(PR) - Peer-reviewed academic article
(A) - Article written for an online publication
(S) - Self-published non-academic article
(P) - Poetry
As part of our celebrating Asexual Awareness Week, the Trust recently got in touch with the founder and editor editor of the world’s first dedicated ace journal to celebrate a leader in the global ace movement.The Asexual is an international, free journal published each quarter that includes art, poems, short stories and fiction by asexual- and aromatic- identifying individuals. The most recent edition even included some asexuality-themed knitwear. Today the Asexuality New Zealand Trust’s blog examines its recent achievements. Michael Paramo, founder and lead editor of The Asexual, is a two-spirit aromantic asexual person, and is a graduate student studying (a)sexuality, gender attraction and intimacy. They founded The Asexual in 2016. Since then, the journal has grown to reach a much larger audience, and has hit a few big milestones over the past year.
«En Occident, il y a une telle obsession pour le fait de classer genres et sexualités, qu’on se demande carrément comment légitimer les genres et sexualités qui sortent de la norme», indique Michael Paramo, par ailleurs rédacteur en chef d’une revue consacrée à l’asexualité, The Asexual. «Cette étiquette permet au moins d’ouvrir des portes, d’imaginer un monde où l’obsession hiérarchique est moins forte. […] Le fait d’accroître conscience et visibilité de l’asexualité pourrait être un pas de plus vers la dislocation de l’institution coloniale qu'est la hiérarchie sexuelle, avec ce qui est “acceptable” d’un côté et ce qui ne l’est pas de l’autre.» En décentrant le désir comme on le fait avec le regard, l’importance de l’attraction passe au second plan.
“I think it’s empowering to see ace people talk about these experiences, especially as someone who has endured harassment and assault in my life,” said Michael Paramo, 25, an aromantic, asexual, two-spirit person who founded the Asexual journal. “I began to perceive my body as hideous, unlovable, not worthy of being seen, not worthy of even existing, and it opened a hole deep inside me. … I think there should be more discussion on how ace people may be vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault that addresses the nuances ace survivors may have to endure and navigate.”
In fact, the upcoming issue of The Asexual journal is set on the theme of examining the intersections of asexuality and race, and is planning to publish a complete issue that centers writing and artwork by ace people of color in February 2018. I initially proposed this theme with the explicit intention of addressing the lack of representation and visibility of ace people of color in the ace community as well as to simultaneously emphasize how white ace people largely dominate ace spaces (I have written on why this may be the case before). I believe that it remains imperative to always prioritize those voices who are the most invisible, and I will continue to do so for as long as I manage The Asexual.
It’s Ace Awareness Week! The ace community reflects a diverse spectrum of folks who may not experience sexual attraction to others — though of course, many people define or experience their own asexuality differently. While this identity is often invisible, The Asexual is a new publication making space for visibility for Ace creators, including writers and artists. We talked to founder and editor-in-chief Michael Paramo. They shared the story behind The Asexual and reflected on how ace visibility can be more inclusive and intersectional.