The meetups we have fall broadly into two categories: Discussion Groups and Social Get-Togethers. Discussion Groups tend to be focused on topics related to being aromantic or asexual, while the Social Get-Togethers tend to be more about doing something and having fun together. Almost all of our meetings are open to newcomers and have no age restrictions, and friends and partners are typically welcome (provided they respect the space if they are not part of the community). If there are restrictions for a meetup (for instance, a bar crawl will be 21+), they’ll usually be noted in the event description. If you have any questions about or accommodation requests for a particular meetup, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the organizer. And if you have ideas and want to host a meetup of your own, please let us know!
Monthly Discussion Group
The monthly discussion group is our longest running meetup and tends to be the most well attended. It’s usually on a weekend afternoon. The topics are generally not decided in advance, and we’ll talk about whatever everyone has on their mind that day. Sometimes it will be about relationships (or lack thereof), sometimes it will be about media representation, sometimes it will be about activism, sometimes it will be about societal expectations, sometimes it will be about any number of other topics. Pretty much anything related to being ace or aro goes! We usually try to cover three or four large topics each meeting, depending on how much time each one takes. Everyone is welcome to bring their own topics to discussion, and everyone is welcome to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. And if you just want to lurk and listen, that’s perfectly fine, too!
The meeting kicks off with an icebreaker, which consists of five questions:
- Did you have any topics you’d like to talk about?
- Do you have anything you’d like to recommend?
For in-person meetings, the group will split into subgroups of around 4 people each for the first part of the icebreaker, where people will answer the questions and then chat for a few minutes before coming back together and re-answering the questions as a larger group.
If icebreaking isn’t your thing, you’re free to sit it out and not participate. Alternatively, you can drop in about 20-30 minutes after the start of the meeting and you’ll probably skip most, if not all of the icebreaker. (We don’t mind late arrivals!)
The monthly discussion groups are usually held in a private space, so outsiders can’t overhear what we’re talking about. We also ask that confidentiality is respected. You can share the broad strokes and general takeaways that you learned, but avoid any kind of personally identifiable information and don’t quote people, etc. What is said in the meeting stays in the meeting.
At in-person monthly discussion groups, there is often a selection of free aro and ace related swag, including stickers, pins, and flags!
A Roundtable discussion is a small group discussion where everybody has an equal right to participate. As all participants are on equal footing, the discussion aims to confront issues rather than people. The Roundtable discussion is learning more about or discussing a topic in more depth than we can get to at the larger group. This meeting is usually held just before the general discussion group meeting.
The specific discussion topic changes every month, and is announced in advance. Here are a few of our previous topics (and these may come back up again, if there’s demand!):
- “Gray and Demi Aces and Aros”
- “Gender Identity Intersectionality with Aro/Ace”
- “Choosing Parenthood While Ace/Aro”
- “All About Asexuality/Aromanticism”
- “Dating as an Ace”
- “Queer and Neurodiverse”
- “(NSFW) Sex and the Aro/Ace Spectrum”
- “Finding Happiness as a Single”
Each meeting starts off with a brief introduction: Name, Pronouns, Orientation, and what you’d like to get out of attending the discussion. We then will typically have a short discussion about any terms that may apply to the discussion, for people who are there to learn more. From there, the discussion begins.
This is a more casual discussion, so participants are welcome to bring up points or add to other’s points however they’d like as long as it keeps generally on topic. When done in-person, the roundtables are typically done in a public setting, like a cafe.
We also have a number of social get-togethers. These are meant to be informal and fun, a place to meet and do things with fellow aros and aces. In a lot of cases, asexuality or aromanticism won’t even come up! The social meetups are widely varied, from karaoke to crafts, from bar crawls to mountain hikes, from museum visits to role playing games! Check our calendar to see what’s on deck for this month, and if you’re interested in hosting something, please let us know!