February 2019 Carnival Round-up: The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities

Thank you to everyone who participated in this joint blogging event between the Carnival of Aces and the newly-formed Carnival of Aros!

We hope that this event is just the beginning of the conversation on this topic, so we encourage everyone to read through other’s posts and respond with your thoughts. Even if you find this years down the line, if you have thoughts on the topic you should feel free to voice them!

We are looking forward to seeing the true start of the Carnival of Aros as a separate blogging event next month! Check out the March 2019 call for submissions on the Aromanticism Dreamwidth here, with the topic, “It’s Great to Be Aro!” The Carnival of Aces is also continuing separately in March, hosted by Controlled Abandon, with the topic, “Symbols of Identity.

Below are all the submissions we have received, along with a short summary of each. Please let us know if we missed anything!

The Differences Between ‘Asexual’ and ‘Aromantic’ Matters — Here’s Why by Keizick on Cuil Effect

This post offers a perspective on how aromanticism became its own identity, how aro people often desire different relationship models than non-aro people, why the differences between aros and aces matter, and more. — “For myself, my aromanticism has a much larger effect and deeper implications on the course of my life than my asexuality.”

Why We Need the Aspec Community: An Aro Perspective by ask-an-aro

This post discusses the importance of having both shared and separate resources for aces and aros. — “There’s far too much overlap in the ace and aro communities to separate them completely. In terms of shared language, history, and experiences, but especially in terms of people.”

Being grayromantic and not talking about it by Siggy on The Asexual Agenda

This post discusses the split attraction model, being an aro-spec person in a romantic relationship, “that one blogger” (a particularly alienating aromantic blogger from years ago), and more. — “Sometimes I think that I would have put more emphasis on gray-romanticism rather than gray-asexuality, if only there were more discussion on that topic a decade ago.”

A-Spec: Equality For Lack of a Romantic Orientation (and Gender) by demiandproud

demiandproud reflects on her past language usage and what she intends to do going forward. — “I cheerfully announced I considered aromanticism to fall under the asexuality umbrella two posts ago. […] 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.”

A Carnival of Aros – The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities by Neir

Neir writes about eir specific experiences as an aro and ace person participating in both communities. — “I feel more comfortable in the aro community because I have honestly never met an aro person online or offline that hasn’t been kind and respectful. Members of the ace community, on the other hand, have been far more variable in their attitudes.”

Submission: The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities by anonymous

The anonymous blogger discusses feeling like aromantic people are too much of an afterthought in ace communities. — “I always felt some disconnection to the asexual community. My asexuality might be a part of who I am but my romantic orientation is what I keep thinking about.”

Aromantic. That’s a thing. Okay. by redbeardace

redbeardace discusses his personal relationship with his aro identity, and how his perspective on that has changed as the separate aro community has emerged. — “When I was on my Search™, I found all my answers with asexuality.  There was nothing left to look for. It was all there, everything explained.  It’s clear to me now that’s obviously not the case, but at the time it was enough.”

Aro Community, Ace Community by Sara K. at The Notes Which Do Not Fit

Sara discusses her desires to see more dedicated spaces for aros.  — “To some extent, I’ve felt like I get ‘enough’ of my need to associate with aro people just by being in the ace community. […] And yet, at the same time, I’ve wished that aromanticism could get more of its own dedicated space, rather than just being a sidenote to asexuality.”

My first steps in the asexual and aromantic communities by Isaac at Mundo Heterogéneo.

Isaac discusses his history and memories in both identities and communities, and shares thoughts of what the future might entail. — “I had my reservation with respect to being asexual, since I still hadn’t gotten the concept of sexual attraction, but the concept of aromanticism immediately made me identify with it, despite romantic attraction being a trickier concept than sexual attraction. For me, the split attraction model makes a lot of sense, even generalized to splitting also platonic attraction.”

The Relationship Between My (A)sexuality and (A)romanticism by Blue Ice-Tea at Ace Film Reviews

This post is a self reflection on Blue Ice-Tea’s feelings towards her demisexual and her platoniromantic identities, as well as a discussion of pros and cons of what each community has to offer. — “But maybe the fact that it took me so long to feel part of the asexual community proves it wasn’t the community I needed after all! …And haven’t I been saying that my romantic orientation has had a bigger impact on my life than my sexual orientation? Maybe what I need is less time in the asexual community and more time connecting with other non-alloromantic people.”

