Racing Ace: Asexuality, Race, and Social Justice
Lauren Barbour, Elyse Jones, and Alina Osborn
Conference: Creating Change 2018
Panel Presented: Friday, January 26th from 4:45 to 6:15pm
Session Title: Racing Ace: Asexuality, Race, and Social Justice
Session Topic: Racial Justice: Knowledge
Lauren Barbour: Demisexual, bisexual, and half Japanese. She/her.
Elyse Jones: Asexual, queer, and white. She/her.
Alina Osborn: Asexual, queer, and half Filipino. She/her.
All three presenters are students from The College of New Jersey.
Description of Session/Presentation in Conference Booklet:
This workshop will help attendees become familiar with and improve existing knowledge of compulsory sexuality versus non-sexuality and asexuality. Session leaders will discuss how conceptions of race affect the aforementioned sexual identities and practices. We will discuss the role asexual identity movements can play in addressing the racialized (a)sexualization of communities. Participants will practice their advocacy for LGBTQI* communities to be aware and inclusive of the racialized beliefs shaping discourses on asexuality, sex positivity, and compulsory sexuality. Attendees will be able to ask questions and receive practical advice for helping others understand asexuality as it intersects with race.
This interactive workshop will help attendees become familiar with and improve their existing knowledge of compulsory sexuality versus non-sexuality (or the absence of sexual desire) and asexuality (the experience of little to no sexual desire) and how these sexual identities and practices are affected by beliefs about race. This workshop will also look at the role asexual identity movements might play in addressing the (a)sexualization of communities. Participants will have the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the workshop on compulsory sexuality, non-sexuality, and asexuality by working to develop talking points that are aware and inclusive of these narratives. Groups are encouraged to reflect on their own lived experiences wherever possible to help participants ensure their existing advocacy efforts for LGBTQI* communities are aware and inclusive of the racialized beliefs shaping discourses on asexuality, sex positivity, and compulsory sexuality. Throughout the session, attendees will have a chance to ask questions and receive practical advice and tools for helping others understand asexuality as it intersects with race.
· Understand (a)sexuality as an intersectional identity that is shaped by race
· Learn concrete strategies to talk about (a)sexuality in ways that are cognizant of the involuntary (a)sexualization of racial communities
· Understand that an asexual movement must address the nuances of racialized sexuality before being able to argue for an identity-based asexuality
After the three presenters introduced themselves and defined some of the key terms of the presentation, Lauren Barbour detailed the history of hypersexualized and asexualized racial communities throughout history. Then, Elyse Jones discussed modern asexual history and identity of the past 20 years, detailing how racial stereotypes and the existing whiteness of the asexual community are two factors that contribute to the ace community remaining white. Afterwards, Alina Osborn discussed the present and future of asexual activism and how steps can be taken to dismantle the overwhelming whiteness of the asexual community. The three presenters concluded by facilitating a discussion about inclusivity, allowing the audience to take away information to use in their own activism.
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