How (Not) to Ally is a series discussing the supportive content made by well-meaning asexual allies to allo-aros–and why some approaches still fail to recognise, promote, welcome, protect and include us.
Allo-aros are now more commonly referenced in asexual-authored content discussing the aromantic and a-spec communities. That’s great! We need acknowledgement of our needs, viewpoints and experiences. We need our allies including us in discussions of amatonormativity and a-spec/aro antagonism, especially when they occur in broader a-spec spaces in which we don’t yet safe or comfortable.
Unfortunately, this means seeing comments like these:
- “Allo-aros feel alienated from the a-spec community”
- “I’ve heard allo-aros say they don’t feel allowed to mention their allosexuality”
- “Allo-aros often talk about how to include them in community projects”
Inclusion also means witnessing a direction that’s become horribly overused:
- “To learn more, go follow allo-aro blogs!”
This always leaves me wondering: which allo-aro discussed that? Which allo-aro activist or creator provided resources outlining community inclusion? Which allo-aro blogs does the speaker think we should follow? Why are our asexual allies so reluctant to mention us by name?
Continue reading “How (Not) to Ally: Absent Authors, Empty Exhortations” →
On my Allo-Aro 101 page, after explaining what the words “aromantic” and “allosexual” mean, I state whom the label “allo-aro” represents:
Any allosexual aromantic who isn’t also, solely and permanently, asexual; or any aromantic who wishes to centre their experience of sexual attraction alongside their aromanticism. Heterosexual aros, bisexual aros, pansexual aros, gay aros, lesbian aros and aros with fluid or shifting attractions can identify as allo-aro.
(Allosexual, as a general rule, means “experiences sexual attraction while not on the asexual spectrum”.)
This isn’t a description common to those folks concerned with explaining and defining allo-aro identity. In most circumstances, a-specs define allo-aro as “aromantic and allosexual” or “aromantic and not asexual”.
Allo-aro is positioned in opposition to asexuality to such a point that it is difficult to define why allo-aro exists as an aromantic identity without referencing asexuality. In practice, it has become a rallying cry of I am aromantic but not asexual against a broader culture of assuming aromanticism is only valid, acceptable or safe when paired with asexuality. Why shouldn’t allo-aros stick to those simple definitions? Why complicate matters with additional words like “solely” or “permanently”?
If we regard allo-aro identity as a mere statement of one’s present allosexuality and aromanticism, I’m not currently allo-aro.
Continue reading “When Asexuals Belong In Allo-Aro Spaces” →