Carnival of Aces: Call for Submissions

This month I will be hosting the Carnival of Aces! For details on the Carnival of Aces you can check out the details here.

Having in mind that lately there has been talk in the ace community about the connections between religion and asexuality, I thought it would be a good idea if this month’s Carnival of Aces was related. So I chose the theme Religion and Asexuality. Alternatively Atheism and Asexuality for those who prefer to talk about it from another point of view.

Spade recently made a post which listed a set of links written by religious people that talk about asexuality and their experiences as an asexual in religious spaces, but it would be great if we could hear more about other’s perspectives on this topic.

Do you find any connection between your religion and your asexual identity? You might want to write about your own experiences as a religious person in asexual spaces, or as an asexual in religious spaces.

Submissions in any form are welcome (written, drawn, audio, video, etc.). To submit you can comment below with a link or email me at readqueer@gmail.com . Guess posts are also welcome!

Good luck to everyone!

Pride 2014

Smoke, noise and sex. These are the three words I would use to define this year’s Barcelona Pride Parade. Hugely disappointing, really. I had intended to buy a flag or something to wave around once I got there, but half the stands sold food, a quarter were closed and the rest were not LGBT related or very expensive (I’m not buying a 30 cm flag for fifteen euros!). Nobody was waving around anything, it all seemed very dead.
Silly me for thinking asexuality would have any sort of representation. Actually, nothing had much representation, it was very homocentric – male homocentric that is. Not a word about any other sexuality and, other than drag, it seemed like nothing about gender was even mentioned.
It seems like Conchita Wurst made bearded ladies popular, since there were many (both drag and women) with beards. I was hoping to hear Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, but there was nothing. There were a group of kids on a balcony who kept on clapping and shouting every time someone curious went by, which was cute. They had no idea what was going on. Also, somebody nearly died. A girl fell of one of the trucks and lucky the driver stopped before running her over; her head was just in front of the tire.

Things I liked:
– They gave me a sticker. Five stickers actually. They were throwing them from one of the trucks and nobody seemed to care about them, so I just kept them myself.
– I got to see a drag queen for the first time, including the winner of the drag race!!!
– Two otakus screamed at my lovely tee-shirt. They both had nice hairstyles that I will one day have.
– I saw a pink limousine.

Things I didn’t like:
– People thought I was a boy (yay!) so naked males kept on hitting on me.
– The before party had a lot to ask for. A drag queen was dancing and doing playback to songs that my grandparents might have heard of, while everyone else stared and did nothing at all. For two hours.
– They gave me a condom, which is really ok since they were giving everyone condoms. But what about dental dams, gloves or anything the lesbians might need to have safe sex? Again, very male homocentric.
– It was so very hot, I nearly fainted twice. Lucky I brought sun cream, an umbrella, found some shade and a little girl gave me a hat.
– A group of homophobic teenagers thought it would be appropriate to attack one of the bathroom stools at a Pride Parade, but they were soon shooed off. The poor old lady inside had a fright though.

Hopefully next year I can go with Pear and it will be much more fun. Maybe it was just rubbish because I was alone and it was my first time.

Pear and I

I haven’t mentioned Pear yet. Before I introduce her though, I thought maybe I should stop putting letters as people’s names and maybe assign them fruit instead so they are less confusing. Pear has nothing in common with a pear by the way; the names are chosen randomly.
Pear and I met at drawing classes. I try to be as outgoing as I can when meeting new people, otherwise I’m most likely to end up alone in a corner of the room, so I got into the habit to talking to everyone in my drawing class (30 people). This means that I have a good relationship with everyone and walk around the room talking to all and none in particular (I think that’s what you call a floater when studying high school girl cliques?). When Pear showed up half way through the year, nervous and solitary, I also presented myself and we soon became great friends. I usually get bothered with people fairly quickly and have an urge to run away after they talk for too long, but she was different. I consider her to be my best friend and I often get an earlier train to see her in the mornings.
One day we were walking to the train station together; we were talking about manga and, somehow, she ended up saying that she loved characters who dressed up as the opposite sex, as well as androgynous Asian singers. I thought that it would be a good enough moment to come out as non-binary, but I cowardly changed my mind. Instead I gave her one of my smirks with hidden meaning and agreed, then proceeded to say a list of characters and gender-bender series that I also loved.
Five minutes later she started complaining about her boyfriend, because he didn’t let her cut her hair. I knew she’d be bothered if I went into feminism mode and told her that her boyfriend had no right to decide which haircut she should have, but I did tell her she should be doing whatever she wanted with her own hair. Anyway, then she said she was sick of relationships and “wished she was asexual”. That definitely caught me off guard as I was incredibly surprised that somebody in the mainstream population (cis-hetero-monogamous-vanilla) would know about the term. Second time that I had a perfect opportunity to come out and stayed quiet.
Another day we were scribbling our names on a piece of paper and drawing flowers around them, when the guy sitting in front of us said to another friend that “all the girls around him turned into lesbians, even Pear”. I don’t think I need to make much of a comment on the nature of this statement, seeing as it basically speaks for itself, but I could’ve taken this (third) opportunity to come out to her. As usual, I didn’t.
Of course later I was ashamed of myself for not saying anything. She is the most accepting person I know and would have no problem whatsoever with me being trans or ace. But if you think that my chances of disclosing my identity were over, you should know that I was given yet another opportunity to do so.
It was last week. I thought I might as well mention that there’s the Barcelona Pride this Saturday, and that I’d be going. She was upset because she couldn’t go, so I said I’d buy her a flag or something. She told me she wanted the pansexual one. I made sure to tell her that I’d be buying an asexual one for me and in response I got “why would you want an ace one, being asexual is so sad!”, as she proceeded to tell me that only 1% of the population is asexual. I wasn’t going to waste this chance so I butted in with a “I’m part of that 1%!”. She was shocked for a second or two but then started squealing and jumping up and down, saying that she finally met an asexual person and that she’d always wanted to know my sexuality (really?).
She’s been very interested and asking a few questions these past few days about asexuality and aromanticism. I also came out as genderqueer. She suspected it and says it’s fine, that she has no problem whatsoever and feels so much closer to me now. Turns out she’s pansexual too (not a lesbian).

