How V for Vendetta sells the lie of white innocence, and how it destroys it.

I used to have friends who would watch V for Vendetta religiously. The movie would be queued in the evening so lines of “It’s November 4th” “…Not anymore.” would hit exactly as the real day turned over to be the 5th.

It’s important to remember this movie originally came out in 2006. I was 16 at the time. Assumed myself to be nothing besides American. Had no understanding of queerness, or cultural heritage, nothing besides “I’m live in America, so I’m defined by being American.” This is something that is literally sold to citizens sometimes directly via flags for your pickup truck, or indirectly via cultural assimilation. At the time of the movie’s release, most media criticism of was having a terrorist as a hero. 2001’s 9/11 was still more on people’s minds than fascism from within your own country.

In the movie, we see an assumed white women played by Natalie Portman face abuse several times throughout the movie. But the story to a lesser degree also follows an equally white coded young British girl. And it’s her death that really sparks the people turning against their fascist government. Everything that V does is up for public debate. Evey’s suffering is largely unnoticed. Deitrich, the closeted gay TV show host is only, for a while at least, protected by money, fame, and the performative nature of his job. But that white child specially targeted stood out as a line too far. Her death isn’t excused, it’s truth isn’t confused in media coverage in contrast to the kid’s hurt by St Mary’s virus.

This plot point I always found interesting because it’s an uniquely white idea that the death of ‘innocent’ young white life becomes the line drawn in the sand to stop “the bad things”. That once young girls are targeted well that’s game over for “bad guys”. And there’s a reason why I put ‘innocent’ in quotes, because we cannot deny the fact that white women, and girls in particular, are treated more angelic than little black boys who are demonized. And it’s a lie that is still sold to white Americans who need to protect their “innocent daughters from outsiders”. This has been Trump’s political platform since 2015, and continues to be.

It would be easy to from a strict causality point of view summarize V for Vendetta’s plot in a way that reaffirms this lie. That once that young girl was killed all the white people in the neighborhood step up and fight against their police state. But, the movie also spends every other moment destroying that idea.

I simply am unable to watch the movie like I once could in 2006. Now when I think of it, if I had to pick which one life that changed the course that ended that fascist state I’d think of Valerie’s life. It’s her hope, even in death, that keeps both the main characters going. “It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses, and apologized to no one.”

But her death is not the tipping point. As mentioned in one speech, it’s the causality of all events, everyone’s collectively suffering and hope that makes people finally topple the police state.

Detective Finch: I suddenly had this feeling that everything was connected. It’s like I could see the whole thing, one long chain of events that stretched all the way back before Larkhill. I felt like I could see everything that happened, and everything that is going to happen. It was like a perfect pattern, laid out in front of me. And I realised we’re all part of it, and all trapped by it.

That is what history is. And it is the moment we live today too. Each of us a domino of action or inaction that will fall one way or another sending ripples out into the world. There’s not a single piece that stands truly protected, nor alone.

“I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the worlds turns, and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. – Valerie.”

It is in solidarity and love of other that change is found. Not innocence. A movie like V for Vendetta with its heroes who aren’t innocent is that makes for the foil for this message. “Who was he?” “He was Edmond Dantes. And he was my father, and my mother, my brother, my friend. He was you, and me. He was all of us.”

The One Instagram Trick That Works! (and other things I learned)

Three weeks ago, I wrote about how I got an Instagram account that had existing followers and what I learned in that process. Sad to report it’s now down even more followers, but hey, I love learning stuff.

Today I want to talk about an Instagram trick that works! Forming a pod! No, not like dolphins. Well, maybe actually. An Instagram pod is a group of people who are in an chat together and you send a message to the group when you post something new and they like and comment on the post.

Not only do I actually like being friendly with strangers. It feels like what social media is should to be. Social. Artists supporting artists is among my favorite internet related feelings. But I have noticed an metric uptick in likes and otherwise engagement since joining one.

Each group normally has a niche. Fitness people hang with fitness people. Artists with artists. I’m sure there’s an analytical rational there too, but honestly, you just want to join a pod where people post things you wantta see.

I found my pod via reddit, but if you want to skip the looking and just join mine DM me @fyeahasexual.

Everything else I tried to boost your posts seems to reference old versions, or very very inconsistent. The idea to stick with tags that have a Goldilocks effect of not ‘too big not to small’, and tagging related businesses seems like a winner, but Instagram in 2020 favors likes and comments. Making pods, not only useful, but in my opinion just the best way to use Instagram. It helps me casually compliment the art of strangers as well which seems like a net good in the world.

