Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs, cuyo tema de este mes trata es Ace-ing it up offline. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval.
I envy those asexual people living in areas with regular meetups. I live in the middle of nowhere and I don’t have easy access to meetups. Since my beginning in AVEN, I was interested in meetups, and I was lucky to attend one in Madrid in my first half year in AVEN. Madrid has always been my reference for meetups, and I have attended a few there, but I have also dealt with the scarcity of AVENites in my area by arranging private meetings. These private meetings are not meetups as usual, but they’re meetings of only two AVENites, which allows a schedule fitter to the needs of both people. I have arranged such private meetings when I was going to visit towns where I knew a fellow AVENite was staying, so they depended on fortunate coincidences, and I’m lucky to say that they have always been successful. A disadvantage of these meetings over group meetups is that there’s more risk of not being chemistry between the two people, something that in a group meetup blurs, what makes them riskier to fail for incompatibility.
An issue in both kinds of meetings is how to recognize each other. I think it’s useful to exchange phone numbers and/or pictures (through private ways, or course) especially for the private meetings, apart of arranging a very specific place to meet. For group meetings the latter could be enough if the group is recognizable by any means like a flag. There are in AVEN safety guidelines which are advisable to follow especially in the first meetup, among which I would highlight the rule of staying in public spaces.
Another kind of meetups I have attended is the fortnightly meetings of the campus LGBT group. I was not out to them as asexual, but they were very accepting, since they’re a group that accepts straight and questioning people. These meetups were held in a corner of a gay bar, and were split into small groups, so I had the opportunity to talk with different people of the group each evening. For the first time, I contacted the group leaders and they met up with me in the same place half an hour before the rest of the people came, making it very welcoming.
When visiting a town for attending a meetup, I’ve had good experiences with pre-meetups and post-meetups. In pre-meetups, people coming early for the main meetup met the evening before. In post-meetups, people in the main meetup arranged an extension of the meetup for the next day. Also the International Conference of Asexuality, held this month in Madrid, despite not being a meetup, allowed to meet AVENites and to arrange pre-meetups.
Though I’m not out in general, when you meet up with an asexual person or group, it happens the miracle that, inside this circle, you are all out without having to come out and, if you have to do any explanation, you are understood because you share the terminology. This happens too, though at a lower level, in the LGBT meetups where I was not out as asexual.