This year, Washington has recognized Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week for the first time! We are the fifth state to do so, after Colorado, Virginia, Michigan, and Minnesota, and after the District of Columbia and the city of Denver, CO.
Here is the full proclamation (click to zoom):
The State of Washington
WHEREAS aromanticism is a generally unknown and misunderstood romantic orientation; and
WHEREAS people who are aromantic often feel isolated and confused, and lack access to resources and support networks; and
WHEREAS discovering aromanticism can be an affirming and positive personal experience; and
WHEREAS having peers and family know of and understand aromanticism can provide safety, support, and comfort to aromantic people; and
WHEREAS Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week aims to spread awareness and acceptance of aromantic spectrum identities and the issues faced by the aromantic community; and
WHEREASWashington is proud of and made stronger by the vast diversity of its residents;
THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim the period between February 21st and February 27th, 2021, as AROMANTIC SPECTRUM AWARENESS WEEK in Washington, and I encourage all people in our state to join me in this special observance.
Seattle Aces and Aros is putting on a free webinar called “A-Spec and Media”.
The webinar will feature four panelists from our community, who will be discussing a wide range of topics about the intersection of A-Spec identities and the media. The panel will include Kelsey, the writer for BIFL, Julia, YA author and organizer for New England Aces and returning from our previous panel, PJ and John! This webinar will be open to the public. You can register here: https://tinyurl.com/ybblhg66
The event will take place on Saturday, January 16th, at 1pm PT.
All are welcome to join, just know that this group’s goal is to be a comfortable space to share and discuss asexuality, aromanticism and related topics. We will strictly enforce a code of conduct to protect the panelists, moderators, and attendees. (No hate speech or bullying. Be kind and courteous. Respect pronouns and avoid gendered language. Refrain from using ableist language. Respect everyone’s privacy.)
Meet the Panelists!
John is a teacher in Seattle who identifies as queer, transmasculine, and aromantic. He is a founder of the femslash convention TGIF/F (tgifemslash.com) and has been active in fandom for almost 20 years writing fanfic, editing fanvids, and attending cons. He is a diehard shipper who also longs for more [queer]platonic partnerships in media, because containing multitudes is gay.
PJ is an aroace aspiring screenwriter who was born and raised in Seattle. She developed a love for filmmaking in high school, and strives to increase queer representation and social progress throughout the film industry. PJ uses she/her pronouns.
Julia is the Lead Organizer for New England Aces and a member of the group’s outreach team, which hosts panels and workshops on asexuality. She formerly served as Pride Activities Coordinator and has participated in several panel discussions on asexuality, ace visibility, and ace representation in media outside the group, as well. A member of the Boston Speculative Fiction Writing Group, Julia particularly enjoys writing YA fantasy. Follow Julia on Twitter @JGilstein.
Kelsey (they/them) is a queer, asexual, non-binary New Hampshire native currently living in Chicago. They have been writing fanfiction for more than a decade, but the last few years their main project has been an original scripted LGBTQIA+ comedy series “BIFL”. Kelsey can be found on Twitter @goneawayawhile talking about TV, Taylor Swift, and making pretty much everything about asexuality.
Meet the Moderator
Ashley is an Aro-Ace in aerospace. When she is not working as an engineer, she spends her free time doing a multitude of hobbies, some of the current being mixed martial arts, tabletop roleplaying games, and cooking. She has been one of the organizers for Seattle Aces and Aros for the last two years, and has lately been running far too many quarantine TTRPGs.
Asexual Awareness Week has again been recognized by the State of Washington this year!
We were the first state in the country to recognize it (possibly the first place anywhere!) last year in 2019. This year, we have been joined by Colorado, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Oregon! 5 down, 45 to go!
On Saturday, July 18, at 1pm PT, we’re hosting a webinar All About the A!
The webinar will feature five panelists from our community, who will be covering an introduction to asexual and aromantic orientations, as well as other experiences about what it means to identify on the ace and/or aro spectrums. It’s free and open the the public, and non-ace or aro people are encouraged to attend! Register here: https://tinyurl.com/yd4cvrds .
Now let’s meet our panelists!
Alexis is a gray-ace, bi-romantic, and cis-gendered. She grew up in a very queer-friendly city: San Francisco, but was a late bloomer and only came out within the last few years. She loves dogs, dancing, and knitting (as you can see in her picture, she’s wearing a sweater she made with UV-reactive yarn. It changes color under the sun so she calls it her bi-invisibility sweater!) She’s proud and happy she can bring both herself and her sweaters out of the closet.
Danika (she/they) is a bi aroace arogender woman who has been out and proud since 2017. When she’s not saving lives as a not-for-profit financial consultant, she is a writer, musician, and full-time cat mom. Her blog, Sea of Sunlight, explores forming identity and relationships in an amatonormative world.
Val grew up in the Silicon Valley, after college they started their career in logistics and have advanced in the field of Autonomous Vehicle Development. They currently reside in the Greater Seattle Area and very much enjoy their place here. Val grew up knowing they were Queer even before they knew what that really meant. They just knew they were missing a piece that the vast majority seemed to have an understanding. Their journey is a slow one, which should be expected given Asexuality was virtually invisible the majority of their life. Val finally came to terms with their true identity as a Grey Asexual in their early 30s.
