first kiss to you feels just as lackluster as the other time I tried kissing a different person last year. I need to admit something… I’m starting to worry I might be asexual, unfortunately. I like you a lot as a person already, so maybe I’ll turn out to be demisexual? Over time? (If we… fall in love or something?)”
  • It’s the standard narrative.¬† Boy meets girl.¬† One is too traumatized or just mistrustful of the world. Let’s say it’s the girl this time. The guy loves her hard enough, for long enough… that she learns to love him back with time. Or she suddenly has a revelation that the love of her life has been there all along. He might be suddenly attractive to her too. Like Lois and Clark in versions of their story where you see them before they get together. And wow.¬† They feel all the feelings. They have a magical kiss or even the best sex ever by the end of the story. Happily ever after. It wouldn’t be a happy ending without getting together romantically.
  • “Are you sure you’re not aroused right now?” – when I tried sex with my boyfriend.
  • “I’ve never met anyone who’s asexual before. (That can’t be real.)”
  • “Oh, that explains a lot about our conversations these past years. I always just thought maybe you were a bit prudish.”
  • Isn’t the idea of being proud to be ace arrogant, elitist, and saying you’re better than people who have sexual desires, shaming them for that, and that’s not cool?
  • “You’re lucky you’re ace. I wish I was ace. You have it so easy.”

Sorry I decided to write such a downer of a post for such a seemingly happy theme.¬† I kind of went a pretty… different direction than the other entries. At first I wondered if I was completely going off topic but now I realize… My post is basically a long answer to (Purr)ple(L)ace’s final bullet point in the suggested topics:

How do displays of pride (in whatever forms you choose to show it) help you deal with any negative aspects of being ace? How do they help you love/accept yourself and your asexuality more?

Continue reading “Asexuality, Shame, and the Importance of Ace Pride”