Carnival of Aros: February 2019 by aro-soulmate-project

This post is a commentary on how the Carnival of Aros was launched and hopes for its future. — “Alloaro friends of mine, upon hearing about the Carnival of Aros, expressed their apprehension at participating in an event that required them to describe their experiences in terms of the ace community. To them, as well as many aroaces I’ve spoken to, tying the first Carnival of Aros so heavily was tone-deaf and in some ways a reflection of the problem.”

We (TAAAP) wrote a response to this post giving further context to how this topic came about.

Ace Community? Don’t know her. by Tost on the Aromanticism Dreamwidth community

Tost discusses her (lack of a) relationship with the asexual community as a bisexual aromantic person, her thoughts on the value of both separate and joint communities, and her hopes for the Carnival of Aros going forward. — “Seeing as it’s starting as an initiative already connected to the asexual community I have hopes that it’ll end up inviting aros who mainly inhabit asexual spaces to discover, explore and be more active in aromantic spaces too!” … “I’m allosexual and don’t have any connection to or knowledge about the asexual communities beyond what someone tags with ‘asexual’ as well as ‘aromantic’ on tumblr. And that’s exactly the way I can participate in the event and be able to talk about my experiences.”  

How to improve and nurture the relationship between the asexual and aromantic communities by Ace of Arrows

Ace of Arrows suggests concrete actions that aces and aros can implement to be better allies to each other. — “As someone who is part of both communities, I experience how often they can harm each other, willingly or unwillingly. This post is both a reflection on this harm and a list of suggestions for things to do to improve the relationship. In general, I feel really positive towards our ability to achieve this in future, so it is ultimately quite a positive post.”

Musings of a (Chinese) dragon by Blaise

In this post, Blaise discusses their experiences finding a place in the aro and ace communities,  how they wish they could connect with more aros of color, and their hopes to learn more about how to purposefully include allosexual aros in aspec spaces. — “I feel that my presence as an aro ace, in the ace community, has been increasingly ignored. Especially in ace awareness events, where many aces say things like, ‘We’re ace but we can still feel romantic attraction!’ or some variation of that statement. While it’s great to let allosexuals know that not all aces are aro, can they just say it in a way to not erase aro and aro-spec aces at the same time?”

The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities: A Greyromantic Perspective by Laura at shades-of-grayro

Laura discusses their personal journey with their ace and aro identities, how the aro community can learn from the ace community to better support gray and romance-favorable aros, and their perspective on aro inclusion in ace communities. — “In my experience, the ace community does a better job including and discussing gray-ace and sex-favorable aces than the aro community does with including and discussing gray-aro and romance-favorable aros. I think we need to look towards the ace community in order to see how we can improve.”

Aro-ish: Permanent Questioning & the Aromantic Community by Elizabeth of Prismatic Entanglements

In this post, Elizabeth discusses her personal difficulty with identifying on the aromantic spectrum and how the nature of earlier online aromantic communities impacted her desire to participate in those communities — “I thought for a long time that I really didn’t need to engage with the aromantic community (once there actually was an aromantic community, that is), because I already had plenty of aromantic people around me in the ace community. […] But what if? What if there had been much more in-depth, nuanced discussion about what it means to be aro, and grayro, and aro-adjacent or aro-ish, all along?”


The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities by Iz N.

Iz N. discusses the relationship between their ace and aro identities, as well as how they would love to connect more with (in-person) aro communities. — “I’m much quicker to id as ace, if I say anything beyond just ‘queer’. I think that’s because it’s easier to know I don’t feel sexual attraction than romantic attraction. Sexual attraction, after all, feels like a physical reaction, which, while murky, is at least relatively simple to pin down.”

Under the influence of aromanticism by Scoop

Scoop starts out a multi-post series on the split attraction model analyzing the accuracy of Google search results on the topic. — “My research would be limited to the first page of Google. Ridiculous?? Yes! Perfect?? Absolutely! Listen if you don’t know what something is you Google it. You Google it and you never leave that first fucking page. I want to know what people will see when they Google ‘split attraction model’.”

