Category: fanfiction

Interview: Adrienne

Today we’re joined by Adrienne. Adrienne is a phenomenal young up-and-coming writer who is currently studying creative writing at college in Canada. She has been writing fanfiction for years and has just started getting into original work. She’s a wonderfully enthusiastic writer with an incredibly bright future ahead of her, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a creative writer. I currently specialize in
fan-fiction and original short stories. I must admit – however, that much of
the latter is still very new to me and is currently a work in progress. 😀

What inspires you?

There’s so much! I almost don’t know where to start! A lot
of my inspiration for writing comes from the fantasy/fiction genre. A lot of my
inspiration also comes from what I see in other people’s writing/art work, as
well as what I see in my day to day activities.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

The Lord of the Rings.
I started writing self-insert fiction when I was 14, and it sort of spiraled
upwards form there.

I have always wanted to be an artist, yes. It’s fun!

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

I’m not sure that I’ve got any special sort of writing style
or anything. I guess it’s hard to figure out your own writing style when you’re
constantly editing and re-reading it. ;D

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep writing! Keep drawing! Keep doing! It’s super hard, I
know. But you must try!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am pretty firm on the asexual part of the spectrum. There
are other unrelated attractions there as well, but all in all – pretty firm on
the asexual part.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I have been fortunate enough to not have experienced any
sort of ace prejudice or ignorance in my field yet.

There have been a couple encounters where I’ve had to
explain my sexuality with close friends, but otherwise no negative feedback
yet.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I have been most fortunate in having friends and family who
have accepted my sexuality and have made attempts to learn more about what it
is to be asexual.

That’s not to say that there are no misconceptions about
asexuality, only that I have been lucky in my personal experiences.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

Your identity is real. What you experience is real. You are
valid. You are not alone.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

My work can mainly be found at diariesofawaywardwriter.wordpress.com.

Thank you, Adrienne, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Sabrina

Today we’re joined by Sabrina, who also goes by
how-to-sit-gay. Sabrina is a phenomenal writer and dancer from Germany. She has recently picked up fanfiction again after a five year hiatus. She started writing fanfiction over ten years ago and wrote in a variety of fandoms. When she isn’t writing fic, Sabrina writes a lot of original work, mostly short fiction and poetry. Aside from writing, Sabrina also danced quite a lot. She danced in a
Gardetanzgruppe, which is part of carnival culture in Western and Southern Germany (for an example, here’s a video). My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please,
tell us about your art.

It feels like I’ve been writing stories since I
was able to spell my name, even though this might be far from true. I wrote my
first proper fanfiction back in 2005, but I started writing poems and original
stories before that, way back to when I was in elementary school. Since then I
have written more short stories and poems than I can count, apart from
fanfiction.

Gardetanz is a very special dancing style that is
deeply rooted in the carnival culture of Western and Southern Germany. I
started dancing when I was a wee little 7 year old and only stopped 17 years
later when I moved away to a federal state that has no carnival traditions
whatsoever and hence no dance group for me to join. I still miss it so much.
Luckily, any kind of dancing or working with my body still comes naturally to
me.

What
inspires you?

Usually it is my latest obsession, which I think
is not uncommon for fanfiction writers. I’m quite often inspired by songs –
some lyrics fragment that just makes me immediately develop a scene in my head.

When it comes to original stories or poems I draw
a lot from personal experience, especially when it’s about struggle or going
into the dark places of one’s mind. I’ve only ever written two “happy” poems in
my whole life, and that just to prove myself that I can.

What got
you interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

Looking back, it seems like I was born with a
pencil in my hand. Always either drawing or writing. And when I was not holding
a pencil, I was running and dancing around. Little Me didn’t care for her 39.5
°C fever, she just needed to relentlessly jump and flail.

How and why I started dancing I is a simple story.
Our across the street neighbour told my mother about starting a children’s
dancing group in our local carnival club, and she thought this would be a nice
way to have me use my pent up energy. It was one of her best decisions.

I never wanted to be any kind of artist, or at least
I hadn’t planned to. In the end I just became Me with a raving passion to
create stories, and to move my body.

Do you have
any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your
work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I don’t, except you count the main characters
having a snarky and sarcastic kind of banter going on. This just happens
naturally. But I’m actually thinking about implementing something like this
now, like in Bones where there’s always a clock showing 4:47 in key scenes.

What advice
would you give young aspiring artists?

Go for it. And of course practice makes (almost)
perfect. It’s actually a good sign when you look at your old work and cringe a
little (or a lot in my case), because it shows that you’ve grown and improved
yourself. This counts for works both of the mind and the body.

ASEXUALITY

Where on
the spectrum do you identify?

