The following is a summary and commentary on the “Q & Ace” breakout session, with Tyra, Sara, Tiffany, and me.
This was a live audience Q&A session, so the discussion was not pre-planned. Also, since I was on the panel, I did not take notes with the same level of detail as the other sessions. I’m sure I’ve left out some major discussion points, so please feel free to fill in the gaps. (Also, please correct me if I got any of the names of my fellow panelists incorrect…)
We talked at length about the need for more awareness of asexuality in the mental health field. One of the audience members was a child psychologist who knew nothing about asexuality until their own child came out. There was a suggestion that there should be an attempt made to get more mental health providers to attend the conference next year, and also that there should be asexual representation at some psychiatric conferences.
The DSM-5 and its specific asexuality exclusions for FSIAD and MHSDD were discussed, including the history of “interpersonal difficulties” as a diagnostic criteria that had been present in the previous revision.
There was a discussion of gender presentation and androgyny that touched on the need for information on safely binding. Use a binder, not an ace bandage!
We also talked about anon hate and dealing with negative comments that are directed at asexuals:
- Use the block feature. Most social platforms have them.
- You do not have to respond. You can simply delete. Responding to anon hate has to be done publically, which gives them the attention that they’re looking for.
- It may be sent to you, but it’s not directed at you. These people typically do not know who you are. Although it’s painful, they’re just recycling the same, tired nonsense they use against everyone else.
- Much of it’s not even specific to asexuality: You’ll hear the same comments against gay people and trans people and virtually any other group. Sometimes they’ll blame politics or a lack of religion or something else completely irrelevant.
- It can start to lose its sting and its power once you start to see through it.
These are some websites that were mentioned in the session and the discussion:
- Very important picture: http://wildasexuals.tumblr.com/post/122077811620/having-too-much-fun-at-the-north-american
- The Asexuality blog: http://theasexualityblog.tumblr.com/
- Grace and Ace: http://grace-and-ace.tumblr.com/
- Asexuality Archive: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/
- Benji’s Closet: http://benjiscloset.tumblr.com/
- General Binding Safety and Info: http://www.autostraddle.com/binding-101-brands-care-tips-and-health-227942/
- (A)sexual Documentary: http://youtu.be/KgRxxls7JxI
- The Asexual Agenda: https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/
- DSM-5 Asexuality Exclusion in MHSDD and FSIAD: http://redbeardace.tumblr.com/post/103107721895/redbeardace-im-sorry-you-were-saying
- More DSM-5 and Asexuality Info: http://nextstepcake.tumblr.com/post/60849967936/about-asexuality-and-hsdd-and-the-dsm-5
- More on MHSDD in DSM-5: http://www.dsm5.org/Research/Documents/Brotto%202010.pdf
- Huffington Post series on Asexuality: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/17/asexuality-the-x-in-a-sexual-world_n_3444417.html?1371476630
- Analysis of Negative Comments on HuffPo Series: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/the-comment-section/
- Intergroup Bias Against “Group X” paper: http://asexualawarenessweek.com/docs/AsexualityBias.pdf
- Ace Competent Therapists Project: http://asexualsurvivors.org/about/projects/