John is a 2nd grade teacher in Seattle who identifies as queer, transmasculine, and aromantic, and has been in the LGBTQ+ community for 25 years. In his free time, he enjoys playing poker, marathoning TV shows, and leading the drumline for the OL Reign soccer team.
PJ is an aroace aspiring screenwriter who was born and raised in Seattle. She developed a love for filmmaking in high school, and strives to increase queer representation and social progress throughout the film industry.
And the moderator:
Ashley is an Aro-Ace in aerospace. When she is not working as an engineer, she spends her free time doing a multitude of hobbies, some of the current being mixed martial arts, tabletop roleplaying games, and cooking. She has been one of the organizers for Seattle Aces and Aros for the last year and a half, lately running far too many quarantine TTRPGs.
Seattle Aces & Aros presents a free webinar, “All About the A (in LGBTQIA+)”.
The webinar will feature five panelists from our community, who will be covering an introduction to Asexual and Aromantic orientations, as well as other experiences about what it means to identify on the Ace and/or Aro Spectrums.
You are also invited to join our group’s monthly (virtual) Roundtable Discussion at 11:30am PT (on the topic “Demi and Gray Aces and Aros”) and Discussion Group at 1pm PT, on Saturday, July 11. You can register here: https://tinyurl.com/y7smtzuq.
All are welcome to join, whether or not you identify on the Ace and/or Aro Spectrums. Just know that this group’s goal is to be a comfortable space to share and discuss asexuality, aromanticism, and our experiences and questions.
We will strictly enforce a code of conduct to protect the panelists, moderators, and attendees. (No hate speech or bullying. Be kind and courteous. Respect pronouns and avoid gendered language. Refrain from using ableist language. Respect everyone’s privacy.)
I am very pleased and excited to announce that Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed that October 20th-26th is *OFFICIALLY* Asexual Awareness Week in the state of Washington!
I want to thank all of you in this group for helping make this happen! I also want to thank Governor Inslee for signing this, and giving Washington the distinction of being the first state in the nation to recognize Asexual Awareness Week.
This is a BIG deal for the ace community. As far as I’m aware, this is the first time Ace Week has been officially recognized anywhere.
Here is the ceremonial proclamation:
The State of Washington Proclamation WHEREAS asexuality is an often unknown and misunderstood sexual orientation; and WHEREAS people who are asexual but have not heard of asexuality may often feel confused, discouraged, and lonely; and WHEREAS discovering asexuality can be an affirming, positive, life-changing experience; and WHEREAS the goal of Asexual Awareness Week is to promote education and understanding about asexuality; and WHEREAS there are estimated to be at least 70,000 openly identified asexual people in the State of Washington; and WHEREAS the inclusive and diverse State of Washington is proud to be at the forefront of LGBTQIA+ recognition and acceptance; NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim October 20-26, 2019, as Asexual Awareness Week in Washington, and I encourage all people in our state to join me in this special observance. Signed this 15th day of October, 2019 [signed] Governor Jay Inslee
Seattle Aces & Aros will be presenting a workshop at the Links & Alliances Conference at Everett Community College, Saturday November 9th, 2019.
The Links & Alliances Conference is for and about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Ally, Asexual, Pansexual, 2-Spirit+ Youth. Their theme this year is “Unique & United.”
Our workshop will be “Asexuality 101” (and will also cover Aromanticism 101). “A discussion and group activity that will center on the Asexual and Aromantic Identities. Participants will learn about topics such as the wide array of identities that fall under the AroAce Umbrella, the difference between attraction and action, and how to be an AroAce advocate for yourself or as an ally.”
Tickets are free for ages 14-20, and for 21+, there’s a recommended $25 donation (limited scholarships are available).
The Conference is an all day event. We’ll be presenting twice in the afternoon.
The Seattle Aces & Aros will again be marching in the Seattle Pride Parade! We had such a blast last year that we’re doing it again! Come march with us! (It’s free and there’s no time commitment outside of the parade itself.)
The parade is on Sunday, June 30th, 2019, and runs through downtown along the mostly flat 4th Ave, from just south of Westlake Center up to Seattle Center.
We’re contingent #123, and our staging area is between Marion and Columbia on 4th Ave in Downtown Seattle. Our staging time is between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Here’s a map of the block with who is around us:
There will be a spectator group for those who want to watch the parade, but won’t be marching. Look for the flags somewhere between Pike and Bell along 4th.
Also, for the first time, we’re going to have a booth at the Capitol Hill PrideFest on June 29th. Stop by, say hi, grab some swag! We’re in the Purple zone, on Broadway between Mercer and Roy, booth P21.
Check out Facebook or Meetup for the latest updates or if you’d like to be involved.
A couple of months ago, we decided to officially change our name from the “Seattle Aces” to the “Seattle Aces & Aros”! This group has always included aros, and we recognized that we needed to make that inclusion more explicit.