It’s really hard to tell, the safest bet would be
grey-asexual, but there are times when I go “full ace” for different lengths of
time. As I have figured out thanks to my last relationship, if there is any
sexual attraction to happen it definitely isn’t towards male identifying
persons. Romantically I’m pan, though.

Have you
encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Not personally, so far. I think when it comes to
writing fanfiction where people try to live out their own fantasies (not
necessarily sex-wise), there are a lot of misconceptions about ace writers.
Yes, I am ace. Yes, I can enjoy reading smutty scenes. Yes, I am also capable
of writing them myself and have already done so. No, I’m not an innocent child
who squeals ‘ewwww’ as soon as the characters kiss.

I don’t know how it is with dancing. Luckily for
me, Gardetanz isn’t a dancing style loaded with sexual undertones, even though
the skirts are so short and your panties are visible most of the time. In my
group there was never any other sexuality discussed than heterosexuality, so I
don’t even know if my fellow dancers realised I was and still am utterly queer.
In the end, probably the same common misconceptions apply there as in most
other cases.

What’s the
most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

First and foremost of course, that it doesn’t
exist and I just haven’t had good sex yet. That it’s not natural. That I must
have lived through some trauma but maybe can be ‘repaired’.

When I was looking for a therapist for my
depression and anxiety, one said to me that I probably don’t want to have sex
because I’m such a closed off person. That woman never saw me again.

And being on Tumblr for quite some time now, I
noticed the astounding misconception that ace people don’t belong to the
LGBTQIA+ community, that we’re basically just prude/virgin hets-to-happen. The
first ones I can shrug off, the latter one really riles me up.

What advice
would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling
with their orientation?

Don’t doubt yourself and your feelings (or lack
thereof), everything you experience and feel is valid. You don’t need to put a
tag on yourself if you can’t or don’t want to. There are times it feels like
the world just wants to spit in your face, but there will be a time all that
sh*t will go away to make room for all the good things.

I basically try to live by some wise words by
Charlie Chaplin: “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our
troubles.”

Finally,
where can people find out more about your work?

After a very long writing hiatus, I finally
published a fanfiction again. It can be found on AO3 under my username how_to_sit_gay. I’m
thinking about uploading my old (English) RP fanfiction after re-reading and
editing it as well, but this might take some time.

Said old tennis RPF can be found at poetry-of-dance.livejournal.com/tag/fic
but I probably really have to revise them as they are more than 8 years old.
Last but not least, a lot of my German short stories and (revised) fanfics
(2006-2009) are on fanfiktion.de/u/AngelOfFreedom

Unfortunately there are no videos from our Garde
performances online. You have to search YouTube for “Gardetanz” to get an
impression of it.

Thank you, Sabrina, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Holmesienne

Today we’re joined by Holmesienne. Holmesienne is a wonderful writer who is currently focused on writing a novel but also writes fanfiction and for Role Playing. She is incredibly passionate about writing and loves talking about the subject. Holmesienne is clearly a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Well, I like to
do all sorts of art (even though I’m not so good at all of them) but the one I
feel very connected to is writing. I have always been interested in this art,
even though I didn’t considered it as such back then. It was just something I
enjoyed doing and nothing more. Since I was a kid I kind of wrote every time I
could, littles pieces of stories coming straight out of my mind. It was not
exactly the same topics, themes, characters or writing style I used at the
time, but this is how it works after all. It has helped me growing up, and
improving my writing abilities as well.

Now, I write
different kind of stuff. I’m focused on a novel for the time being, and I write
a fanfiction on the side too. Plus, I’m part of the Role Play community, so I’m
always torn between the three of them. Despite my inability to choose what I
want to write on most days, I’m always attached to the same thing: the style.
Well, I mean, I try to use the same style to write my RPs and fanfictions the
same way I do when I’m typing for the novel. Even though one seems less
“important” for some matter, I just can’t write something I haven’t put myself
into it with my bare soul. I guess I put a part of me in everything I write and
that’s why I’m so slow, cause I have some kind of self-sacrifice to make (I
mean, my energy, not some other thing super gore-like).

Anyway, to
describe my style it’s really difficult for me to explain cause I don’t think I
could find the right words which fit my writing abilities. It’s not pretentious
or some shit like that, I really can’t find THE word to summarize it all, but I
could try to give a shot at some kind of explanation. I guess the best words I
could use to describe the style is: detailed and kind of explicit descriptions
of landscapes/situations/feelings, so that an impression can emerge and readers
permeate themselves with the combination of the said impression and the
atmosphere depicted, to guess the implicit meaning of the sentences and the
story in general. Sorry if it doesn’t make sense in English, but it’s the best
I can do to grasp the very substance of it all.