Communication Breakdown: Why we feel hurt & how to mend the gap by aromagni

Magni gives zer thoughts on aro erasure by the ace community, why aros feel hurt and alienated, and how people can be better aro allies. — “Overall, I think a lot of why aros feel ostracized by aces is a lot like why aces feel ostracized by the overall queer community: we feel invisible and ignored, we feel excluded by the things they say, we feel like no one is listening, and it hurts because we feel we should belong but we don’t feel included.”

Carnival of Aros Submission by Alex

Alex discusses how they feel about the split attraction model, what they think is the best way to be an ally to aros, and their hopes for the aro and ace communities. — “In the future, I hope that aro-spec folks and ace-spec folks can create communities that help everyone feel welcome. Communities that don’t just recognize alloace experiences, or aroace experiences. Communities that welcome people who fall under the gray-ro and gray-ace umbrellas, and of course those who identify as alloaro.”

Aro Communities, Ace Communities: Eight Observations from an Aro Ace by Sennkestra on Next Step: Cake

Sennkestra gives a thorough breakdown of the current and historical overlap between the ace and aro communities, how prior commitments often impact aces’ ability to create parallel spaces, how people’s needs in the ace and aro communities are varied and often conflicting, and more. — “I see a lot of hope in the future, because what I’ve noticed in the last couple years is that we are now getting a new generation of aro bloggers and activists, who have no prior commitments to ace projects or symbols, and who have the time and ability to put 100% of their activism into aro communities, which already is leading to a lot of growth in aro blogging – and I have hope that in a couple years it will grow out into activism as well.”

Thoughts on the Start of the Carnival of Aros by eatingcroutons on the Aromanticism Dreamwidth community

eatingcroutons discusses their thoughts on the start of the Carnival of Aros and gives some constructive advice for forming aro-centric initiatives in the future. — “Many aros are already primed to expect to be treated as secondary to aces in aspec spaces. To counter that, an aro-centric initiative has to build trust before it can build bridges. To establish credibility as a space that will prioritise and lionise aro needs and issues in their own right, not just in the context of asexuality.”

Who Should Be Doing Aro Advocacy? by TAAAP

TAAAP discusses how aromanticism became a part of their mission, when joint ace and aro advocacy efforts are useful, and how there is a need for aromantic-only advocacy in order to truly equalize the resources available for both identities. — “We believe that a way aces can be good allies to aros is by helping them access opportunities that were very difficult for aces to obtain in the first place. […] In other situations, however, we recognize that joint advocacy efforts might not be as useful, and in fact might actually be detrimental.”

An Aroallo Perspective on the Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities: Solidarity Not Conflation by aromanticrey

aromanticrey details how the overlap between the two communities impacted their ability to discover their aromantic identity and gives suggestions for how aces can help support aros. — “When I was discovering aromanticism I could not find aro resources that weren’t primarily ace resources. Aro identities were always only talked about in the context of asexuality. I thought I had to be ace in order to be aro, and I did not know you could be aro and allosexual.”

I Don’t Want to Be Associated With the Community That Hurt Me by arokaladin

arokaladin writes about why he feels alienated by the ace community and how that has impacted his relationship with his ace identity. — “I don’t want to represent people who helped me feel like a monster. I don’t want to help them by explaining their words and their culture if I want to come out.”

Coming Out and Being AroAce, a two-part submission by Cas

Cas discusses experiences related to coming out and finding aro and ace community. — “I decided I was tired of questioning. I told myself I would be ‘asexual aromantic until proven otherwise’, which gave me the leeway I needed to come out and stop needing to question myself.”

Aromanticism and Me by Mara Jane on This Too Shall Eventually Pass

Mara Jane discusses her hesitations with identifying as grayromantic and how that is changing. — “It always felt as if the aro community, or the handful of bloggers which I perceived as making up the community, didn’t have a place for people who were okay with romantic relationships and romance in general. […] But that’s changing.”

5 Replies to “February 2019 Carnival Round-up: The Relationship Between the Aro and Ace Communities”

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