This weekend I was invited on an Australian morning news program called Weekend Sunrise. Happily, I did not have to travel to another continent for a less-than-five-minute interview. They piped me in from a TV studio in Tampa.
An interview with me in Salon was posted today in Q&A format. It was an excellent chance to discuss some of the political aims of the asexual community (which we almost never get to talk about!), as well as my own experience discovering asexuality for myself and the best and worst things about it.
For me, the worst thing about being asexual is other people trying to fix me all the time. They develop this completely inappropriate obsession with my sexual and romantic life, which can manifest as anything from aggressively propositioning me for sex to searching for what’s “really” wrong with me through invasive questions. Some of them maintain that these attempted interventions are about my health and happiness, apparently unaware that they’re compromising both by refusing to respect my identity.
Unfortunately the comments are full of invalidation, as they generally always are on articles about asexuality published in mainstream media. This one has everything from “this isn’t SCIENTIFIC” to “asexual people are heartless and cruel if they date anyone but other asexual people,” ignoring that actually people can agree to date on any grounds they like and nobody’s the arbiter of what amounts of sex must be promised before dating is fair.
I’ve also been assigned mental illness and misanthrope status, and it’s only been up for a couple hours as I post this! Doing great.
I think there’s a book some girl wrote that these people might benefit from reading. Don’t remember, though . . . what was it called?
Today an interview-like blog post I prepared with SL Huang has gone live. They’re really thought-provoking questions and I really enjoyed responding!
[A]sexual people and their loved ones go to the bookstore, look for books about this topic, find a whole lot of nothing, and conclude that they’re alone or asexuality isn’t real. There’s a ton of power in a book being there for those people. I wanted it to exist, so I wrote it.
Dannie Morin interviewed me for her “Awesomesauce Authors” feature on her blog, Left to Write. It’s a great little article on my experience as an asexual author, discussing my writer’s journey, what inspired me to write the book, my favorite and least favorite things about writing, what I love about my book and what was challenging about writing it, what has surprised me about the publishing journey so far, and a few fun personal questions.
We could definitely do with more asexual characters. Canon asexual characters in mainstream media are almost nonexistent, and characters interpreted or rumored to be asexual are often played as uninterested in sex/relationships for a specific reason (they’re an alien, they’re a villain, they’re ill, they’ve given up).
I would love to see both “issue books” about asexual people AND books in which characters are incidentally asexual. We need both of those things.
I had the pleasure of attending the International Asexuality Conference in Toronto, Ontario, at the end of June 2014. As a WorldPride-affiliated event, we got some pretty amazing coverage and attention, with something like 300 registered attendees!
I was on the Asexual Leadership Q&A panel with Sara Beth Brooks and David Jay. Video here!
And later I was on a Visibility and Content Creation panel. You can see video of it here.
But what’s also great is it was the first appearance I made with my book!
I asked attendees to enter their names to win advance reading copies. Around fifty people entered and I got to talk to quite a lot of amazing people who were really excited about the book coming out. And there were a few who treated me like a celebrity or excitedly told me how much they like my videos online. How nice!
And after attending sessions and sitting on panels all day, I rounded out the night by appearing on Canadian national television.
Click to watch the video!
So yeah, that was a good experience. Hanging out with new and old friends was also fun–I was staying with asexual friends in a hotel, some of whom I’d known on the Internet before and some of whom I was getting to know for the first time. I didn’t stay for the parade–just the conference–but I’m glad I got to go.
I appeared at the University of Virginia on Thursday, April 10, to talk about asexual relationships as part of the university’s Pride week.
My presentation in the University Chapel went well, including a slide presentation and an interactive talk. I got some really nice questions and got to hear from asexual students who attended my presentation. It was a positive experience all around!
A piece about me has been published in Best magazine in the UK. It is included in the print edition as well as the abridged online version.
The article is written in first person as if I had written it. I did not. I also did not approve the article’s approach or content. I was promised a read-back and did not receive it. I also found out about its publication more than a month after it appeared.
The article contains factual inaccuracies about my life (I do not go out with friends in heels and a dress to have fun, and I would never imply that being asexual frees a person from the experience of jealousy), and its writing style not only contains British conventions I do not use, but employs reductionist and simplistic phrasing and philosophy I would never touch.
A read-back would have prevented this. A more comprehensive debunking is posted here on my blog.