On May 25th, 2017, thirteen asexual activists sent an email petition to Andy Garcia, the Creating Change 2019 conference director, to include an asexual spectrum hospitality suite as an official part of the event in Detroit, Michigan this coming January.
Hospitality suites at Creating Change are places where people of similar identities can connect with one another, and they often offer resources and light refreshments. Last year, the conference had hospitality suites for elders, trans people, youth, disabled people, bisexual+ people, and people of color.
For the past few years, an “unofficial” asexual hospitality suite has been hosted by asexual activists who were attending the conference. This suite was often bursting at the seams with aces who were attending the conference — despite the fact that it was being hosted in a hotel room and it was not included in the conference program.
Last year, three TAAP members joined the volunteer committees for Creating Change 2018 in the hopes of increasing ace-inclusion at the conference. While they were successful in having an asexual and aromantic etiquette guide published in the program, it had already been too late in the planning process to have a suite added.
From this experience, we decided to contact the conference director much earlier to ensure that we did not repeat the same mistake. Initially, it seemed as though space constraints might prevent the official suite from becoming a reality, but in the end the host committee was able to make it work.
You can watch a video of the host committee co-chairs discussing the conference here, with a discussion of the asexuality suite and a mention of TAAP taking place around minute eight.
On Wednesday, August 8th, we asked if we could update the name and purpose of the Asexual Spectrum Hospitality Suite to now include Aromanticism as well, including allosexual aromanticism.
The new title “Ace and Aro Hospitality Suite” was proposed, explaining how more than a quarter of ace people identify as being somewhere on the aromantic (aro) spectrum. Also mentioned was how not all aro folks are ace, and that the suite would ideally be as inclusive to all aromantic people as possible, in addition to still being very inclusive of all asexuals, those aromantic or not.
Conference Director Andy Garcia replied, telling us this would not be a problem, and asked for an official suite description.
Here is how the suite will be officially described:
We would love to invite asexual and aromantic spectrum people to join us in the 2019 Ace and Aro Creating Change Hospitality Suite. If you have been exploring or contemplating a lack or lower sexual attraction or drive, this is the space for you. Similarly, if you have looking for a place to discuss a lack or lower romantic attraction or drive the aro contingent would love to welcome you.
This is also the place for 101 questions on asexuality and aromanticism, in the conference, if you would like to learn more about either community, but don’t identify with either.Come join us for food, friends, and fun. Sponsored by the 2019 Creating Change Host Committee.