Here’s some other things I learned about Instagram and it’s algorithm. Checking the tags of stuff you like, or the tagged photos from a company (copic, for example) is a great way to find people who post similar things as you. Follow them, instead of the tag.

By having a second account I am now able to follow strangers far more easily because I don’t have to worry about not seeing my personal friends. This is absolutely the problem I had with twitter. No matter how I tried to combat that with lists, no matter how many accounts I had, my “friends” would get lost and random “industry” or “community” tweets would get doubled. Instagram, for the most part, manages this juggle slightly better.

Also my ads tend to be slightly higher quality but I’m not sure why since I don’t see an option to target an account based on followers.

At the time of this posting, I’m close to losing the magical 10k number. But I’ve found a new way to use Instagram that I really challenges me to do things I love. Look at my drafts, I’m so excited to post them because it’s something I’m really proud of.

Whatever lessons you find in my recently Instagram blog posts, I hope you also find the new joy I have. (But so it would be pretty cool if you could help me keep swipe up by following lmao)

August’s Great Ace Club’s Book

It is a mystery! No, really. This month is a detective story, from not one, but two featured authors. Please welcome Katey Hawthorne and Jenna Rose. They are authors of Kanaan and Tilney Investigations. The third book in the series will be released Aug 28th, and to celebrate we are working together to give you the first ebook in the series!

About The Case of the Arms Dealers

John Tilney—praeternatural pyrokinetic and mystery author—has noticed the bottom dropping out of the market for his usual gothic fare, so he goes to Lowell Kanaan, PI, for a crash course in noir. Lowell, a cranky wolf-shifter detective, isn’t sure why he agrees to let John shadow him, though it might have something to do with John’s weirdly endearing honesty…and pretty lips. John thinks he’s found the perfect detective novel hero in Lowell, but it isn’t long before he realizes he doesn’t want Lowell for his book, but for himself.

As they become entangled in a supernatural whodunnit involving the Zombie Mafia, black market body parts, and shady insurance deals, their partnership grows closer—and hotter. But when it comes down to the wire, Lowell’s wolfish protective side threatens to drive John around the bend, or at least out of the office. Good thing John’s as much sunshine as he is fire; hopefully it’s enough to help them catch a murderer before they end up in literal pieces, too.

John Tilney is a biromantic ace, just like one of the authors! 😀

Be sure to sign up at for our email listing at GreatAce.Club before release day to get it!

Aren’t You GLAAD? – The History of “A is for-” & #GiveItBack

I was recently reminded that if want the history of disabled friendly online activism remembered I actually gotta recap it. So this is about the blog’s 2015′s #GiveItBack campaign and how cool @glaad was about it, and how they continue to really show the fuck up lol 

The earliest post I can find is from 2003, and it shows that debating if we (as aces) wanted to add an A letter to the English speaking alphabet soup that is was and is the acronym has been a thing for at least then if not before. There’s always been thoughtless reasons and thoughtful reasons why A could be ally or an endless amount of things. 

But our story really starts in 2015, with GLAAD’s #GotYourBack campaign. GLAAD as a nonprofit is huge, and really a media watchdogs for the community at large. They will praise good representation of LGBTQ characters and call out harmful stereotypes or even the lack of diversity itself. 

#GotYourBack was an ally focused events for people should visibility show up for the community. As you can see in this screencap below it is focus was #GotYourBack but also [A] if for Ally.

And for much of the non-AVEN ace community that praising felt like non-queer allies were being centered at the cost of our communities.This was on the heels of years of feeling excluded from the community at large. While that wasn’t GLAAD’s intent, it was a sign that the asexual community was not on their radar. Awareness and fighting invisibility was key issue to the community at that time, despite where your personal ace group was.

#GiveItBack was the hashtag coined by FuckYeahAsexual to ask GLAAD to change their phrasing so we could be included. So that allyship was not praised at a cost to us. When I started it was A for Asexual and very quickly it was debated that even we could do better than that. Why not share the A with any queer identity that inherently faced a negative? Within the first day of reaching out to GLAAD, A then stood for Asexual, Aromantic, and Agender. While aces and aros didn’t feel included at all, tons of agender people also didn’t feel seen in ‘big tent’ organizations, and we a-specs said ‘we get that, you can be heard with us.’ 

