@queerascat / queerascat.tumblr.com

the blog of Vesper, a maverique・bi / pan・asexual・queer・person of color living in Japan. || pronouns: they / them / their || see about page for more information.
soo... i know that the Dumpster Fire that is 2020 America isn't done burning yet and i'm sure there's still plenty of fuel left to fuel the fire... you know, given who & what is fueling it. regardless, i felt a need to crawl out of the hole that i've inadvertently found myself in this past year to reflect aloud and air a few.... grievances... ahead of the results of the 2020 election. as the title suggests, i'm not okay, but i'm working on it. i hope you’re doing what you can to take care of yourself, too, and as always thank you for watching! stay safe.

long time no see, Tumblr. hope you’ve been fairing this Dumpster Fire of a year better than i have. :)

this post is a submission for the March 2020 Carnival of Aces with this month's theme of "Leaving" hosted by Coyote over at The Ace Theist. never heard of a blogging carnival? check out the masterpost. either way, we have em to blame (or thank) for the following braindump.
- - - - - - -
at the time of writing this, the date is March 31st, 2020:
・ just over 2 months since the first case of COVID-19 in America was confirmed in Washington state, a little more than an hour from where i presently live. ・ 7 days since the 14-day "Stay At Home" order was announced by the governor of Washington in response to people continually disregarding his more lenient requests for Washingtonians to do just that. ・ 1 day after it was officially announced that in doing so, Washington has not only managed to become the first state to have a confirmed case of the virus but also the first state to have possibly "flattened the curve", slowing down the otherwise steadily increasing number of cases each day. even if only by a little....

Read more on QueerAsCat.com.

...so. i managed not only to write A Thing for the first time in seemingly forever, but also bring up current events in relation to #feels about ace communities. yay.

tonight feels like a good night to finally bust that DiGiorno® pizza out of the freezer... *wanders off*

Anonymous asked:

hi vesper! sorry to bother, but do you happen to have any recs for japanese lgbtq+ books? i'm hoping to keep my jp skills in shape through reading. right now i'm thinking of getting a copy of『Xジェンダーって何?』but i would appreciate any other recs! btw feel free to ignore this ask if you're not feeling up to it. thanks for your time and have a good day :)

since returning to the US from Japan back in March, i haven’t been on social media, YouTube, or this blog as much as i’d have liked. the international move itself aside, i’ve had my hands full juggling emotional / compassion fatigue as the result of a 6-month work contract at a local animal shelter / animal control agency in addition to navigating the effects of reverse culture shock with sealed lips, least i send this blog/my channel down the treacherous path of no return that is my Apathy for America as a country—not to mention having to re-assess what it is that i want to do with my life now that i’m situated in a country that doesn’t exactly lend itself to my previous career of TEFL (not TESL). [ ... ]

continue reading on QueerAsCat.com.

...one of these days i’ll stop treading water and actually post something of substance.

Avatar

recently i’ve seen a lot of people being like “i used to identify as asexual, but then i realised i just had a lot of repression/internalised homophobia/body image issues, and once i had sorted through that, i no longer identified as asexual.” 

which is, like, fine. or not fine, but it’s understandable.

except they then go on to say, “THEREFORE asexuality is a harmful and #problematic orientation because it allows people to justify their repression and avoid facing up to their Real Problems bluh bluh something bluh.” 

and that’s where i start to be like. uhhh. you do know an identity is not inherently flawed just because it no longer fits you, right? for example - i used to identify as bi because of compulsory heterosexuality. i was scared to face the fact that i was not even remotely into men, so i called myself bi because it was easier. does that make bisexuality a flawed identity? if a trans man initially identifies as a butch lesbian due to internalised transphobia, does that make butch lesbians “problematic”? no offence but could you people please, please think critically for once in your lives, i’m begging you

Avatar

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a stranger e-mail me or comment on one of my videos to tell me that asexuality itself, and the activism I help promote, is inherently problematic because it was what they used as a cover when they weren’t in touch with themselves (or they simply made a mistake).

Somewhat recently I had an “ex asexual” write me an absolutely awful, very long message about how aces are socially repressed and he used to be one of them, and how people like me have personally contributed to harming them because we make them think they’re okay when they had so much work to do to find their real selves.

Do you know what the opposite of that looks like?

Asexual people being finally freed to be themselves because they have a word for who they are and an understanding for why it never felt right.

Asexual people finally having resources to leave abusive relationships or speak up for their own desires (or lack thereof) in relationships.

