A lot has happened since I stopped posting every week last year. I’ve applied to and been accepted to graduate school, sorted out a problem in the way I was reacting to some of my relationships, and done a lot of thinking.
I’ve started doing panels through my campus LGBTQA group, which has been a cool experience. One of the ways in which panels have shifted my thinking about asexuality is to make me a little more thoughtful about the contexts in which I use jargon, because I try very hard to keep my explanations of my experiences as simple as possible in panels. That is, I’ve gotten a lot more conscious of trying to avoid jargon unless I’m talking to another ace person who’s already familiar with the terminology I’m using. Since at the moment I’m doing most of my speaking about asexuality to audiences who may or may not even be familiar with the basic definition of asexuality, I’ve become very conscious about both the specific terms I use and also how I present and define those terms to the people I talk to.
In particular, being asked about my relationships and whether I desire close emotional intimacy with other people is always a tricky question. I’m in queerplatonic relationships with two other people right now, and it’s important for me to be able to answer that question as honestly as possible without completely derailing the discussion. I’m usually part of a 3-4 person group with each person representing at least one different identity, and we almost never have enough time to finish asking everyone’s questions by the end, so brevity (never my strong suit!) is an important quality. Usually I handle that question by mentioning romantic aces but emphasizing that my own relationships are a little more complicated, but that I’m very happy with where they are right now.
Also difficult to answer are questions specifically about romantic aces, because I have no earthly clue about how romance works and spending a couple of years questioning what defines a romantic relationship or romantic feelings have left me even more confused and more convinced that the traditionally defined romantic framework for relationships doesn’t work very well for me. I usually leave it at “some asexual people get crushes and fall in love and say they want to date people, but I find the whole thing pretty confusing,” which is a little oversimplified–but when you’re doing a panel or really any kind of teaching, oversimplification to get the concepts across quickly is part of the job.
I’ve got a big aces-only panel coming up in April, which will hopefully have me and three other aces speaking on it. I’m pretty excited about it!