Avoiding Problematic Ace Tropes and Stereotypes
So, let’s say you’ve gotten a start on writing your asexual character, and for this character’s personality you have them a bit aloof, prickly, elitist, and emotionally detached. And as you go along writing this story that your asexual character is in, you realize partway through, “Oh, no! Being aloof and emotionally detached are pervasive and harmful stereotypes about asexual people, and I just wrote an asexual character that way! How can I deal with this in a manner that is sensitive to the experiences and diversity of asexual people?”
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It’s not a terribly well-kept secret that asexual representation in media is rather dismal. What the public consciousness understands about asexuality at all is typically misinformed, if there is any information at all, so it’s not terribly surprising that asexual characters show up infrequently in fiction as a result, and when they do show up, often as inaccurate and offensive caricatures. That’s not a situation I’m happy with, so I’m constructing this guide on things to know, keep in mind, and watch out for when creating well-rounded asexual characters.
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In preparation for the upcoming publication of my fantasy erotica short story, “Red Blood, White Blood”, I’ve recently updated my “Fiction” page and created a full page dedicated to RBWB to include details on its release, but I’ll reiterate them here.
“Red Blood, White Blood”, the story of a young woman in early civilization trying to reconcile her culture’s gender roles and traditions with her identity as a transgender woman, is to be included in the anthology Blurred Lines, a collection of erotica focused on the lives of trans* and genderqueer characters. Blurred Lines will be published by Storm Moon Press and available in electronic and paperback format February 7, 2014.
I recently returned my final edits to my editor, and I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with how the story turned out. And, of course, I’m more than a little thrilled to have it included in a professional publication, particularly one that celebrates the stories and lives of trans* people. I’ll update here as more details on the release become available.