I also try to
approach some difficult subjects to give some kind of depth to the story. What I
mean by that is that I’m not familiar with light subject and little connection.
I like it when I can find a deep bond between situations, a strong explanation
as to how it connects and how it will affect the future of the story, and so
on. The difficult subjects I talk about are somehow linked to the troubles we
all experience at some point in life. It’s not always the case, sometimes I
don’t address it at all. But I always try to show that nothing’s always black
or white, that everything’s kind of grey, no matter the nuances.

I think I can cut
it now. It will do.

What inspires you?

Honestly,
everything. The situations I see/read about everyday kind of inspire me at some
point, some structures too I guess, like buildings or shops and even
landscapes. Songs or videos I watch on TV or on the Internet. But the thing
that inspires me the most is the weather. The grey or night kind of weather.
The rainy and stormy kind too. Every time I go outside, I look at the grey sky,
the thick clouds, the bright stars, the pale moon, the ragging storm, the
sparkling lightning, the rain pouring down. That’s what inspires me. Because I
just stay there, inhale and permeate myself with the atmosphere emanating from
this kind of weather. I imagine my characters or some situations linked to this
aura, and it just strikes me. Every time I feel like I don’t know how to start
a sentence, I just get out and it’s there, hanging in the air. Just for my
imagination to reach out for.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you always
wanted to be an artist?

I can’t remember,
really. I guess everything I had to do in my life had put me in this place
right now. Had made me fond of the art of the literature, even though I hated
these classes back then when I was still at school. I was not super interested
in this field at first, I was just happy to wrote things when I had an idea at
the time. With nothing to bother me and no strings attached.

Now, I still
don’t consider myself like an author or a writer, but I would find it amazing
if I could become a professional artist in my field. I’m just an amateur for
the time being, but I guess I’ll see what’s next to come for me. Whatever will
happen in the future, I would just be glad if I could still write on my spare
time. No matter what.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

I think I do
yeah. When I write, I like to include some words corresponding to a certain
domain. A unique category of words, linked to a specific setting. It’s a
cluster of themes I’m more aspiring to write about. The category is: the dark.
I always write words linked to the dark, to describe different things, like a
situation, a landscape, a feeling. I mostly use those words: obscure, shadow,
dusk, opaque, oblivion, naught, and so on. And I also use terms that are
contrasting to them, to impose some kind of duality (cluster words about light
for example).

It’s my signature
and certainly the strongest feature of the things I write.

Sometimes, I like
to add some symbols here and there, to cut the story at one point and show that
the following sentences belong to another section of work. This is how I write
the most, because I always write one situation at a time, and to just mix it up
or rush the story is really not my cup of tea.

(It’s probably
how you will recognize me if you ever read my stuff.)

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

The more
important thing you have to remember when you do your art is that it’s for you
FIRST. You do what you want for you. You make things you like for you. When you
get to become or consider yourself as an artist, please, remember this. Do
what’s best for you. Do what you enjoy. Do what you like.

If there’s
something you want so badly to see in art and no one has ever done it before,
just do it! Do not hold back for anything in your life, especially for art
because it’s directly linked to you. To your very being and your soul, to your
beautiful spirit.

And please,
another thing you absolutely have to remember and to know: do not wait for
others to criticize (or worst, evaluate) your stuff without them knowing what
you intend to do. Do not lay your work in other hands (unless it’s collective
art) because it will not feel like it’s your work anymore.

Last thing you
have to understand it that it’s okay when you have no motivation or don’t have
time at all. Don’t feel bad and don’t put yourself down over your work because
of this. You will get through it and you will get back to your stuff.

Little trick for
you all, if you don’t feel confident enough : I always tell everyone that, if
you do something you like, it’s because you know you’re good at it. Otherwise
you would have ended it sooner than later or stopped it a long time ago.

Believe in you ♥

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as
demisexual. But mostly I tell people I’m just asexual so that I don’t have to
explain all the time the specificity of my real identity. It’s sometimes
exhausting to describe what it means to those who don’t know or understand what
it is. But, every chance I get and when I have time, I correct myself and tell
them who I am and how I identify. It’s important for everyone to grasp the
signification and for us to expand the representation.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Personally, I
haven’t met ace prejudice in my field, but I do have encountered some ignorance
in real life. Some people are not informed or show some misconceptions about
what it means to be asexual.

When it happens
IRL, I always stand my ground and explain to them the aspects of being ace,
what it means, what it really is. Because it’s my identity and I will not let
anyone disregard myself for it just because they know shit about this and won’t
take the effort to inform themselves over it.