Pride alongside fear of judgement

Spain is much more accepting of homosexuality if we compare it to North America. I have never, I repeat, never, physically come across anybody who had a problem with my lesbianism. And I am open about it, it’s not a secret. Of course you have the teenagers saying “that’s so gay” as a synonym to boring, ninnyhammer or uncool, as well as “accidental” homophobic comments, but us gays don’t usually have to hide much or fear we will be attacked because of our sexuality. It is a good idea to stay away from the older people who go to church though, just in case. This is Catalonia; I’m guessing the situation in Madrid and other places in Spain are different, by what I hear.

The thing is, in a few days a childhood friend of my sisters and me is coming over to visit us as he passes through a city nearby. We grew up in the same town in New Zealand, where everybody knew each other and talked happily. My parents sent us to Sunday school so we would learn a bit about religion, but I soon started questioning the existence of God when I realised I wasn’t forced to believe in one. This friend’s parents, however, were (are) very religious and I fear that I mustn’t say anything queer-related just in case the beliefs have passed onto his generation. Christians aren’t exactly known for their tolerance towards people like me.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem; I keep my mouth shut and have him leave with the opinion that I am nothing but a funny intelligent beautiful nice girl –though I could improve on my modesty, it seems-. However, next week is Pride Barcelona and I intend to be on my best queer behaviour as it comes. Talking about Pride, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do, since it will be my first time assisting. I don’t even have a flag or a banner, for that matter. I hope they sell them around there somewhere.

I’ll have to test the waters before saying anything. Maybe his brother is also queer; us middle kids seem to be the ones who always bend societies norms (don’t trust me on this, it has not yet been proven that the second borns are the most likely “gay of the family”).

But there is another problem; I am not ashamed of who I am or who I’ve become. But I also love the past me that my friend knew. If he knows what I am now, if he finds out that I am ace, that I like girls and that I am genderqueer, the image of what I was before will be erased from his memory. And I don’t want that. I guess I have some serious issues when it comes down to letting go of the past, mainly because my life when I was seven is so radically different as it is now. I love both and want both, but now I have to choose one. Strangely enough, I have the same hairstyle as back then. Maybe that can help a bit.

Sex is the biggest nothing of all time

Pleasure. That’s this month’s topic for the Carnival of Aces over at The Pleasure’s All Mine. I’m thinking that thepleasuresallmine chose this theme on purpose –also considering the subject of her blog in general- just to hear all of our little dark secrets, but she won’t be getting much from me considering I am not sexually active in any way nor do I masturbate.
I’ll start with clearing up one thing first. I have decided that I will and want to die a virgin (how can I miss something I never tried?). That makes me a celibate ace, I guess. It doesn’t bother me in the least what people will think; why would I have to have such an intimate moment with somebody if I myself don’t feel that it’s important nor want it. I hardly have a libido and am also sex-repulsed. The sex itself doesn’t disgust me, but ever since I remember I am reluctant towards bones and muscles; that leads to me not wanting to touch anyone, neither animals, because I feel that I will break into pieces by their touch. I swear it isn’t personal.
Another factor for not wanting to partake in a sexual relationship is my dysphoria. Thankfully I don’t have strong body –or social– dysphoria, but surely there are things, such as sex, that will trigger it. And I am not going to take my chances.
I also doubt I will ever find somebody who I trust enough to have that kind of relationship with. I dislike being vulnerable. They say “there’s somebody for everyone”, which I don’t really doubt much, especially since in my case the statement is true (I am popular enough with the lads when I present femme), but me being aromantic doesn’t permit me to return the feelings.
I am aware that there are many kinds of pleasure, not just the physical. I would like to say I am an incredibly interesting person and that my hobbies range from east to west, but truth be told my obsession with Japan touches all the corners of my life. It started with a manga and then proceeded to have me studying Japanese culture, history, language, religion and anything related. So you could say that I get my pleasure in digesting more useless facts I will never need about a country at the other side of the world. Reading, cartoons, the internet and drawing also keep me content. Call me childish if you must, but I prefer to say I’m simply not interested in physical pleasure.

