Community Highlight: The Ace Community Survey

Community of Interest: The Ace Community

What they do

Every year during Asexual Awareness Week, the Ace Community Survey team releases a new survey designed to gather data on the ace community. The 2014 census collected upwards of ten thousand responses, and the Ace Community Surveys are the largest existing data pools on asexuality. Please visit their website to learn more and to read past survey results.

Why they are awesome

Asexuality can be tricky to research. People identify as asexual for a variety of reasons, and there are plenty of related issues that can be very complex, such as romantic orientation, attitudes towards sex, etc. It is very difficult to gather concrete data about these topics in a way that does not alienate some aces.

We highly recommend that anyone working on any type of research project that is gathering data on aces (or aros!) closely study the survey questions and results. Paying special attention to what changed from year to year will help you gain an understanding of what works and doesn’t work when gathering data on our communities.

How you can support them

Take the 2018 Ace Community Survey! Anyone age 13 and up can take the survey — whether they are on the asexual spectrum or not. The survey will close on November 15th. In addition, you can subscribe to survey updates in order to be notified when new surveys and analyses of the results are available. If you are interested in more involvement, the survey team is currently looking for volunteers, particularly those skilled in data analysis, coding, and translation.

2017-2018 Year in Review

This past Monday marked one year since The Asexual Awareness Project was founded. Here are some things that we have accomplished in the past year:

Creating Change 2018

Creating Change is a conference organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force that helps participants gain skills that will help them to further their work in the LGBTQ+ advocacy movement.

Three members of TAAP joined the Creating Change 2018 Host Committee as volunteers with the hopes of promoting asexuality’s visibility within the conference. With their help, as well as the help from other ace advocates who have attended the conference in the past, we were able to publish an etiquette guide on asexuality and aromanticism in the program, as well as present four sessions at the conference itself. Read more about our work relating to Creating Change 2018 here.

Capital Pride 2018

TAAP marched in the 2018 Capital Pride Parade, making this year the first year that an asexual contingent has marched in the parade. We hope that this will be the first of many. Read more about this journey here.

In addition to marching, several members of TAAP attended the Capital Pride Festival the next day in order to network with other local organizations. We hope to announce several new collaborations in the coming months.

Ace and Aro Hospitality Suite at Creating Change 2019

One of the goals we had for Creating Change 2018 was to assist the conference in starting an officially recognized hospitality suite for asexual-spectrum individuals. We were not able to accomplish that last year; however, we organized a bit sooner this year and an official Ace and Aro Hospitality Suite is confirmed for Creating Change 2019. Read more about this project here.

Collaboration with Women in their Twenties and Thirties (WiTT)

WiTT is a discussion group for queer women in their twenties and thirties that meets every other week at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. A week ago, four members of TAAP attended and led a presentation and discussion on asexuality and aromanticism at the regular discussion group. TAAP and WiTT hope to host more collaborative events in the future.

Looking Forward

Here are some projects we are currently working on:

Incorporation

We are starting to look into incorporating and becoming recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. It is our hope to accomplish this within the next year so that we will be better equipped to complete all the projects we have lined up.

Book on Asexuality and Aromanticism for Professionals

We are currently working on writing a book on asexuality and aromanticism that will be geared towards professionals such as doctors, therapists, counselors, educators, or LGBTQ+ center employees. It is our hope that this book could be used as a resource to help these professionals better help the aces and aros they come into contact with.

Creating Change 2019

Currently, 3-5 TAAP members are planning on attending Creating Change 2019 in Detroit, MI. We have submitted five session proposals, and hope that they all are accepted. We also are looking forward to seeing the Ace and Aro Hospitality Suite become a reality.

The Rainbow History Project

TAAP is currently working on a collaboration with the Rainbow History Project to create a documented history of the ace community in the DC area. Queer history (including ace history) is often not recorded and, as a result, forgotten. We hope that by participating in this project, we can help in building a history of the ace community that future generations will be able to look back on.

Pride Parades and Festivals

In addition to marching in the Capital Pride Parade in 2019 and in future years, we hope to expand to also marching in the Baltimore Pride Parade. In addition, we would like to set up booths at various pride festivals in the area, including Capital Pride, Baltimore Pride, and NOVA Pride. We also hope to participate in New York City’s WorldPride in 2019, which will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and will be the largest celebration of Pride in the world.

Aro Inclusion

We initially began as an organization started by and focused towards asexual people. In our actual work, however, we have begun drifting towards including aro folks much more than our name and branding currently suggest. In this next year and beyond, we aim to be much more intentional about our inclusion of aro people, including those who are not also ace.

Thank You

We are extremely grateful to those who donated so we could march in pride, to organizations who we have worked with, and to those who have volunteered their time to work directly on our projects. Thank you for all you have done to help us this past year!

If you would like to find out ways that you can help us with any of our upcoming projects, please contact us.

TAAP is writing a book… and we need your help!

We were approached by a publisher several months ago who would like to publish a book on asexuality and aromanticism.  This book would be geared towards people who work with asexual and/or aromantic people in a professional setting — i.e. mental health professionals, doctors, guidance counselors, volunteers/employees at LGBTQ+ centers, etc.

The goal of the book will be to review the various issues aces and aros face and present possible solutions and ways of approaching the issues. Our hope is that professionals can use the book to help improve the quality of care they provide to the asexual and aromantic spectrum people they work with.

We are aiming to make this book representative of a diverse range of experiences, and in order to do that, we need your help! We are looking for people who might be willing to share their experiences; either in the form of direct quotes or as a reference for our own writing.

If you are interested, there is a brief survey we would like you to take. The purpose of this survey is to ask which specific topics you would like to share your thoughts and experiences on, as well as to collect some demographic information. Once you fill out the form, you will receive an email in a week or so with the questionnaires themselves. The link is here — please take the survey and share with any other aces and aros you may know!

Ace and Aro Hospitality Suite is Official at Creating Change 2019

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.