Ace/Aro Con NYC 2019: Session 4: Queer Group Outreach

(Note: Session 3 was a working meeting and there’s no summary for it.)

  • People were worried about negative reactions when reaching out to queer groups, but negative reactions are rare.
  • Being ignored is common, but don’t assume intent behind being ignored. It’s possible the email was lost, the coordinator was busy, etc. If you’re ignored, try again.
  • When looking for strategies for dealing with anti-ace people, look for strategies for dealing with TERFs, because they’re usually the same people, same tactics.
  • Remember that you often can’t change the minds of entrenched assholes, so focus on those who haven’t been corrupted by hate yet.
  • Block liberally. You don’t owe assholes your time or energy.
  • Online, people are horrible. Off-line, people are usually accepting and welcoming.
  • Be visible if you can be. Many ways to be visible, stickers, shirts, marching in a parade, casually mentioning it to people. Having an ace presence matters, it shows people we exist and shows other aces that we exist.
  • You’re not responsible for completely educating others, but guiding them can help. Have a set of websites, videos, etc., personally curated content that’s relevant to you, and pass that along to people who are interested. Don’t have them do their own research or just drop them at the AVEN forums and wish them luck, because that won’t help.
  • Sometimes the upper levels of a group may be bureaucratic and resist inclusion, but lower levels are often supportive and recognize the need.
  • Hosting a brown bag at a local queer org can be helpful for reaching out.
  • Many queer groups want to be more ace inclusive but don’t know how.
  • Don’t assume that if a group leaves out the “A” that they’re being deliberately exclusive. Sometimes they think the Q or the + is enough. Sometimes they haven’t updated their website in years. Sometimes they just don’t understand but are willing to.
  • Sometimes just being there matters. “We’re here and that’s all there is to it.”
  • Sexual liberation means nothing if it doesn’t include the freedom to say “no”.