Dean_Martin_everybody_loves_somebody

Ace Obstacles

This is my second post for the Carnival of Aces. Actually, I hardly think this even counts as a post because it is only a few lines long, but I wanted to write something about this topic before the month ended. Anyway, the theme of May is “Obstacles” and is hosted over at LGBTeen.

The biggest obstacle I have had regarding coming out as asexual or simply just identifying as asexual is definitely the lack of obstacles. When telling somebody about my orientation, they simply disregarded it telling me not to worry, that I’d one day fall in love and want to have sex with somebody, that asexuality doesn’t exist, that everyone goes through a faze like this. Nobody cared in the least to even tell me that they were happy I figured out who I am. Nobody believed me when I said I was ace. Nobody who wasn’t queer even understood what the term meant.

I guess now would be a great time to complain about the misrepresentation of asexuality in the media and somehow manage to make myself look good by saying that I do my best at teaching people about the topic, but many people have already made great posts about that.

Instead I’ll just go with the bragging. I sent a message to a youth sex section of the radio telling them about asexuality. The sex therapist that goes there every Monday to answer teen’s questions had been asking me privately about the topic a few days before, when I sent her the message, and I cleared up any misconception she had about asexuality. She then read it in front of whole Catalonia and Andorra. Hopefully that shed light on some confused younglings that might be asexual. The other day I also mentioned that a couple from the book I was being examined about in literature class was probably asexual. At least the teacher will know what the word means.

I think I’m getting good at this visibility thing.

Asexuality, video games and the future

For the first time, I will be participating in the Carnival of aces, which theme this month is “Analogies to an Asexual Experience”. I had a hard time understanding the topic, mainly because of the word analogy; it isn’t a word I usually come across, let alone use, and had to read and re-read the explanatory post many times. But I think I finally managed to understand. In situations like these, I often tend to blame my lack of comprehension on the fact that I don’t live, and haven’t lived since I was a kid, in an English-speaking country, instead of just accepting the fact that I don’t have a vast knowledge of difficult English words – not that the word analogy is that difficult though.

Luvtheheaven, this month’s host, suggested writing about something else we don’t experience other than sexual attraction, such as not understanding why all of the other people in my peer group enjoy playing video games, while I don’t. I thought this was curious because I frequent many manganime spaces where all we talk about is drawing, dressing-up, watching anime and playing video games. I hardly watch anime anymore and, though I will not admit this in real life, have only played one videogame before (at a friend’s house). I love to read manga, however, and hardly understand why people fuss so much over an anime or game when the manga equivalent is so much better – it’s like saying the Harry Potter movies are better than the books (don’t get me wrong, the films are great, but J.K. Rowling’s words are incomparable)-, which could also be compared to how I feel about sexual attraction. But I won’t get into manga because, if I properly start, I will not finish any time soon.

Truth be told, even though I identify as a grey-demiromantic gynosensual asexual, I don’t often frequent ace spaces. Precisely because I basically lack any kind of sexual or romantic attraction, I don’t really think about it much. I found a label I feel comfortable with and proceeded to file it in my mental drawer for self-identification terms, under the big packages and pieces of paper that correspond to my gender, which for some reason keep popping up again and again.

I actually couldn’t care less about my (lack of) sexuality; I might fall in love someday and later on feel some sort of sexual attraction to a special specific person, which is great. What is also great is that I might never find anybody hug-worthy or feel that I will want to sleep with anyone. What would be the greatest of all is that I might fall in love and start an asexual (sensual) relationship with a gorgeous lady with short hair who likes manga and doesn’t question my gender identity, who happens to find sexual satisfaction with another lovely partner who prefers the Harry Potter books to the movies, therefore creating a gay (as in happy) polyamorous relationship. It would also be great if one of them was rich and shares their money with me.

I am young and my future is unknown to me; I don’t know who I will meet or who I will like or dislike. I am not going to fret over my sexuality as long as it isn’t important to do so.

I would usually end my post here, but since I think I failed at writing something about this month’s theme (analogy!), I guess I will bring up the topic from before. I really don’t understand why people enjoy video games so much. Nor do I understand why people like sex so much. Nor do I understand why I bite my ring fingers’ nails more than any other fingers’ nails.