Asexual people who learn they don’t have to buy into the toxic messages society has been sending them since birth about what they need to desire to be okay, to be happy, to be fulfilled, and how horribly stunted and In Need Of Help they are if they “suffer” from “lack of libido” or whatever someone uninformed thinks asexuality is today.

Do you know how many people have pretended to be straight (or thought they were straight) because they either didn’t have the resources/support to admit otherwise or truly did not know it was an option to be otherwise? There are many ways compulsory heterosexuality actually is toxic and we somehow don’t have our mainstream culture side-eyeing heterosexuals for influencing The Youth to buy into the lie that they are straight.

As the OP says, identities are not in themselves problematic. They don’t start being dangerous because someone who once used that identity later decided it didn’t fit them.

What we actually need to do is create/facilitate places and spaces where people aren’t shamed for exploring identity and won’t feel like they failed or “were tricked” if they either realize an identity was never true for them or they realize it isn’t true anymore (or that something else is truer). 

It’s okay to identify as asexual on your way to understanding yourself, and to be wrong. We’re not going to send a mob out to find you and blame you for destroying our legitimacy. Labels are what we use to communicate with each other and tell each other who we are. If we realize the words are doing us a disservice, we change how we speak. It’s okay. But don’t you DARE tell asexual people that their awareness activism is hurting people because we want everyone to know it’s an option (and we want people to know what our experience is like). 

It is horribly damaging to spread the lie that asexuality is more likely to be a phase that stunts people than it is to ever be the “final” label a person uses. If you found out it was wrong for you, you need to still support asexual people, and you need to use your time in the community as insight into how society treats them. You still need to make space for THEM to have THEIR journeys, and you do NOT have the right to present our community as harmful to yours because you tripped over us on your way to your true self.

Everyone can keep exploring who they are and trying on identity labels if they’re still unsatisfied. The nametags you leave on the floor are not to blame for distracting you from the ones you want pinned to your jacket. And if you won’t ever consider whether people who came to the same conclusion you did might be wrong, while you assume everyone calling themselves asexual is still looking for a “real” answer … we see who you are. We see that you’re weaponizing identity and centering your own experience in the lives of others. We see that you’re using the status quo to control and shame marginalized people. And we see that you can’t imagine asexuality except as a disorder. If you say things like this and spread these messages, know that you are just as bad as every authority who ever “diagnosed” other non-straight and non-cis identities with disorders, and know that you are making it easier for bigots to come for everyone else.

Why I’m romo aro, NOT greyromantic.

We all know the push at the start of last year. We wanted to be recognized. We wanted to be talked about. We wanted to be taken seriously. We helped change the popular definition of aromantic to be “little to no romantic attraction” to include more people. But at the beginning of last year, there was another push. A push to push aros who have romantic attraction out of their labels. 

It started off pretty small. Individuals getting sick and tired of “aros and arospecs” but getting told they were using arospec wrong when they claimed this identity for themselves. “Arospec is for anyone who is on the aromantic spectrum! Including aromantic people!” Then why are you calling us that. Then why are you using it to distance us from your community.

I am using that word because you called us that, to make us seem like we aren’t one of you. You gave us a label, thank you. But also, fuck you for trying to take it away. I get told again I can’t use it that way. I give up, I have no label, and I feel isolated. 

Thanks, aros. 

The argument continues. I call myself aro. I get told that the word only means no attraction ever. I get told it’s not my word. It’s not my word. I get told I don’t belong under that identity. I get told to use arospec. I dont want to use arospec, you told me I was using it wrong. I start hearing things you dont realize you are saying. 

“Arospec is for the whole community, use that if you want to talk about the community as a whole. You aren’t aro. Don’t call yourself that. Aro is not an umbrella term, and arospec doesn’t mean you. It’s not your word. You have no language. The common language we use to refer to ourselves and you isn’t for you. It’s not yours. You can’t call yourself what we’re calling you, and you can’t use the only word we use to talk about the community.

Again, I have no label, I feel isolated. But this time, I get angry. I get PISSED. I stand my ground, and I defend us. I flip the script, aros get pissed, and then…  And then. The post. The damn fucking post.

A word lost to discourse: greyromantic. “This is what you are.” This damn post was sent to me every time I talked about being shoved out of the aromantic community. “Look! There is a word for you!” This damn post was sent to me every time I talked about being told my language was wrong. “You can use this word instead! No need to use ours.” This damn post was sent to me any time I brought up the treatment of partnering and sometimes-romo aros. “Why don’t you just use this word instead? See? We’re listening to and supporting you.” This damn post was used again and again and again by people who HAVE NO PLACE to tell me what my identity can be. 