GLAAD agreed within 3 days. Which is really such an impressive feat for a group that large. (AVEN disagreed. And made its first public statement in 3 months a belittling the work of non-AVEN activism, and was a message that stayed of AVEN’s front page for at least another year. Despite their founder praising FuckYeahAsexual’s lead activism.)

“Acceptance of LGBT people, not just among non-LGBT folks, but also members of our own community. And this includes increasing acceptance of and being good allies to the Asexual, Agender, and Aromantic community.

“Let us say without equivocation, the ‘A’ in LGBTQIA represents millions of Asexual, Agender, and Aromantic people who are far too often left out of the conversation about acceptance.

“Part of being a good ally is learning how and when to do better for those people you support. For us, that means making sure the Asexual, Agender, and Aromantic community knows we’re #GotYourBack.” 

This is the best apology I’ve even seen in my life. May ever see. It not only says sorry, it says it is their duty to constantly do better based on community sentiment. It also absolutely follows the meaning of their #GotYourBack campaign. 

Not only in that, but in next few days did GLAAD further change the campaigns branding to no longer center A is for Ally.

A screenshot of a cell phone  Description automatically generated

This is absolutely how you do it. The respect communities cheered for this really first huge endorsement of “Yeah, you’re us, we see you. #GotYourBack”

And the following year in 2016, #GiveItBack was used against to call out American Apparel’s ally focused rainbow capitalism. Further raising awareness for asexuals, aromantics and agender people. It trended as an article on Buzzfeed, Yahoo News wrote about what the A was supposed to mean and so on. 

A screenshot of a cell phone  Description automatically generated

And American’s Apparel also used both hashtags from the GLAAD precedent in their apology. Not as good as GLAAD’s declaration of acceptance but again it’s a clothing company. 

And not only did GLAAD help set the standard by listening to use “tumblr aces” it also continued to include more queer diversity in other projects they did. Like in these 2016 #SpiritDay posts.

A close up of a sign  Description automatically generated

And in 2020, I learned that because of the 2015’s #GiveItBack campaign, GLAAD reached out to ace communities to include such a-spec heavy arcs in Bojack Horseman from 2016-2020.

Like GLAAD originally said, your voice matters. Use it. You just might accidentally sent a new standard for how people treat you, and your whole community, with respect.

How Acephobia in Fandoms Spread Ace Terminology

Truly one of the funniest moments in a fandom for me was in 2016 when Ubisoft posted under a long tumblr post debating Jacob Frye’s sexuality this simple message:

It was after witnessing a post on tumblr where a straight woman showed off her emails to and from a random Ubisoft staff member demanding that Jacob Fray be declared straight. It’s also among the best usages of an official platform using it to protect bisexuals and end biphobia.

But there’s more to this story. The woman who felt entitled enough to email random Ubisoft staff members was what some aces knew as an “Allo Solas Fan.” The term allo means other, and allosexual meaning someone sexuality attracted to others. Basically a word based on existing naming conventions to mean non-ace.

Enter Dragon Age: Inquisition released late 2014 and a huge active fandom until around 2016.

This is also when allo stopped being used near exclusively in ace circles as a nondescript marker when discussing non-aces and started to be used about specific fans. Now why did a bunch of aces call a group of predominantly straight women allo rather than straight?

It’s because for every ace fan in a fandom space there were also camps of acephobes who would harass asexuals for seeing themselves in the characters. The allo Solas fandom in particular did this like no other. By setting themselves up in direct opposition to aces, their behavior became defined by their allosexuality, not their heteronormativity.

Some of the allo dragon age fandom was also really racist and declared they’d “give us” a black character in the game as a “trade”. Why? It’s because they didn’t feel sexually entitled to black women being a largely straight white group of women. They wanted Solas. A “bad wolf” and all the ace coding in the world did not stop from their violently aggressive patriarchal projections onto his character. These fans also would tweet the Dragon Age writers asking to confirm that Solas had sex with the player character. The writers never did. It was so highly debated that in DLC the following year the writers confirmed in dialogue that he did not sleep with the player. (Which was also among the funniest fandom moments I’ve been a part of.) But stopped short of giving Solas a label.

Calling people “allo” was never about aces discussing fellow lgbtq people, it was pointing out the sexual entitlement of characters who weren’t sexual.