On the other
hand, when I see some posts on the internet about our community, I reblog them,
I retweet them. I’m not fluent enough in English to explain out of the blue
everything about asexuality to people on the internet. However, when it’s in my
native language, I can tell almost everything there is to know about the
community and the spectrum.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I have two
misconceptions in mind but they are somehow linked.

The first is that
people that are ignorant on the matter think that asexuality means we don’t
like or practice sex at all. It’s infuriating because there are asexual that
love sex. It’s not about the act itself (in general I mean, but I understand if
the repulsion of the act is a part of why someone identify as ace) but more
about sexual desire and sexual attraction. They are “lacking” or “low” most of
the time for asexual but it doesn’t mean that it’s unnatural. How can someone
believe it’s unnatural? It’s just normal.

The second is the
fact that everyone always have to give the “It’s because you haven’t met the
right person, yet!” card. And for that, I’m kind of biased since I’m demi,
because I get why it’s the matter sometimes. Even though it’s more about the
connection between one ace person and their partner (romantic or not)  that is important for this aspect. You trust
some people with this, and there are people you just don’t. But it’s not the
matter altogether. The reason this pretense is also false is that you can met
whoever you like, it will not change anything about your asexuality. You are
and always will be a part of the community, no matter what.

There are so many
more misconceptions I could talk about but I never encountered anything else,
so I will stop here.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

It’s probably not
what you would want to read but making your own researches help a lot at first.
That way you can focus on what’s important for you, and get to know how to
better identify yourself.  (However I
understand that if you are completely lost on the beginning it will not be the
better point to get across, especially if you don’t know the word asexuality).

You can also talk
with ace people on the internet after logging on some forums or read through
ace positivity blogs. Asks those who are willing to help you, they will be
happy to do it. Search for associations or clubs or documents or even
interviews, and so on. On the internet or in real life too.

The most
important thing is that once you get to identify yourself, everything else will
not be so hard anymore. You are scared to do your ace coming-out? Don’t. You
want to do it? Do it. Just remember to not push yourself to fit into society
while you’re here with something so special that it makes you unique. But, so
long as you are happy and in terms with yourself, it’s all that will matter.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

You can find my
fanfic(s) on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Holmesienne/works

Also I have short
“poems” on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kt_Chup

I would
absolutely adore to share the stories of the characters I write about (not for
the novel, but for the RP on forums) and I think I will post them soon on
Tumblr (in my native language): http://coloraldreamx.tumblr.com/

Hopefully I will
probably finish the novel one day too and post it on the internet, who knows.
There’s also a chance I will post facts about the story’s characters on Tumblr,
and maybe some one shots if I ever made other ones too.

Thank you, Holmesienne, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Jacob

Today we’re joined by Jacob, who is known on social media as Jacob’s Jottings. Jacob is a phenomenal author who writes both original fiction, nonfiction, and fanfiction. For nonfiction, he writes about autism and mental health for the site “The Mighty.” For fiction, he has mostly written fanfiction and original short stories, but has recently taken on two large projects. One involves a detective in post-war Britain and the other is about an autistic wizard (which is something i would absolutely love to read because it sounds fantastic). It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a writer, and I’ve really started to come out of my
shell in the last few years. I’ve always written short stories and never shown
them to anyone before, but that changed when my friends started writing
fan-fiction, and my English teacher at college told me to attend a creative
writing club.

Though I’m still very private about my larger projects, I
started publishing articles for mental health site The Mighty, one of those
articles received 32,000 hearts on the site, and got shared a lot on social media,
so I started to say to myself ‘what if people would like my creative work too?’
and here I am now, writing two large scale projects, one about an autistic
wizard, the other about a detective in post-war Britain. Not just that, but I
published some fan-fiction of my own, and I found once that was out there, I
found it a lot easier to write without much self-doubt.

I’ve recently finished college, and I’ve been accepted onto
the Creative Writing BA course at a university I’ve dreamed about going to for
years. I’m hoping this will really make my dream of being a full-time writer a
reality, even if it takes years to take off.

As well as writing, I also do a bit of photography, and some
digital design. I make all my own covers for my projects, as well as posters
for events, and I love going out and taking pictures. I often use the pictures
for reference for my writing, and it’s a great skill to have alongside.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration in many things, mainly everyday life. But
I often find myself looking into what I loved as a child, certainly what
comforted me. Sometimes this is in the form of stories by other authors, such
as J. K Rowling, or Terry Pratchett, but other times its films and music, or
most importantly to me: knowledge. Plants, animals, and space particularly
always have heavy presence in my stories, and that’s because I love to learn
new things.