This post specifically was used to talk over me. This post was used to silence my voice. OUR voices. This post was used, primarily by aros who have never experienced romantic attraction, primarily by aros who will never fall under this umbrella, to tell me what I am. To tell me what I can and cannot be. To tell me that my language was wrong and I cannot use the language I had been using for myself. 

and I won’t fucking use that label.

So what labels do I use? What label do I like? Why do I like them?

I go by romo aro. It was a private word me and my microcommunity had been using this whole time, that by the end I started promoting and making content for. This is my favorite and preferred label, because it can cover anyone who fits outside of the stereotypical aro alignment. Sometimes-romo, romo favorable, partnering, polyaff/polyam, queerplatonic aros, aros who enjoy romo content. and Anyone who would’ve been shoved under that “arospec” umbrella instead of aro. This word is inclusive, this word is radical, and this word can mean me, no matter what that means for me in that moment.

I use this word mostly because it is the only label that no one else forced onto me, and I will never force it onto anyone else. I prefer it because it is, and always has been, mine. I always had a choice, and it never belonged to anyone else. This word is mine, and I will not let anyone take it away from me.

I also use aro. While people kept arguing against me, for I while I just dropped talking about my identity as a romo aro altogether. I went by aro because it was easier and because it can be an umbrella term. The definition started shifting to mean “little to no romantic attraction” and I am forever grateful. This is a word I’ll keep, because no one forced it on me, and because people told me I couldn’t. Using this word was an act of defiance, and using this word was an act of belonging and assimilation. And now people recognize that this word can also belong to me.

And finally… I use arospec. It took me months (and by months i mean about 7 to be able to comfortably use it again) but this word was the first word I identified with. Public perception of this word has shifted, and people recognize that it can mean multiple things. People recognize that arospecs are allowed to talk about their experiences under this label, including how aros have wronged them. Slowly, people are able to recognize that this was a word used for aros to distance us from themselves, and that this was the first word a lot of us had. This word is a good label, and while it started as a reclamation, now it’s solid identity that people can recognize as being separate and different from the umbrella term. And that’s really really good. 

I want to say I don’t hate the creator of that post. I don’t hate aros and greyros. But you NEED to start listening to romo aros and arospecs. When we say something is hurting us, people need to believe us and learn to start recognizing damaging language. And there CANNOT be tolerance in the aromantic community for people who will talk over people- especially aromantic minorities. And the aromantic community as a whole HAS to shut down and learn to STOP telling people if their identity and label is valid or not. I HAVE to stop seeing people in my notifications saying that my words are wrong. It HAS to stop. There was a mass exodus of arospecs last year around this time. My whole microcommunity is gone, and a huge portion of the community is missing, with most aros not even noticing. We HAVE to fix things for them. We NEED to make sure that will never happen again. We NEED to make sure that arospecs of all sorts belong.

This community does not have the time or space or numbers to be exclusionary and perpetuating erasure. It’s needs to stop. It’s time to start listening to arospecs. It’s time to start respecting people who have long since been ignored. It’s time the aro community takes a stand with us. 

The aro community has grown, but it’s time to start doing more than what passive little it has recently learned to do. It’s time. Grow more. Take a stand.

Avatar

This is completely right. When I started this blog, there were absolutely no resources for aromantics who weren’t strictly no-attraction. And since then I have seen pushback against aromantics who do.

The most important thing about a label is not what it means to other people. The most important thing is what it means to you. None of us experience life the same way. None of us experience attraction the same way. None of us experience non-attraction the same way. We don’t even experience the things we see and hear and taste the same way, let alone something as complex as the hormones that our brains sent hurtling throughout our circulatory systems.

I am reblogging this in solidarity for people who don’t feel comfortable identifying as grayromantic or arospec rather than just aro. Your journey is your own. Your self belongs to you, and you are not hurting me or anyone else by using a different word to describe yourself. You are not hurting non-attraction aromantics by using the same word. You have my support.

