)My Carnival of Aces and Carnival of Aros contribution for the February edition hosted by TAAAP.
Despite the fact that I have spent the last year in knots over starting to identify as panromantic and as queer as consequence of that, because loaded term, I cheerfully announced I considered aromanticism to fall under the asexuality umbrella two posts ago. By the same token, non-cis identities are in my mind closely related to the asexual community because that’s where I met multiple people speaking about it, even if only in the blogosphere.
So here’s me reflecting on my own language because that’s very, very healthy and also, I hope it will make me a more polite individual. Let’s take this in steps, shall we?
Concerning both aromantic and non-binary identities I am an ally, not a community member. I meet them in the ace community but I should really pay more attention to the fact that that’s not all they’re part of… identities are layered.
I have seen the term a-spectrum floating around as umbrella term, and if I may quote the a-positive tumblr FAQ*: “The a-spec refers to anyone who feels they are absent of a usual part of the identity. It includes Agender people, who feel they lack/are absent of gender, Aromantic people who don’t feel romantic attraction, and Asexual people, who don’t feel sexual attraction. It also includes Demisexuals and Demiromantics, who feel that they partially or fully lack romantic and/or sexual attraction until they have formed a bond with an individual.” (I’d like to add grey- labels here, at the very least.)
My use of asexuality as umbrella term comes in large part from first changing my sexual orientation and only recently adopting a solid romantic orientation, meaning it still feels small and strange. I shouldn’t let that feeling translate into failing to recognise aromantic as equal to asexual.
We are progressing in our understanding of a-spectrum identities. All the more reason for me to pay attention and move with the times, rather than get stuck on how I spoke and thought when I entered the community.
I feel the distinction between sexual and romantic orientation is most important when you are a-spec on any level. I tend to talk about “orientation” or “nature” (geaardheid) if I talk about the two in general to outsiders. But now that I’m settling into the panromantic orientation I feel it’s as much a part of me as being demisexual. It even matters more in terms of why I feel queer and why I have issues with my church.
So I’m glad people are shedding a spotlight on the importance of romantic attraction and whether they feel it. I need some educating as well and that’s talking as member of the ace community.
* To be clear: I haven’t read the blog so I don’t know if I can recommend them but I liked their definition.