I’ve always written to escape the real world, so I suppose
it is natural that my other methods of escape blend well with this, I often
find that going to a museum or exhibition particularly fuels my writing, it
often ends in me trying to fit a lot into one box- my wizarding story contains
as much knowledge of the natural world as it does fictional magic for example.  

What got you interested
in your field?  Have you always wanted to
be an artist?

I’ve always been creative, and I was sure I wanted to
utilise that in some way, but could never find an exact form that suited me. I
tried art, and drama, and found myself not ever truly comfortable. I mainly
thank books, films, and television, for getting me into writing. The idea of
making my own stories was irresistible! I cannot pinpoint when it exactly
started happening, probably about five years ago, but I finally found that
writing (alongside reading and watching) was the most enjoyable thing to do. Then
it all fell into place, and I find myself writing all the time, even if it
never gets added to again- it’s fun.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

Oh definitely! The infinity symbol finds its way into most
of the stuff I write, not just because of its use by the autistic rights
movement, but because of my fascination with the concept behind the symbol. I
also always incorporate types of birds as symbolism- usually owls, or penguins,
as they’re my favourite, penguins especially.

Playing with colour is something I’ve recently moved into, I
don’t have a single character that does not heavily associate themselves with
colours and their meanings, even if it is just a subtle inclusion. Blue for my
protagonists usually, a colour I use not only to create a cold atmosphere, but
also to show the presence of intelligence, imagination, and peace. Reds and
oranges meanwhile shows up my more passionate and instinctual characters, with
purple showing a combination of the two.

I also love playing with imagery, with many of my characters
having ‘hair the colour of fertile soil’ or the ‘great spurts of an ancient
wine, hemorrhaging profusely’- it can feel a bit forced sometimes, but it often
pays off, and I find it a great way of illustrating the worlds I’ve made.

I’m also told I tell stories in a unique way, my friend
recently commented that when she reads my writing, I am clearly telling the
story, rather than just creating it. I’ve never quite understood this
evaluation, but I’ve heard it quite a few times in several forms.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

It sounds cliché- but I would say just do whatever you love!
I spent far too long worrying about what others think, and though that matters
if you want to make a career out of it, the initial starting of a new art is a
solo-activity. If painting makes you happy- paint! Everyone I know who does
something creative for a living started off doing it to just kill time, or to
help them with another activity, and it grew from there.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I use the label asexual as standard, to me, this means not
feeling sexual attraction. I’m confident in identifying as a sex positive
asexual, but I’m yet to 100% settle on my romantic orientation.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I think one of the strangest encounters in my life was when
I first explained asexuality to someone, without attaching the label to myself.
I was told its ‘unnatural’- for this reason, in my private life, I don’t talk
about my sexuality until prompted.

I also find that some in my age group is often sex-obsessed,
I’ve often been labelled prudish just for not wanting to talk about sex, and I
find it very hard to try and express my frustration with that. I am not at all
prudish, I just think about it completely differently to they do!

I incorporate it into my work- I actually find it harder to
write allosexual characters, and therefore many of my characters are asexual by
accident! And I do worry that some people won’t understand the representation
if they haven’t experienced it first-hand, but I do my best to write characters
that educate as well as represent now.

Outside of my field, I see prejudice and ignorance
regularly, insults such as ‘frigid’ and so on, I also see the constant
discourse present on sites such as Tumblr, and though I do my best to keep out,
I sometimes worry for our community, I hate the idea that anyone who identifies
as asexual will feel like it isn’t valid or can’t talk about it in case they’re
verbally attacked.

As an autistic person, I also find that some people think my
asexuality is part of that. I don’t think it is- and it’s quite insulting to
assume that someone’s sexuality is part of their sensory issues for example.
The two often overlap for me, and I also know autistics that do feel sexual
attraction and have those sensory issues anyway. Some people in both
communities would even say their sensory difficulties enhance their sexual
experiences.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Personally, I find that the definition of asexual is often mis-identified.
It means lacking sexual attraction. But I know people who are completely
convinced it simply means ‘won’t have sex, or won’t masturbate’- it is often a
pain to try and debate it with them, and I find myself bringing up articles
from the community to back my side up.

I don’t like discussing the personal details of my own
asexuality in too much depth with people who might not understand, and therefore
I think the extra labels of ‘sex positive’ are really useful when discussing
asexuality, as well as the other identities within the spectrum.

At the end of the day though, the only person other than me
who has a right to that deeper information is a partner, and I don’t think
asexuals should ever feel pressured to dissect their identities for another
person’s curiosity or because of an ignorant person’s misconceptions.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

Firstly, it is okay to struggle! I found it incredibly hard
to find the orientation that best described me. I still think sexual
orientation is a fluid concept, and I think people who are struggling should
remember that. If something doesn’t feel right, find the label that does feel
right, and don’t feel guilty if that changes. Some asexuals might not find that
identity for a long time.