Netflix’s Sex Education Season 2 Episode 4 (2020)

Captions:

Florence: I don’t want to have sex. Dr. Milburn: Okay. Do you want to have a seat? Not having sex is a valid choice. And you shouldn’t have sex unless you-- Florence: No. I don’t want to have sex at all. Ever, with anyone. I think I might be broken. Dr. Milburn: Do you know what asexuality is? It’s when someone has no sexual attraction to any sex or gender. Sex just... doesn’t do it for some people. Florence: Oh. But I still want to fall in love. Dr. Milburn: Well, some asexual people still want romantic relationships, but they don’t want the sex bit. Others don’t want either. Sex doesn’t make us whole. And so, how could you ever be broken?

pardon the poor quality of these gifs, but Netflix doesn’t make gif-making easy. plus, i felt that this scene was done too well for stills.

again, huge glaring content warning for this series, as Sex Education covers a wide breadth of sexual subject matter in a typical in-your-face Netflix manner, but the show definitely is worth watching if you can stomach its content & delivery. i might write a proper post about my thoughts on it later...

Hello! I don't see a lot of content about LGBTQ+ people in japanese pop culture and when I see people represented it's not always in a healthy/respective way or it's always romantic underground content which is good but doesn't get much attention. Do you know of any case of like popular fantasy work or something like that with LGBTQ+ people?

Avatar

hi there,

it’s 5 months later that i’m finally responding to this ask… i’m really sorry about that. i don’t know that this is even something that you’d still like answered, but…

in recent years there’s been an increasing amount of mainstream media with canon LGBTQ+ characters / real-life LGBTQ+ people—both for better and for worse. i don’t have an exhaustive list of such media, but i have randomly blogged* about instances that i personally have come across in the past…

i think that it’s been within the last two years or so that i’ve noticeably been increasingly caught off guard by Japanese mainstream media randomly including queer-coded or even canonically gay (always gay) characters as a means of random-plot-twist (click), comedic relief/plot driver (fucking Ossaannnn ughhh click-click), or queerbaiting (click), but i haven’t always gotten my feathers ruffled by it enough to pointedly take note of it in the form of a blog post or Twitter rant, so…

while i hope the above helps answer your question, i’m sure that Google-sensei could provide you with much more helpful information. posting this publically just because i know others may be interested in this inadvertent linkspam.

*note: because Japanese media outlets are ridiculous about leaving past content intact, some links to Japanese websites included in the above posts will no longer work.

Unanswered Asks

sooo... it looks like during my time away from Tumblr, i’ve received several asks in my inbox that are now 2 ~ 6 months old. as the majority of these asks were sent anonymously and it’s been so long since they were sent, i’m not sure whether or not i should bother responding to them at this point...

on the off chance that the anonymous senders of those asks happen to be reading this, if i have yet to respond to something that you sent catgodknowshowlongago and you’d still like me to reply, maybe send me a new ask letting me know? otherwise, i will only be responding to asks that were not sent anonymously.

also, i’m thinking that i will close this blog’s ask box altogether in the near future in the hopes that people will instead send me questions on my website, but i know how likely that is to actually happen, so. eh.

inspired by an old blog post and a New Year's meme, i decided to document the last decade of my journey re: identity as a #Black, #Queer, #Nonbinary & #Asexual person in the form of a video—the 2010's Edition of "The Neverending Queer-y". Although cringeworthy (for me at least), the resulting compilation video illustrates what i've held to be true since day 1 of starting Queer As Cat: that identity, much like life, is a journey and i'm enjoying the ride. finally.
but also, thank god i'm documenting this shit, because i probably wouldn't remember half of this stuff by now had i not spent hours upon hours journaling, recording, editing, & archiving it.

YouTube / internet-in-general ridiculousness aside, i'm looking forward to the decade to come. minus the part where i officially become "middle-aged" and “old", of course zzz...

Those less familiar with and/or invested in YouTube as an online video-streaming platform may not be aware of the controversy and Drama that has overcast YouTube for several years now. You may have never heard of the hashtag #YouTubIsOverParty (or its various iterations) trending on & off Twitter and making headlines since 2016, nor may you be aware of or understand why YouTube 'Creators' are recently in an uproar over a recent decision on the part of the Federal Trade Commission with regards to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)—and that's okay! I'm here to vent give you a brief rundown of why YouTube/Google is the Pink Capitalist Piece of Shit that we all knew it was to begin with but may have forgotten or lost sight of along the way. More specifically, I'm here to highlight the hypocrisy and injustices dealt to YouTube's LGBTQIA Creators and viewership alike by YouTube as a platform [ ... ] 

...so i know that i’ve been MIA for a while, but there’s nothing like some good ol’ YouTube Drama to make me flex my nonexistent writing muscles and spew out a wiki-style rant of a blog post.