Aces showing up in the fandom. Using Solas to help explain the nuances of asexuality to groups who never heard it before helped spread asexual visibility.

And it’s also why I have such a strong negative reaction to those who try to “reclaim allo” or stick allo in front of any character who is often headcanoned as ace. Because the history of that is one of white sexual entitlement. The assumption that those who weren’t overtly sexual were secretly dirty, nasty, and kinky underneath. Words used by straight women about their own desires.

As time went on with any headcanoned or canon ace character more lgb people started using it too. It became a near meme to stick “Allo” before character name, or brand your url with it. Some would say “I’m a proud Allo!!” instead of embracing their own queer identities. They picked up the sex negativity left by those straight fans and turned it on themselves, saying aces were the ones called themselves dirty because they too related to the sex negative nature of it. But while the straight women were gleeful with it their kinkiness and acephobia, in gay hands because they were choking on homophobia they didn’t unlearn and started in on their own acephobia as if that was the cure for it.

“Allosexual” is not an sexuality on its own, it’s sole purpose was to help explain asexuality and acephobia. It’s far more like “cis” than any other community term.

For good or bad, asexuality and allosexuality became far more common words after this. In my mind, the biphobia around Jacob Fyre and the acephobia surrounding Solas are linked by women who wanted bad boys who only wanted women. Nothing else would do.

The blue canary in the coal mine

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and the activism that takes place on it. Largely on twitter, but similar could be said about Facebook and Instagram, and the general “Headlines Only” absorption of news and the increasing polarity of people.

But let’s focus on twitter. In college, I gave a speech about how activists during the Arab Spring used twitter to effectively organize and fight back. And as a disabled person, digital activism allows me to participate in ways inaccessible before. Since there’s so much advertising on Twitter it’s also useful when trying to reach a company to ask for change. Which makes it’s impossible for me to just shrug and say “twitter is pure evil what can I say.”

As I was discussing this with the ace community, someone anonymous messaged me to say, ‘twitter is also more full of minors than tumblr. And minors are more prone to spreading misinformation about events because they weren’t there for it.

And I thought on that for a second. It absolutely is common issue that queer history not being taught. And I don’t think this behavior is for a lack of critical thinking either on “the youths” part, or compete lack of care for it. I think it’s an issue of speed.

Twitter moves at such a fast pace, and with so many people trying to get attention on so many valid concerns that in order to even attempt to address all the ills in the world you have to juggle it all. Sometimes literally only taking a second to decide on an issue. “Does that sound like some other thing? Close enough, toss in the same pile. Whatever, we got 12 other things to focus on.”

Since twitter comes at you so fast, and often in an such unfiltered way, it’s overwhelming. So instead of technology adding in productivity that leads to a next level of consciousness type of singularity, it creates more of a mental DDOS attack.

And it’s not all that different from capitalism demanding you be productive at all costs, and that by the end of the day you are so tired you can’t sort out things. That’s a feature of it, not a bug. You want to strike for better working conditions? Have fun risking starvation during the process.

And I think the “turn yourself into a commodity via your tweets” is most evident by the fact that any popular tweet’s second reply is often “I don’t have a sound cloud to promote but here’s my—“

It’s actually kind of funny because a big sticking point of people leaving tumblr a few years ago was that it was too slow. Without realizing that twitter is a multi-lane highway that every user often has to cross on foot. And that result ends up with a bunch of banged up people who feel so beaten down that any criticism is meet with “please don’t cancel me!!” Which is not anyone’s goal when correcting false information or asking for accountability.

I’ve gone on multiple twitter hiatuses after abuse I’ve faced on the platform and each time to do I’m struck with this sense of how quiet it is despite twitter’s feed making no noise. It feels like you just left a room full of people screaming, that to some level had been such a constant you didn’t realize just how loud it was until it wasn’t there anymore.

Maybe you hear it too.

The erasure of “tumblr aces”

People don’t like listening to my commentary when I attach ‘potty mouth words’ to them so I’m just rewriting it here. This post is a reference to another that said tumblr doesn’t have a “celebrity class” yet it reach on culture is equal to that. 

The erasure and vilification of “tumblr aces” “A is for Asexual, Aromantic and Agender” was not common until “a bunch of tumblr aces” told GLAAD that one of their campaigns would harm our communities.  

 GLAAD agreed.