I myself often find myself wondering if I might be aromantic
as well as asexual, or demisexual instead of asexual, this is a natural part of
development. Just as sexuality in all its forms is natural. A lot of people go
through that internal debate. And nobody should ever be afraid of using the
label that best suits them.

I would also repeat that the only person who needs to be
happy is you. Come out at your own pace. Experience your sexuality at your own
pace. Some people don’t find the identity they’re most comfortable with until
they’re halfway through life, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

There’s a thriving asexual and LGBT+ community waiting to
help you through it all, and the right people within it are not going to judge
you for struggling.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

People can find my work in several places. For a more personal
touch, there’s my own Tumblr blog which is at jacobs-jottings, or my AO3 under the
same name (but without a hyphen).

As well as this there’s my new Facebook page, also called
Jacob’s Jottings, and my user page on The Mighty, under my full name-
Jacob Durn. If anyone is curious, my photography can be found easily on Instagram, where my
username is identical to my AO3 one.

My blog has a bit of everything (including personal posts,
and lots of reblogs), my AO3 some fanfiction, and soon some original works, whilst
the last two focus on my non-creative work.

Thank you, Jacob, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Caw

Today we’re joined by Caw. Caw is a wonderful young fanartist who writes fanfiction for a number of different fandoms. She enjoys writing for people with similar interests to enjoy and enjoys writing as a hobby. It’s clear she’s a dedicated artist who really enjoys writing, as  you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I write fanfiction for communities such as Sander Sides, The
Phandom (Dan & Phil), and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi but I have been planning a
very own original story of my own for the last year, I’m happy to say I’ll be
publishing the first chapter on October 1st!

What inspires you?

I’d have to say my best friends and quotes from my idols!
Dan or danerkuu as many know her is such an inspiration to me, she’s always
been there when I needed her and I cherish every waking moment we share
together. When it comes to a single quote that still gets me is by Daniel
Howell, “You are an independent mind in this universe that can do anything and
everything you have ever dreamed of.”

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

Well, at first I was intrigued after reading fanfictions
about Inuyasha couples so I decided to give it a try and subconsciously it was
really to cope with some past trauma of mine through characters I cherished and
stories I put them in.

Do
you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you
include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Crutches. It comes from a catchphrase of mine, “When the
entire world breaks your legs, I’ll be your crutches always.”

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Fail. Fail over and over and over and over again because
then you learn, you become wise and you adapt to the constructive criticism you
get. Don’t give up, keep practicing, keeping making your art whatever it may be
because if you keep trying that means you’re making progress. It took me three
years to get here and I’m still learning. There’s no perfection but progress is
so much better than perfection because guess what? That means there’s always
something new to learn, some mistake to make, and something to improve which
makes you an even better artist.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Apothisexual, I identify as asexual and I’m sex-repulsed by
the idea of sex. I really just prefer cuddles and kisses honestly! I prefer to
just say asexual but if you want the detail answer, that’s the closest hit
home!

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Not necessarily in my field since I’ve only discovered it
recently and I haven’t been attacked either but I am scared for that prejudice.
I know Tumblr is split on what to think about asexuality and one of my family
members isn’t keen on believing my sexual identity. He’s said I couldn’t
possibly know what I am because apparently my hormones haven’t hit yet although
I know that’s not true.

What’s the most common
misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

To be honest, I didn’t hear about it much before 2018 Pride
Month but looking through forum discussions and the like, people think we just
can’t find the one suddenly spark that sexual attraction.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

You don’t have to know what you are exactly, I was very
hesitant to say I’m apothisexual because that might be wrong but I’m pretty
comfortable with it and I think that’s the best thing to go with. If you feel
comfortable with your label, then that’s your label! I’m happy just being
labeled as asexual and I prefer it actually. Don’t feel a rush to place label
on yourself either, you don’t have to place yourself in a box because no one is
a perfect size for any box society tries to force upon us!

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

Well, you can always ask on my Tumblr about it and you can
read my stories on a few sites; Tumblr,
Wattpad, Archive of Our Own, and
Amino under the same name I am now – cawerkuu. I talk about when I’m writing on
my Instagram, the same
username, as well if they’d like to follow that, I’m much more active on it!