really, though. YouTube/Google has pissed me off just enough with its hypocritical treatment of its LGBTQIA Creators & content that i had to lay it all out in a rant for my own (and others’) ease of future reference zzz...

as an AFAB non-binary person with zero interest in "passing" as male, i never thought that i'd still be on HRT nearly 2 years after having started... and yet here we are.
the transition from being on HRT in Japan to being on HRT in America has been... interesting. having heard so much about it from American mass media and social media, i eventually turned to Planned Parenthood in order to pick-up on where i'd left off in Japan in terms of being on testosterone. what followed was.... well. a “Near-Religious Experience”, if ever there was one? at least, when compared to my experience in Japan.
amidst changes in injection types (intermuscular vs subcutaneous) and hormone dosages, i’ve also been navigating generalized reverse culture shock and differing perceptions of gender and gender-based societal norms between Japan & America… tl;dr, a lot has happened since i last posted an update about being on HRT back in January. this video is my attempt at compartmentalizing & glossing over it all in 20 minutes with time points added in-video because long video is long.

an overdue T update video?

having socially 'transitioned' my name years ago, it feels amazing to finally have my name reflected correctly on legal documents, identification, etc. not only that, "X" as a gender marker has recently become a possibility for me...!
except, you know. not really. because everything always has to be complicated for me. always. and America is fucking ridiculous.
in this video, i talk about my personal experience with socially changing my name, the process & timeline of legally changing my name in Nevada / Washingon state, and go on a tangentially relevant rant about why i personally detest the term "deadname".
for those interested in looking into legally changing your name and/or gender marker, check out these amazing resources:
https://transgenderlawcenter.org/ https://transequality.org/documents

legal ‘transition’ as a non-binary person in America is a joke, but i managed to not be overly bitter about it in the video somehow. just know that there was and is much internal screaming regardless. :’)

🎬 QAC 76.5 - 11 Years In The Making:  #TheBigChop || Non-binary | QPOC | Haircut |

two months after moving back to America from Japan, i’ve finally done what i’ve been dreaming about doing for years…! that is, cutting off my butt-length locs of 11 years– i.e., the #BigChop.
as a #nonbinary person i’d been conflicted about the length and style of my hair for years, but unable to do much of anything about it for various reasons, so finally being able to do away with them now is quite literally a dream come true.
even so, adjusting to life post-locs comes with new challenges, not only in terms to adjusting to the new hair itself, but also adjusting to others differing perception of me and my own unstable perception of myself. and what better way to deal with it all than to document the first week of it daily vlog style…?

…sure is an unscripted, experimental video if ever there was one.

*sweats*

So happy for Vesper! Everything seems to be coming together for them right now, and it is so wonderful to see <3

But on the subject of hair: while I am sad to lose an ultra-long hair buddy, I am so happy this worked out for them. Between the cut and the glasses they look a) amazing and b) somehow more like themself. I dunno, obviously the only look I have ever known on Vesper is locs, but just the way their energy has changed makes it clear this look is their Look.

Something I find interesting as relates to my own experience, though, is the fact that preliminary results suggest losing the hair has resulted in more gender confusion. This is exciting of course, but also interesting because as I try to articulate why I persist in keeping my hair long, one of the things I’ve hit on is that if I cut off all my hair, I would be a Lesbian, mystery solved.

Now, I’m not trying to say that there aren’t already people who identify my as a lesbian from how I dress, just that there’s more variety at this moment than I anticipate there would be if I chopped off all my hair. But, you know, then tension is real; my brother’s wedding isn’t until next March but already my biggest question is, what am I going to do with my dumb hair?

(It doesn’t help that I am terrible at hair care/styling (although I did do a deep cleanse on it recently and it doesn’t feel perpetually gross anymore, so that’s a positive). It’s so hard to figure out who to trust, especially when I cannot find anyone else with hair that looks like mine because only a crazy person would keep their hair as long as I do.)

Anyway, recently I’ve been having more fun with color than length (I wore blue to visit Grandma and wow was that a good time), but I so happy to see Vesper in love with their new look. Congratulations!

thanks for the kind words...! several people have said similar things about me looking “more like [my]self” post-Big Chop and... i have unprocessed Feels (neither negative nor positive Feels, mind you, but #Feels) about that and what that even means? both for me personally and in a more general sense? still processing that, but that’s beside the point.

on the topic of anticipating being perceived as a lesbian—#MysterySolved—should you cut off your hair, as opposed to the seemingly greater variation that exists in how people perceive you now with long hair... oh do i have feels that too, in addition to having feels about how my partner’s assumed gender becomes an additional #Checkmate to that #MysterySolved in most people’s eyes... i feel like i ought to expand upon and unpack my own feels about those things in a proper blog post or video at some point in the future, but long story short, i empathize so much with you there. 

