Allo-Aro Manifesto

Handdrawn illustration of a yellow pasture against a background of hills and sparodic trees. Scene is overlaid with the dark green/light green/white/yellow/gold stripes of the allo-aro pride flag. The text Aro Worlds Discussion Post sits across the image in a black, antique handdrawn type, separated by two ornate Victorian-style black dividers.

It’s easy to get caught up, in writing about allo-aro experiences with regards the a-spec and aromantic communities, in the same reactionary series of responses: don’t do this, stop doing this, this is why this is erasure, this is why this is sexualisation, this is why this is exclusion.

These conversations are necessary and needed to provoke change.

They’re also exhausting, an expression of frustration and anger that is less about my beliefs and philosophies as an allo-aro and more about challenging or correcting behaviours that harm or erase. They’re exhausting because they’re communications to, for and about the people that hurt me; they’re exhausting because even my feelings, in the end, are about asexuality. They’re beneficial to my allo-aro community in the sense that one allo-aro’s anger and frustration validates others, but they’re not communications that build understanding of what allo-aro is. Asexuality is so centred that even our activism focuses more on what asexuals do and less on what allo-aros are.

This manifesto is about, in part, the allo-aro relationship to the a-spec, aromantic, asexual and allosexual LGBTQIA+ communities. This post also outlines who I am as an allo-aro and what philosophies of identity and behaviour I bring to my dealings with other a-specs and allosexuals. It’s a blueprint, waiting for corrections and adjustments and scribbles in the margins, but it is a picture of something that will one day be.

In this post, I’m speaking to and for an audience often forgotten in allo-aro activism: my allo-aro kin.

Tenets of the Allo-Aro Community

The term allo-aro encompasses, allows and celebrates a wondrous diversity of allosexual and aromantic identities and experiences.

The “aro” in “allo-aro” always means “someone on the aromantic spectrum”.

Allo-aros with aromantic spectrum identities not solely “aromantic” are allo-aro and are entitled to talk about our allo-aro experiences in the allo-aro, aromantic and a-spec communities.

Allo-aros who experience romantic attraction are allo-aro and are entitled to talk about our aromantic-spectrum experiences of romantic attraction in allo-aro and aromantic spaces.

Allo-aros deserve our own community and accompanying spaces for safe, unrestricted expressions of our aromantic allosexuality.

Allo-aros need spaces where we do not have to shape our self-expression to fit asexual community norms.

Allo-aro content and self-expression in allo-aro spaces doesn’t have to be accessible to or comprehendible by asexuals or alloromantics.

Allo-aros are not dividing or harming the aromantic or a-spec communities by building spaces welcoming of allosexual aromantic expression, and any suggestion otherwise can be taken as an act of allo-aro erasure.

It is possible for someone to be both asexual and allosexual, and the allo-aro community will welcome that duality or fluidity.

Allo-aros who are in part asexual do not have to reject the asexual and a-spec communities to be allo-aro and do not have to prioritise one community or identity over the other.

The value allo-aros bring to our shared aromantic and a-spec communities is simply that we are allo-aro.

Allo-Aros and the Aromantic Community

“Aromantic community” encompasses all allo-aro experiences and/or identities.

Every general use of “aromantic” includes and encompasses allo-aros, and we expect and request this be honoured.

Allo-aros are no less aromantic/on the aromantic spectrum than any other aromantic.

The experience of sexual attraction doesn’t water down our aromanticism or make it “less pure” than any shape of aromanticism paired with any shape of asexuality.

There is no such thing as a “pure” form of aromanticism.

Allo-aros are not “too sexual” for general aromantic spaces, and any suggestion otherwise should be considered an act of sexualisation.

There is no aspect of the allosexual aromantic experience that doesn’t belong in general aromantic community spaces, but allo-aros recognise that not all individual spaces are suitable for all conversations.

Allo-aros are never required to save conversations regarding both sexual attraction and aromanticism for allosexual LGBTQIA+ spaces.

Allo-aros should never feel obliged to hide or diminish the existence of our sexual attraction to be accepted as aromantics.

Allo-aros are not required to make ourselves relatable to non-allosexual aromantic folks, communities and conversations in order to be accepted as aromantic and participate in the aromantic community.

Allo-aros are a fundamental, natural, central and profound part of the aromantic community, and it can’t and won’t exist without us.

Allo-aros are no less a natural part of the aromantic community than any other aromantic.

Allo-aros have every right to enter general aromantic spaces for the same things other aromantics seek: connection, friendship, understanding, support, community, identity, information, sympathy.

Allo-aros recognise that general aro-ace spaces are not general aromantic spaces.

Allo-aros have no right to, and no wish to, enter general aro-ace spaces for said connection, friendship, understanding, support, community, identity, information and sympathy on the basis of our allosexual aromanticism.

Allo-aros recognise that we share aromantic community spaces with asexual aromantics and non-SAM aros.

Allo-aros recognise and respect the need to use and provide content advisories for sexual references in shared, general aromantic spaces.

Allo-aros request an equal recognition and respect for the need to use and provide content advisories for asexual references in shared, general aromantic spaces.

Allo-aros recognise and respect the existence of sex repulsion and alienation.

Allo-aros request an equal recognition and respect for our alienation from asexual content.

The value allo-aros bring our shared aromantic community is not defined by our usefulness to non-allosexual aromantics.

Allo-Aros and the Asexual Community

“Asexual community” does not encompass allo-aro experiences or identities.

Allo-aros have no desire to enter the asexual community on the basis of our allosexual aromanticism.

Asexuality is not the default a-spec experience or identity.

Asexual-spectrum experiences and identities are not the default companions to aromantic experiences and identities.

Asexual-spectrum identities are not required to fully and equitably participate in both the aromantic and a-spec communities.

