Upcoming Appearance: “Beyond Awareness: Creating a Space for Asexual and Aromantic People”

I will be a featured speaker at the upcoming “Beyond Awareness: Creating a Space for Asexual and Aromantic People” panel at the University of Massachusetts’ Stonewall Center, sponsored by SpACE+ (the ace-spectrum group at the university). You can preregister to attend the virtual panel and watch it live: Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at 6 PM Eastern.

Ace Week 2021: Asexual and Aromantic Adulthood

 

I’m doing a live YouTube event to celebrate Ace Week on Friday, October 29, 2021, at 7 PM Eastern. I’ll be discussing mature life as an aromantic and asexual person.

Subscribers and interested parties can chime in live in the attached chat, and if appropriate, I will address whatever they’d like to talk about. The video will be available to rewatch if you miss the event.

You can tune in on my YouTube Channel: Ace Week with Swankivy: Asexual and Aromantic Adulthood!

https://youtu.be/KnwKCsZkZ_M

Completed New Short Story: “Her Experiment”

I’ve been thinking lately about people who insist on asking invasive questions even when their subject is uncomfortable. It’s mostly in association with my asexuality awareness activism that I end up telling someone their subject matter or querying style is inappropriate for a non-consenting stranger, and almost without fail I’m then told they JUST WANT TO LEARN and if I’m HOSTILE to their curiosity, probably I just want to be offended, want to shame them, or hate science. Never do they acknowledge that they need a consenting educator if they want to ask intense personal questions about abuse, sexual experience, or physical health, and never do they recognize the damage they do by simply taking our availability and willingness to educate them for granted.

I once met someone at a party who said she was not on Facebook because stalkers had made it too dangerous for her. I didn’t ask. When a different friend asked me who she was in my photos and why she wasn’t tagged, I told him she said she had stalkers. And when he asked me for more of the story, I told him I didn’t know because I had not asked her.

He was FURIOUS.

He demanded to know how the hell I could possibly live with the curiosity of NOT KNOWING who is stalking her and why, and how could I be so cruel as to now pass that mystery on to HIM knowing he has no way to dig up the True Story of Stalkers of a Girl He Has Never Met.

“I just can’t believe you’re not a CURIOUS person,” he scolded me.

And when I said it had been clear to me in the moment that she didn’t want to talk about it–after all, she had been driven off a social media platform by STALKERS–he essentially said it didn’t matter if I hurt her by asking the questions this situation would NATURALLY raise–that she should have known if she told me the stalkers existed that I would want to know everything, and in fact she probably WANTED me to ask the question because why else would she leave that door open? Why, he needed to know, was I such an asshole as to burden him with the knowledge that there was something out there he now could never know? I had cursed him to wonder forever!

It’s this weird entitlement to information at the KNOWN expense of its source, in a general sense, that inspired me to write a new short story. It’s called “Her Experiment.”

The story has nothing to do with asexuality activism or stalkers, but it explores this type of person and the way they manipulate and control people who are harmed by their attempts to help (or satisfy their own curiosity).

To be honest, I’m not sure I like the story. I wrote it in a strange way, continuing to come back to it even at times that I didn’t feel like writing, and finishing it mostly felt like just getting through it. And like most stories I write, it just kept getting longer and less publishable every time I sat down.

I’ll sit with it a bit and then see if anyone wants ten thousand words of entitled curious person.

Interview: Geeks OUT

It was lovely to be a part of an in-depth article on asexuality and aromanticism over at Geeks OUT.

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JULIE SONDRA DECKER

This long-form print interview discusses identity discovery and coming out, the pressures of writing a book, the shifting environment surrounding asexuality’s reception in society and media, the evolution of the ace-spectrum community, and media/upcoming projects.

French Edition: The Invisible Orientation

The Invisible Orientation is now available in a French translation.

This is a translation of the original material with some very nice formatting and additions.

But it is available in bookstores, through the French publisher (Alliance Magique, Améthyste Éditions, Pluriel·les), and through its French Amazon page.

French title: Asexualité – Comprendre l’orientation invisible.

Publishing Date: July 8, 2021.

Interviewed on Graying Rainbows: Asexuality

I was a guest on the podcast Graying Rainbows. Episode 52 discusses asexuality. Ginger Campbell hosted a lovely, sensitive interview with me.

This episode is an interview with Julie Sondra Decker, author of “The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality.” Most people acknowledge that sexual orientations includes homosexuals, bisexuals, and heterosexuals, but there is actually a fourth possibility. A person who identifies as asexual does not feel sexual attraction to anyone. Unfortunately, many assume that this represents a disease when actually it is part of normal human diversity. We discuss what asexuality IS as well as what it is NOT. Asexuality is about attraction NOT behavior.

Our goal is to embrace human diversity and acknowledge that each person’s identity should be respected as equally valid. If the idea of asexuality is new to you, I hope you will listen to this informative interview.

You can listen to the interview on Graying Rainbows’ website or check it out on their YouTube channel.

After Dinner Conversation Podcast

After Dinner Conversation has discussed my short story “Everyone’s Gay in Space” on their podcast. They have promoted the story on Twitter and on their podcast page.

You can listen through one of the links on their post. It’s carried on these podcast providers. I personally like Stitcher.

To quote from their site:

STORY SUMMARY: Douglas Junior and his wife both have a rare, recessive, genetic disease. They donate their blood to a lab to help them find a cure. Through a medical mix-up, Douglas Junior’s DNA is used to create his clone. 20 years later he finds out about his clone and reaches out to meet him. Things don’t go exactly as planned as Douglas Junior is a blue-collar working man, while his clone is a top-of-the-class gay student who plans to join the space program.

DISCUSSION: Interesting story that mirror some of the research done with sexual orientation differences between identical twins, as well as nature vs. nurture. Creates a springboard for good discussions about what information we would want to know about our clone. For example, are there unexplored genetic aptitudes I missed out on? Douglas seems to be very picky about which science he believes in, and which he doesn’t believe in, as so much of it is tied up how he self identifies. His clone is rightly frustrated by all the questions and says what may often be on the mind of others gay individuals, “it’s not my job to teach everyone in the world ‘Gay 101’”.

Hear the discussion!