and while i may have bowed out of the Ulta Long Hair Club, i still retain lifetime membership to the Pain In The Ass Hair + Trust Issues Club and wholly understand that struggle. glad to see you’ve found some respite in coloring your hair at least and appreciate you taking the time to bounce off of my experience / thoughts with hair with your own.

i am so Here for any & all discussion of the complex, intersectional nature of hair, self-expression, and identity. <3

Our Queer Ancestors

Ancestry is a concept that at first seems bound within a heterosexist framework. Ancestry—when understood within the confines of limited heterocentrist viewpoint—is thought to exist only within the realm of blood relation, stemming from the proliferation of the ideal family unit across time and space as parents produce children, who become adults that in turn find heterosexual partners and produce children.  This is what is understood when we speak of ancestry.  

But what of Queer Ancestry?  What of the kinships that are formed by those whose families have rejected them?  What of those families who’s bond to one another is not blood but instead a shared commitment to protect, support, and uplift one another?  Where, in the traditional family ideal, is there room for queer understandings of love and family?  Our families are not connected by some shared DNA, they are connected by a shared spirit of resistance, of a common will to life that drives us to reject the hegemonic in search of a more authentic sense of self-actualization. 

Many of our Queer Ancestors’ names have been lost to time, erased by the hegemonic power of heterohistory.  Although their names may be lost, their stories can still empower and embolden us.  By sharing their stories we carry their essence with us; they lend us their strength and their courage, their passion and their pain.  Take strength from your Queer Ancestors.  Allow them to empower you.  Allow them to lend you their spirit, and they will lift you to new heights.

Avatar

Continuing from my previous post on the aro community’s obsession with creating labels instead of addressing root issues. This time, I’ll be talking about sexuality, and/or lack thereof.

Those of you who have been active in the aro community within the past six months or so are no doubt familiar with the way asexuality is seen as the default for aros, leading those of us who aren’t asexual (such as myself) to start advocating for ourselves more, and being firm about who we are. We’re allo aros, we’re here, and we’re going to make a place for ourselves. That’s all fine and good, but that leaves those who don’t quite fit into either box sort of left behind.

The fact is, as mentioned, asexuality is seen as the default for aromantics. You can’t just say you’re aro and have that be that, because people can, and will, assume that you’re ace. If you’re not ace, that’s so unusual that you’d better have a way to describe it! Are you straight? Gay? Bisexual? What do you mean, you’re “just” aro? Oh, so you’re a non-SAM aro, then?

In reality, everyone’s sexuality is their own business, and they shouldn’t have to disclose it to anyone, or have any specific labels if they don’t want to. For some people, they may not know exactly what their sexuality is, or they may not want to say what it is, or they may not care what it is. They should be able to say they’re aro, without any assumptions being made. Aros should be able to have, and talk about, whatever sexual attraction they do or don’t experience, without being pressured to lay out an exact description of what specifically they “are” to everyone else. Aro, as an identity, should come with no assumptions about sexuality.

Allo aros, in many ways, aren’t describing ourselves as such because we love the term allosexual. We’re describing ourselves as such because we’re tired of being assumed to be asexual. Any little bit of not fitting in with the ace community, imo, is enough to be welcome with us. But the way things are happening makes it come across as if you have to be either strictly allo or strictly ace, which leaves aros who don’t quite fit in those boxes feeling excluded*. Thus terms like non-SAM or neuaro are coined, and sure, those can be helpful to some… But they’re still clunky and overly specific terms that not everyone wants to use, yet they still feel forced to, because if they don’t, guess what’ll happen? Yup, you got it. They’ll be assumed to be ace.

“Aro” should be enough. Aro shouldn’t come with any assumptions about sexuality. But it does, and instead of coming together to change things so that asexuality is no longer assumed to be the default, the aro community is more focused on coming up with terms to describe aros who aren’t Aroace™, and then subsequently bickering about said terms. We need to address why these terms are necessary, rather than arguing about them and piling on more and more fancy bandaids that ultimately change nothing.

*Aces, don’t you dare try to use this as an excuse to criticize the allo aro community and our self-avocation. Don’t you dare try to silence us again, I’m not having it. If you have a problem with the ace/allo binary, then you need to start dismantling the whole system that led to its existence, not paint over one end and call it a day.