Accepted short story: “Her Experiment”

Just got word that my short story “Her Experiment” has been accepted to Spoon Knife Volume 7, which involved a submissions call for stories about transition.

I’m pretty surprised. I did something with this story I don’t like to admit: I didn’t let anyone read it before I sent it out. I actually don’t think I’ve EVER done that before–I value the input of readers and I would always advise writers to get at least a few people to help them work the kinks out.

And then it was accepted at the very first place I submitted it. Welp.

(I do not plan to learn from this that it’s better to go without beta readers. Terrible lesson.)

I also was very pessimistic about this story and didn’t like it after I wrote it. Worried that I rushed it and forced it. Worried that it was ugly. Worried that it was too long.

It IS too long. But that’s allowed where I sent it.

Anyway, it’ll be published in Spring 2023. I’ll give information about how to read it at that time.

Here’s my post about writing the story.

Powell’s Bookmark

The Invisible Orientation is one of a small number of LGBTQIA+ books honored on a Powell’s bookmark this month in association with its Pride program. 🙂 Thank you to Nicholas Yandell at Powell’s!

Please see these tweets from Nicholas Yandell for other resources:

 

Interview: The LaSallian

Interview: The LaSallian

The LaSallian, a student publication of De La Salle University-Manila, included some quotes from me and other asexual activists/authors in A look into the spectrum: Affirming asexual narratives.”

This print article includes contributions from KJ Cerankowski, me, and the pseudonymous Violet, discussing asexual people’s exclusion, representation, conflation with disability, and relationships.

Interview: San José State University News

Interview: San José State University News

San José State University News interviewed several asexual people (myself included) in an article called “Asexuality deserves recognition; content creators: all sexual identities.”

This print interview discusses asexual people’s experiences coming to an ace identity and how we are getting more visibility. The article is by Amani Hamed. Also interviewed are Cody Daigle-Orians and CJ George.

 

Spoke at “Beyond Awareness: Creating a Space for Asexual and Aromantic People”

I was a featured speaker at the “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). This panel, organized by Genny Beemyn, featured Yasmin Benoit, August Huber, Leon Friedman, and me.

Interview: SELF

Interview: SELF Magazine

SELF Magazine interviewed several asexual people (myself included) to discuss “10 Facts About Asexuality That Help Dispel Harmful Myths.

This long-form print interview discusses what misconceptions asexual people face and educates readers on how to avoid them. The article is by Julie Kliegman. Also interviewed are KJ Cerankowski, Angela Chen, Sherronda J. Brown, Ben Kantt, and David Jay.

 

I was a little disappointed that the article included this mistake about me: “In addition to identifying as asexual, Decker says she’s romantic, and because of this, people mistakenly assume some very hurtful things about why she isn’t in a relationship.” That should say “aromantic.” I didn’t say I’m romantic. Maybe it was autocorrect.

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!

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 appropriate 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.