Maybe it’s just because I work in publishing but Big 5 ace books used to be very allo written about how aces were weird to be with. But tumblr bloggers keep collecting our history, and those books over the next years turned into ace written even at least twice mentioning in the books themselves mentioning what it felt like to first see themselves via a tumblr post.

There’s been a literal explosion of asexuals canonically in fiction around this time as well. Because as the community stopped out from AVEN’s forums to more shared spaces we gained a visibility that was more consolidated before. Tumblr allowed aces to be in spaces shared by everyone, instead of their own spaces online.  

Mirco-labels are a tumblr thing. Because they were labeled as such as a push back against those communities were gathered socially and publicly on tumblr.The queer theory written about them furthered that lexicon both on and off tumblr.  

What community coined allosexual? Tumblr aces. I was actively there for, and debated on which label should be use and why and what all the nuance of that specific choice and others should mean.  

What community re-popularized the split attraction model and saved the gay history behind it? Tumblr aces. It allowed for an more open and sure complex discussion on how we are the same and how we are different but how we are still one with not only ourselves but the wider queer community.  

“Ace-spec” and “A-spec” were also fyeah heavy because it was a reaction making sure the whole of the community feels seen. And the push back is largely here and spread just as far as people using the term.

“Inclusionist” was specifically used to allow aces and any one else others targeted by Trans Exclusionary Radical Fems. So in 2018 if someone said “They are an exclusionist” probably mean they are an acephobic. In 2020 they may use it more widely but its use is still heavily a-spec leanding. Even though it was indeed the opposite of the E from TERF. This is because it phrasing was popularized by trans aces. 

Making fun and shunning tumblr has always been about attacking the ones most vulnerable in a fight about respectability politics. “Those non-binary colored hair queers with micro-labels.”

So my question about even the phrasing of “tumblr aces” or “tumblr queers” as an insult is this: Do we want to be a community that fights oppression wherever we see it. Or do we want to remake Mean Girls one tweet or post about superiority over those who debate and advocate? What happens when people on tumblr even start saying “Oh those parts of “ace tumblr;”  vaguely without context what is actually being discussed?

There’s no citizenship under a platform. The fact that tumblr is supposedly full of “cringe kweers” is and always was ableism mixing with racism and transphobia to create new brand acephobia that eats at ace history and those who laid the bedwork of everything that is commonly found across all ace spaces.

Tumblr’s power, and fyeah’s contributions, and the contributions of all  “tumblr aces” is the same that was AVEN’s before they came so allo facing. It’s decentralized, allows for anonymity to safely join, no one’s opinion was inherently worth more simply because they aren’t public facing or a “celebrity”.

Looking back at the 10 Year Anniversary of the Asexual Flag!

Asexual Pride Flag – Pride Basics

A few days ago, on June 30th the asexual flag hit it’s 10 year anniversary. It was made by community polling and design scouring then more rounds of discussion on AVEN. Not by, on the website in a really collaborative way. You can see a more complete history collected by Asexuality Archive which comes into more detail about why the flag is the way it is.

You also my or my not know each stripe was given a meaning.

  • Black:  Asexuality
  • Grey: Grey-Asexuality and Demisexuality
  • *White: Non-asexual partners and allies
  • Purple: Community

*Over the past at least two years people have said, ‘hey we are no longer mostly on AVEN and our direction isn’t so ally focused maybe we should change the white’s meaning.’ Common suggestions include romantic variation, to other white means the sum of all colors so the white stripe should reference some other diversity within. Which would help tie it to the aro flag more, and the trans’ white stripe.

With that preface, I want to talk about where the purple came from. Which is actually a really cool story I have never heard before in my 7-8 years of being in the community.

Before 2010, ace symbols included shades of grey gradient. AVEN’s logo is a prism for that reason. The demisexual’s flag is also reference a prism. But, I never knew why purple was added into the mix. Never even thought of it.

The story goes purple was a 2001 addition. Specially choosing the amethyst crystal shade for it’s relationship to the Greek (or French Poet 1528 – 1578) story that mentions a nymph named Amethyst (or Amethystas). In it, Dionysus was hitting on her and she wasn’t into it so Artemis helped protect the nymph by turning her into white quartz. Dionysus then showed he made a mistake and poured wine over the amethyst stone, staining it purple.

