Ways to get involved in asexual visibility and education work
After finding the asexual community, many people are both glad to have found it and frustrated at the lack of awareness about it. They would like to be able to help fix this lack of awareness by doing some visibility/education work, but may not be sure how to do this. In the asexual community, there is lot of really great vis/ed work that people have done and are doing. There have also been energetic people who want to do vis/ed work, but end up having difficulty knowing what exactly they can do; one of the biggest problems people run into is undirected enthusiasm. Enthusiasm and energy are vitally important for asexual visibility, but unless that energy eventually is channeled into specific courses of action, little or no visibility work ends up happening, which can be frustrating. The following article is designed to help share ideas about vis/ed projects that you could do, and to link you to resources for ones that you may be interested in doing.
Coming out as asexual is probably the single most important form of asexual visibility because it shows people that asexual are not just people on the internet and TV; asexuals are people they know. However, people vary considerably in how comfortable they are in talking about asexuality, how comfortable they are talking about their asexuality, and how open (or not) they would like to be about their asexuality. There are some resources related to coming out, including this video, where AVEN founder David Jay talks about coming out as asexual and suggests concepts to help explain. This Examiner article by Stephanie Silberstein is about coming out in a dating situation, though the advice can apply to other scenarios. There is also a “Guide to Coming out” by the Hot Pieces of Ace vlog channel and a collection of advice from different aces on Asexuality Archive. Just remember that it is a personal decision to come out to help educate, not an obligation.
Write a paper for class about asexuality
Many people participating in the asexual community are high school or college students, and if you have to write a paper where something related to asexuality would be an appropriate topic, consider doing so. One of the most important areas of outreach right now is academic outreach, and a major way of doing this is teachers/professors reading well-written papers about asexuality. By doing this, you can help pave the way for other asexual students, as they will be better understood by their teachers, professors, or peers. Also, doing research for the paper is also a good way for you to learn more about asexuality. The website Asexual Explorations has resources that can be helpful for doing research for class papers. If you want to do research on AVEN, check out our rules for researchers or contact a member of the AVEN Project Team for advice.
Make cross-community connections
Draw connections between asexuality and other communities you participate in or audiences you address. For example, aces who are active in fanfic communities such as the Sherlock fandom can have an impact on the awareness of other people in that fandom. Talk to local LGBTQ groups about asexuality.
Translate visibility material into a different language
If your native language is not English or if you can write in a different language, consider translating one of our pamphlets or other educational materials. If you already have a pamphlet, post it on the forum or email it to email@example.com.
Start a blog, vlog, or podcast
Start a blog, Tumblr, vlog, podcast, or other type of website, or get involved with one that is currently going on. You can join a group blog, participate in the Carnival of Aces, or contribute guest posts to someone else’s blog. The Asexual Agenda and Asexual News are two sites that may accept contributions. You can also read and comment on blogs of people who have similar interests. All of this helps to build the asexual blogging community. While specifically asexual-themed materials are primarily read by other asexual people, these can be important sources of visibility, with people finding them via search engines and also people reading things that intersect with topics they are interested in. There are active asexual communities on Tumblr and LiveJournal.
Give a presentation about asexuality
Either organize a discussion, panel, or talk, or invite a speaker to talk about asexuality for you. Common audiences include LGBT or sex-positive groups, human sexuality classes, and academic conferences. See this thread for suggestions on what to include, and this resources post for slides, pamphlets, and other educational materials. You can also organize a screening of (A)sexual.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your location if you would like to be contacted when we receive requests for speakers for your local area.
Get involved with media work
There many different ways to do become involved in media work. You can write articles or letters to the editor and submit them to local papers; even writing letters to advice columns can help someone else to find the community. You can also do interviews with the media. Keep an eye on the forum Announcements or follow the PT’s tumblr for updates on media requests. If you like, you can also sign up to be a member of the official AVEN media team so that we can contact you if a media request is in your area. Signing up with the media team does not mean you are committing to anything beyond receiving media request updates via a mailing list.
Join a Pride parade
Having an asexual contingent in a Pride parade is a good opportunity to do asexual visibility work and outreach to the LGBTQ. While issues surrounding what the relationship between asexuality and the LGBTQ is and what it should be are debated in these communities, many feel that making such relationships are valuable, and there have been asexual groups in pride parades. Check out AVEN's forum to see if there are any groups organizing in your area, or start your own group. This resources thread has pamphlets from various Prides, such as London's WorldPride in 2012.
Practice random acts of vis/ed
Try requesting the book Understanding Asexuality by Anthony Bogaert at your local or university library, either by contacting a librarian directly or through their website. Leave pamphlets at LGBT groups, doctor's offices, schools etc.
Community involvement, connection, and contributions
- Write an article for Asexual Perspectives or submit something to AVENues’. Working with AVENues editors can help you to feel connected and you can share something with the community. Email email@example.com with questions, suggestions, or submissions.
- Start a blog, vlog, or podcast or get involved with an existing one.
- Go to a meet-up or start one if there aren't any in your area.
- Join the Project Team.
- Work on improving the AVENwiki. This is a community resource that anyone can edit, so dive in and help it grow.
- Contribute a design to AVEN's store. Help us to look cool while spreading a little visibility. These things have an impact.
- Welcome new members to AVEN. Remember the first time you found the community? You can now help make it special for someone else.
- Post about the vis/ed work you are doing, and share resources. Made a cool zine? Put together a PowerPoint? Everything you can contribute has the potential to help or inspire someone else.
- Improve this guide!