“Aro-ace” and “asexual” alone are not inclusive of allosexual aromantic experiences and identities, and allo-aros should not be forced under those umbrellas in a-spec community spaces and discussions.

If “aro-ace” and “asexual” are used to describe general a-spec spaces, communities and events, allo-aros will consider these words to be misused and request both full inclusion as allo-aros and a shift to a term that doesn’t erase our allosexuality/sexual attraction.

If “aro-ace” and “asexual” are used to describe asexual-centred spaces, communities and events, and there is no suggestion that these terms are misused, we will not, and do not wish to, participate.

If “aromantic and asexual” is used to describe any a-spec space, community or event, allo-aros will expect to be equitably included on the basis of our aromanticism.

Allo-Aros and the A-Spec Community

“A-spec community” encompasses all allo-aro experiences and/or identities.

“A-spec” and “a-spec community” never refer solely or exclusively to asexuality.

Asexual identities will never make one more a-spec than an allo-aro.

Someone who experiences no shape of attraction is not more a-spec than someone who experiences one or more shapes of it, if they are also on the aromantic or asexual spectra.

Every general use of “a-spec” includes and encompasses allo-aros, and we expect and request this be honoured.

Allo-aros are a fundamental, natural, central and profound part of the a-spec community, and it can’t and won’t exist without us.

Allo-aros are not “too sexual” for a-spec spaces.

Allo-aros should never feel obliged to hide or diminish the existence of our sexual attraction to be accepted as a-specs.

There is no aspect of the allosexual aromantic experience that doesn’t belong in general a-spec community spaces, but allo-aros recognise that not all individual spaces are suitable for conversations about sexual attraction–just as not all individual spaces are suitable for conversations about romantic attraction.

Allo-aros recognise that most a-spec communities are not appropriate conversations for sexually explicit conversations, but we will navigate these in the same way we navigate every other community space possessed of an exceptionally common social norm.

Allo-aros are no more likely to ignore social norms around sexually explicit content than any other a-spec, and any suggestion otherwise is direct allo-aro antagonism.

Discussions that refer to both an allo-aro’s sexual attraction and aromantic spectrum experiences belong in general a-spec community spaces.

Allo-aros acknowledge that sharing those spaces with other a-specs means accommodating asexual access requirements and request that our own aromantic access requirements in those shared spaces be equally accommodated.

Allo-aros expect mentions of romance and romantic attraction to be treated the same way the a-spec community treats mentions of sex and sexual attraction.

Allo-aros expect mentions of asexuality to be treated the same way the a-spec community treats mentions of allosexual aromanticism.

Allo-aros are not required to make ourselves relatable to asexual folks, communities and conversations in order to be accepted as aromantic and participate in the a-spec community.

Allo-aros have the right to expect to be defined, included and celebrated in ways that don’t treat us as adjacent to asexuality.

Allo-aros have every right to enter a-spec spaces for the same things other a-specs seek: connection, friendship, understanding, support, community, identity, information, sympathy.

Allo-aros are not occupying a-spec spaces to look for anyone to “hit on” and any suggestion otherwise is direct allo-aro antagonism.

Allo-aros are not predatory for possessing sexual attraction without alloromantic attraction and any suggestion otherwise is direct allo-aro antagonism.

The value allo-aros bring our shared a-spec community is not defined by our usefulness to allo-aces, asexuals, aro-aces and other aromantics.

Allo-Aros and Allosexual/Non-Asexual LGBTQIA+ Communities

Every general use of our sexual attraction identities (e.g. bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, abrosexual) includes and encompasses allo-aros of said identity, and we expect and request this be honoured.

Allosexual attraction identity terms like “pansexual” and “gay”, in the absence of further qualification, never refer solely or exclusively to allosexuality paired with alloromanticism.

Allo-aros will not, and have no wish to, participate in any community that specifies it only serves alloromantic allosexuals.

Allo-aros expect any allosexual LGBTQIA+ community that doesn’t specify it only serves alloromantic allosexuals to fully and equitably include us.

Allo-aros are no less or more allosexual than any alloromantic allosexual and should be included without assumption of alloromanticism in our general community spaces.

Allo-aros are not inherently more or less sexual than any other allosexual LGBTQIA+ identity.

A lack of alloromantic attraction doesn’t make our sexual attraction less pure than any shape of allosexuality paired with any shape of alloromanticism.

There is no such thing as a “pure” form of allosexuality.

Allo-aros recognise that we share allosexual LGBTQIA+ community spaces with people who are both allosexual and alloromantic.

There is no aspect of the allosexual aromantic experience that doesn’t belong in general allosexual LGBTQIA+ community spaces, but allo-aros recognise that not all individual spaces are suitable for all conversations–just as not all individual spaces are suitable for conversations about romantic attraction.

Allo-aros should never feel obliged to hide or diminish the existence of our aromanticism to be accepted as allosexuals.

Allo-aros are never required to save conversations regarding both sexual attraction and aromanticism for aromantic spaces.

Allo-aros have the right to expect to be defined, included and celebrated in ways that don’t treat us as adjacent to alloromanticism.

Allo-aros are not required to make ourselves relatable to alloromantic folks, communities and conversations in order to be accepted as allosexual and participate in allosexual LGBTQIA+ communities.

Allo-aros request recognition of and respect for our alienation from strongly-alloromantic and romance-coded content.

The value allo-aros bring our shared aromantic community is not defined by our usefulness to allosexual alloromantics.

Allo-aros are a fundamental, natural, central and profound part of the allosexual LGBTQIA+ communities, and they can’t and won’t exist without us.

Allo-aros have every right to enter general allosexual LGBTQIA+ spaces for the same things alloromantic allosexuals seek: connection, friendship, understanding, support, community, identity, information, sympathy.

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