Here’s some art from a different version of the story, where Dio was less hitting on her, and more accidentally on purpose angry with her, risking a mortals life via threat of tiger. It ends with Dio crying wine in remorse turning the stone purple.

image

As you can see above a white to purple gradient appears. Whatever the original version of the story the heart of it is: Artemis saved someone from harm and the person who caused the harm realized their grave mistake. 

The dating of the story is debating because it’s thought in Greek/Roman times, wine goblets were carved out of Amethyst to protect royalty from getting too drunk and making fools of themselves in the same way Dionysus had before them. 

Which not only makes my pagan heart happy to know forever now know the ace shade of purple has Artemis meaning, but also how that shade of purple meant that people were reminded to ‘not make the mistakes of the past and make fools of ourselves that harm people who aren’t interested.’ 

Which in a strange way makes me like that the pesky white stripe could be an ode to allies (ace or not) protecting aces. Because no matter where the story came from isn’t it such a timeless, thought out, over arching connection that goes back far more than just the 10 years of the asexual flag itself?

Asexuality history goes back so much further than just that flag. The easiest I know of is from a translated Sappho poem.

There’s so much even recent ace history that has been saved for us thanks to aces, thanks to projects like The Wayback Machine, thanks to how threads work, how google works. I know it’s technology, but it can be pretty magical if you have a curiosity to learn. It’s a gift we mustn’t ever lose to a click bait nature of social media today.

As Sappho also said, “Someone, I tell you, in another time will remember us.”