Thank you, Caw, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Jess Renae Curtis

Today we’re joined by Jess Renae Curtis, who also goes by Jess or Pup. Jess is the phenomenal artist behind PuppyLuver Studios. She does mostly fan work at the moment but has also recently branched out into original work. She is currently dabbling with creating an original universe. Jess is mostly a digital artist and creates both fanart and original characters through drawing. Her work is bright and colorful, capturing the viewer and drawing them in. It shows an amazing attention to detail. It’s clear she’s an extraordinarily talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m both a writer and a digital artist. My illustrations are
generally focused on characters, both original designs and those from fandoms
I’m involved in, and tend to use a lot of varied color. My writing is involved
in both fanfiction (notable ones I’m working on at the moment include Chronicles of Tajiria, a Pokémon series but with the Pokémon as
people with superpowers/magic, and Sonata
in Triplicate
, a Legend of Zelda
AU series) and my original series Theia
Historica
, of which I have the first entry (titled A Kingdom of Children) published.

What inspires you?

I don’t really have a definite answer for that, it could be
just about anything depending on what sort of thing or things it ends up
inspiring. I’ve had small one-page comics based on something funny that
happened to me while playing a video game, I’ve designed a character because a
YouTuber I follow posted a video of himself shaving his beard with a razor that
I initially thought looked like an owl, I’ve drawn pieces based on something
funny a friend said to me, lots of things. In fact, the general art direction
of Theia Historica has its roots in
one very specific part in the PS2 role-playing game Okage: Shadow King, but it’s a long explanation so that’s a story
for another time.

What got you interested
in your field?  Have you always wanted to
be an artist?

I’ve been drawing ever since I was a little kid, and while I
always liked drawing it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life for the longest
time. Funnily enough, my first career choices were astronaut and veterinarian,
before I realized that the things in space kinda scared me and I was squeamish
about blood and other bodily fluids, so around middle school I decided to try a
career path that I already had some skill and comfort in. I started
storytelling shortly after becoming literate, though unlike visual art that was
always something I could see myself doing professionally, though more as an
“after I’m done being an astrovet” thing than as part of my main career.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

Can’t think of anything in particular except for the star
that I use as my watermark (a five-point star with each point being a different
color of the rainbow except for orange). Also in major writing projects I tend
to find some way or another to put myself in there. Just…self-insert in the
background, there I am.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

If you’re feeling discouraged about your skill level,
remember to keep trying and that you can only get better. You’ve got wonderful
visions that’ve been concocted solely by the processes of your imagination, and
only you can bring them to life for the world to see. Also, don’t pay attention
to what cringe culture says. Make that multicolor Sonic OC if you want. Write a
short story about you getting transported to your favorite fictional world and
becoming best buds with the main characters if doing so cheers you up when
you’re feeling down. Don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying something that
makes you happy and doesn’t hurt others.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m a sex-repulsed asexual. I’m not entirely sure yet of
where I fall in regards to romantic attraction, but if I were to try dating I
think I’d want my first attempts at romantic experiences to be with women.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Not specifically in my field, no, and I don’t really know
how I would handle it if I were to encounter prejudice that was physical or
coming from a position of authority. Most people I’ve told about my asexuality
are a bit confused as to what it means at first, but once I explain they’re
generally supportive. I have had encounters with people who flat-out refused to
believe that I was an adult who didn’t enjoy sex and couldn’t ever imagine
doing so, but that one was on me for commenting on a video explicitly titled “Why Does Sex Feel Good?” and saying that I
couldn’t understand why sex-havers craved it so strongly (I mean, I technically
can, cuz if sex weren’t at least somewhat pleasurable to those willingly
engaging in it then the species would die out because then no one would be
boinking and possibly making babies) and I thought the whole societal obsession
with it was a bit ridiculous. I kinda walked into that one, and I ended up just
muting that conversation and moving on.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

If they don’t outright dismiss the possibility of
asexuality/aromanticism existing, they tend to assume all asexual people share
my feelings in that sex is something they wish to avoid. While I am not one of
them, there are obviously plenty of asexuals who either are indifferent or even
enjoy sex as an activity. I’m put off by all the mess that I’ve heard results
from a typical sexual encounter to even consider trying it, but I will never
knock on any sex-positive or sex-neutral aces.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

Not having a sexual or romantic attraction is just as normal
as having a sexual or romantic attraction to people of a different gender, the
same gender, or multiple genders. You’re not broken just because all your peers
are ogling “sexy” celebrities and you find yourself feeling indifferent to the
whole thing. And don’t listen to all the highly vocal exclusionists plaguing
the internet that say a-spec people don’t belong. They are the minority given
megaphones, and the majority of LGBT groups and spaces are inclusive of
a-specs.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

You can find my stuff on DeviantART under the username PuppyLuver, and on Tumblr, Twitter, FanFiction.net,
and AO3 under the
username PuppyLuver256. I also have a Redbubble store and a
Patreon.

