Identity and Invisibility

So this week, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw this image cross your feed. The spirit of the bag and the support the producers of the bag intended is really great.

There’s just one kind of major problem: A is not for Ally.

Don’t get me wrong, allies are great. Awesome. Some of my good friends are allies. (Okay, only like two because my group of friends is hella queer, but whatever.) But allies aren’t queer. They probably aren’t ostracized/attacked/raped/murdered for being an ally. People don’t need to be convinced they exist. People don’t need their existence explained.

Know who is queer and was dropped off this bag in favor of allies? Asexuals. Agender individuals. Aromantics.

I’m not going to spout all the ways asexuals/etc are ‘more worthy’ of being included. I shouldn’t really have to (but if you have questions, feel free to ask). I’m not going to scream for a boycott (according to Pink News, a percent of purchases is donated to the Human Rights Campaign). I’m just frustrated that once again asexuals/etc are ignored. Or maybe not even that. They are unheard of. But ours is a growing voice, and we won’t be silenced. I won’t be silenced.

I’m asexual.

Finding this identity has helped explain a lot of things about myself, my interaction with others, and how I see the world. People shouldn’t have to wait until their in their late twenties and thirties to figure out that they are not alone and they are not anomalies or freaks. Erasing the presence of aces on the bag is just keeping other people from realizing truths about themselves.

If you want to know more, ask. But don’t ask rude questions. And maybe do some reading first. These aren’t all stellar sources, but they’re all easily accessible.

What’s really disheartening is that, according to Pink News, “the Human Rights Campaign … collaborated with American Apparel in creating the clothes.” I don’t know if that applies to the bag as well, but if so, HRC needs to get on the ball.

Please remember that the A in LGBTQA+ is for a lot of things, but “ally” isn’t one of them.

If you want an idea of the outraged reactions to this erasure, you can check out this BuzzFeed article, which also includes American Apparel’s weak response to the backlash. (It’s pretty pitiful.)

10,600

That’s how many words I wrote in the month of September. My monthly goal is 5K, so that’s double (does that mean I get to take October off?). And I’m excited about it because I’m enjoying both stories I’m working on, PLUS I wrote that much while riding, having a horse show, having a life (Hey, don’t laugh!), and working full-time.

And yes, I’m sure other people manage all those things AND 50K a month, but that’s not me.

Speaking of which…No, I won’t be participating in NaNo this year. But maybe I’ll try to hit 10K again. We’ll see. That’s a month away.

For now, it’s writing rehabbing rock stars, dorky asexual college students, and knitting a Christmas stocking for my parents.

Because that’s how cool people spend their Saturday nights.

Book recommendation

If you follow me on tumblr, this information may sound familiar.

But I wanted to talk about a book that I just finished. I know I try not to smudge the line between editor Alex and writer Alex, but this time I just have to.

Because this book is special to me. I’ve known I’m asexual for a while (a few years) and I’m pretty comfortable with it (um, outside of relationships). My friends are cool with it. Tumblr is cool with it. Yay! Okay, my family doesn’t know, but they know I’m not giving them kids, so I don’t think they really need to know.

Anyway. This book. I have a wide appreciation for this book. First off, it’s well-written, a mix of romance, quaint British town, and suspense. But what really made this book speak to me on a deep level is the main character is asexual. He has a lot of heavy-duty stuff going on in his life, especially in the beginning of the book, but toward the end there are some serious conversations that happen that were just…amazing. They had me pointing at the screen and shouting, “That!”

Some readers may gripe about the lack of sexy times happening on the page. But the book is about an asexual character, and there is a very short list of books that have asexual characters. This book fills a need and it fills it well.

If you want to understand more about the mindset of asexual people (or at least this particular person’s experience, in the story), then please read it. It’s very accessible and may help you see how a person feels/thinks/etc.

If you are asexual, you’re going to love this character. No, he’s not every asexual, but at least some part of him will likely speak to you.

If you don’t care about asexual characters at all, you can still enjoy a sweet, exciting story that tears at the soft underbelly without gutting you completely. And maybe you’ll learn a thing or two along the way!

Blue Steel Chain by Alex Beecroft

At sixteen, Aidan Swift was swept off his feet by a rich older man who promised to take care of him for the rest of his life. But eight years later, his sugar daddy has turned from a prince into a beast. Trapped and terrified, Aidan snatches an hour’s respite at the Trowchester Museum.

Local archaeologist James Huntley is in a failing long distance relationship with a rock star, and Aidan—nervous, bruised, and clearly in need of a champion—brings out all his white knight tendencies. When everything falls apart for Aidan, James saves him from certain death . . . and discovers a skeleton of another boy who wasn’t so lucky.

As Aidan recovers, James falls desperately in love. But though Aidan acts like an adoring boyfriend, he doesn’t seem to feel any sexual attraction at all. Meanwhile there are two angry exes on the horizon, one coming after them with the press and the other with a butcher’s knife. To be together, Aidan and James must conquer death, sex, and everyone’s preconceptions about the right way to love—even their own.