Ace Day History Through My Eyes

Hi! My name is Rose and in 2013 I founded the FuckYeahAsexual blog. Two years later, The Asexuality Blog and I created Ace Day!
It’s a cheerful, digital event that focuses on celebration of self and the whole asexual spectrum.
Some day in April 2015, I was asked to help with Ace Day. There was some raised concern about its proximity to 2015’s Blackout Day (a tumblr event of selfies) and Trans Day of Visibility both of which probably did have an influence The Asexuality’s Blog’s (TAB) desire to make an event for aces. Personally I was just asked thing? And I was like wooo thing! You see, everyone on tumblr was trying to make new things to celebrate and find a way to have a moment. Twitter still does this, but tumblr doesn’t anymore really. Anyways, Ace Day wasn’t themed off Blackout Day, but I can’t deny the repeated word usage between Ace Visibility Day and TDoV. A solution to which I pretty such said, ‘Ace Day works better anyways. Let’s go with that instead’. The event was also never meant to be a selfie only event. Sure they were totally encouraged, and were popular way to celebrate the day in 2015. (Tumblr doesn’t do selfies a lot anymore, even though lgbtq selfies are now a weekly Twitter thing, but I digress.)
It’s important to note, if TAB and I had to make a choice and were torn between us on something I’d make my point but deferred to her since it was her idea first. (This didn’t happen on anything important until later.)
The date of Ace Day was an issue from the start. And continues to be an issue to this day. In 2015, largely aphobes, but also some good people very early on were roughly like “Hey, this is so close to other stuff it’s getting distracting. Let’s move it.” We both agreed that time.
So I ran a poll with the most common suggestions of new days. It was a strawpoll so people on tumblr, twitter, and elsewhere could take part. 5200+ people voted, 2100~ people picked ‘May the 8th. (May The Ace)’. It’s the only time it was put up to a clear, correct, and multicommunity wide vote.
In 2015, I wrote a lot about why the asexual community deserved a pride focused day in the first place. Pointed out there shouldn’t be restrictions to when, where, and how pride is shown. That some ace events should be reserved for us, instead of actively working on allo awareness that day. I also made it clear on which day I thought was best (I wanted a front half of the year day away from other pride events and I loved the word play of “May the ace be proud”. Also pointed out that people did not want aces to celebrate at all so no matter what we did or what day we picked there would be a pushback. (Which isn’t an ace specific problem either.)
During the following months, TAB and I, decided to put an Art Book together because so many people drew things specifically for the 2015’s Ace Day. It had also been first time I remember anything ace focused trending on Tumblr. TAB did the legwork of buying our Creative Aces domain, and I contacted all the artists, formatted, published what turned into the first ever asexual art book, What You See. It released in October 2015 during Asexual Awareness Week as a throwback to everyone’s celebrations in May.
TAB around this time, after getting more criticism largely about the date, tells me she wants to move it to November. I told her that was silly given she had agreed with general consensus of everyone, and extra silly seeing as the art book was already done and mentions the celebration earlier that year. But in the end, she wanted to move it to November. I don’t have the message anymore but it was clear she was run down with people still trying to pick a new day and she thought people would allow the ace community “international cake day”. Yet, that caused its own problems being so close to the American Thanksgiving and some people not liking the further associations with cake memes. (Which is totally unfair.) I basically told her something like “okay, do what you want. November is really bad for me, I won’t be able to participate much at all.”
Ace Day personally went pretty dormant after that. It didn’t trend, but that wasn’t the importance or goal of the day anyways. Any really fond memories with other dates are wonderful, just not a history I have to share with you. To me it felt like how someone celebrates International Something-You-Like Day. You remember it only days before, or even the day of, and you cheer for a bit then move on.
5 years later, its now early May 2020. An active aro ace on twitter tweets me saying “May 8th Ace Day?” and AVEN cheers them on. So I basically reply “Awesome! My favorite day for it! Here’s all the fun things I did in 2015 with the “May the ace” slogans, the call for “No pride restrictions”, and mentioned the card suit selfies. And that joy further sparks wide participation. There’s whole threads I wrote about what that original date meant to me, and the now 5 year old history I was personally there for.
If you never saw The Asexuality Blog running, it’s heartbreaking to say TAB is gone. Has been for a bit now. It broke my heart when she vanished, and so when people came to me on their own, like “Hey the 8th?” I thought if anyone is in charge of this thing TAB and I did, it’s me. I’m the only one left. To make an overly dramatic metaphor it was like our baby was now abandoned and I decided to take care of it the way I knew how. By returning to the heart and origin of the Ace Day. It was heartfelt, and a historical touch point of aces of 5 years ago to aces now.
Things went pretty off the rails shortly after again. Because there’s a history of undermining the community works of tumblr aces. Things are willfully misrepresented, out right ignored, or deliberately underminded. Worse to me is when aces do it to each other.
For an aged example, it happened when AVEN broke a 4 month radio silence earlier in 2015 to roughly say “Eh ignore those other aces, you can share our A.” A statement that did nothing since days later, GLADD released an apology to the asexual, aromantic, and agender community and followed through with remembering a-spec inclusion that reshaped media representation for years. Point being? Similar is happening again.
I felt as if Tumblr aces were being sold out for hypothetical future allosexual acceptance of us, when Ace Day was always meant to be by us and for us. I think that’s why it trended on Tumblr in 2015, and trended on Twitter in 2020. It never needed media attraction. Was never about allosexuals doing something that day. It was about self love, and love of the whole asexual spectrum.
If you really want a deep dive, you can view the blog’s history on Ace Day here: fuckyeahasexual.tumblr.com/tagged/aceday or use the archive feature and sort by date here: fuckyeahasexual.tumblr.com/archive.
Yeah, those are both tumblr links. And I will never apologize for that. Because “tumblr aces” were the ones who had articles written about how they were piecing together historically lost ace history, the ones who made GLADD show up big time, had Big 5 books published staring the very same “tumblr aces.”
Activists there get belittled at every turn. Making fun and shunning people from tumblr as a whole has always been about attacking the ones most vulnerable in a fight about respectability politics. It’s targets are largely the trans community and really anyone who breaks a binary.
I think a lot these days about a line from a TAB Ace Day Post in 2015. It read: “We can all be infinitely visible” and got choked up when I first saw it again 5 years later. Nearly just another line, another post, that would have been lost to history forever if not for tumblr’s reblog style of blogging. The days after this years Ace Day was a floodlight on of how easy history is forgotten if no one looks in places that are new to them. How eagerly context is stripped away to replace it with whatever someone else wants.
I often think about all of the other activists that said it was too hard, unsafe, financially, or just emotionally unfeasible to continue. So they become quiet. There are wonderfully clever and effective aces who are activists that refuse to touch the community because of subtweeting nature of things. I want the community to be safer, I want it to love itself.
On the blog three of us are disabled and the amount of “Oh, do you need help to get more attention?” ever since we’ve spoken more about being disabled blew my mind. I’ve always leaned towards online activism (another dismissed and mocked tactic) because it’s more sustainable for me, and encouraged people to do the same for them.
Ace Day wasn’t ever about seeking allo attention like it’s going to bring our One True and Only source of liberation. It’s goal was to help teach yourself and be an example for aces around you now how to grow your own self love and celebrate the differences in even the seemingly the same so aces may have a stronger future.