Thank you, Jess, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Abby Grace

Today we’re joined by Abby Grace. Abby is a wonderful writer and musician. They have been playing the cello for over ten years and are even studying for a degree in it. They’re also going for a degree in English Literature and have written both fanfiction and original poetry. As if that’s not impressive enough, Abby has also recently taken up crochet. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a writer and musician – specifically, I write various
fanfictions, and some original poetry, and have been playing music from the age
of four. My main instrument is the cello, which I’ve played for almost 12 years
now. I’m lucky enough to have been able to pursue both of these passions, and
am currently at university studying English Literature and picking up a minor
in cello. I also recently picked up crocheting.

I’ve had two original poems published in the past, in Skipping Stones (an international
children’s magazine). Personally, though, I feel most accomplished about my
work whenever I receive a heartfelt review on my fanfics. I’ve actually cried
over a couple of emotional reviews on a specific story, “Firsts,” which is
about a trans character trying on his first binder. I also recently started
sharing some of the funnier stories from my life and my family, and am
considering collecting them into a book of short stories.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere – from silly things overheard
in public to major life events to watching a storm roll in. Inspiration for
art, no matter what medium, is everywhere.

There are a few specific people who inspire me every day,
though. My grandmother, who was known locally for her amazing quilts, didn’t
learn how to sew until her late twenties. I crochet to feel closer to her. Janelle
Monáe, who is so unapologetically herself at every turn. Yo-Yo Ma, the
best-known cellist in the world, who is still so kind and friendly as to grin
widely and give a fist bump to a shy fourteen year old who plays the cello,
too.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

I’ve always loved reading and writing, it’s been an
important part of me for as long as I can remember. More than half of my family
is musically-inclined in some way or another, too, so it was really less of an
‘if’ I would be a musician, and more of a ‘when.’ There’s definitely a few pictures
in a family album somewhere of me sitting on my grandfather’s lap at the piano,
looking absolutely delighted as he shows me that pressing the keys makes sound.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

Hm, I don’t believe I have anything that I work into every
piece I do. A lot of my poetry involves stars in some way, but that’s just
because I really like space.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be discouraged by only
getting a couple of notes or kudos, or even nothing at all. You still have
something valuable to share with the world – the world just takes a little
while sometimes to notice it. I have one fanfic that has the most kudos of that
specific ship on AO3… and I have 10 fanfics with less than 30. I have even more
with less than 3 comments. Don’t worry about the numbers. Focus on doing your
best.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Demisexual

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Luckily, I have yet to see anything specific in the general
writing and music communities. Within fandom itself, however, I have most certainly
seen people attack others for being ace and/or aro and trying to identify with
a character by suggesting that they are also ace and/or aro.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That we are frigid, unfeeling, or that asexuality isn’t ‘a
thing’ and is just ‘attention-seeking.’ I hear this most often in regards to
demisexuality.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

Be confident in yourself. And if you’re not, ask questions!
Talk to the community – most people are happy to chat and help where they can.
It’s something that I wish I had done more when I was younger. It could have
helped me avoid a seriously bad time.

Finally, where can people
find out more about your work?

I’m on AO3 (DarthAbby), and Tumblr (main
butim-justharry) (side – official-cello). Please feel free
to send an ask or private message to either blog if you want to talk!

Thank you, Abby, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Ell

Today we’re joined by Ell. Ell is a phenomenal fanfiction writer who writes in a few different fandoms. She’s currently focused on Star Trek and Babylon 5, but has also written some Sherlock fics. She is very passionate about fandom and finds a great deal of enjoyment through writing fics. It’s clear she’s a very talented and dedicated writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I write fanfiction. I mostly write for my ships from Star Trek and Babylon 5 at the moment, but I sometimes write for other things. My
first published fanfictions were Sherlock
ones. I love fanfiction and fanfiction writing because the community is (for
the most part) amazing! There are so many lovely and interesting people I have
met through reading and writing fanfiction.

What inspires you?

All sorts of things inspire me! Personal experiences, other
fanfictions I’ve read, songs, anything could inspire me! Mostly it’s personal
experience (or wanting a personal experience) and stories I want to give
characters that I feel deserve it. My friends and fellow writers also inspire me.
Their stories always seem so carefully thought out, and they’re never afraid to
do something different.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

I have adored writing since I was 8 years old. I actually
started out writing original stories. Now I look back on my first story and
think it’s really cringey, but I also know that that was where I started, and
look at me now! I may only have two complete original stories, but I stuck with
almost all of the fanfiction I started, and I know that just as much effort has
gone into those stories as my original ones, if not more so. I can’t actually
remember how I got into fanfiction writing. I guess I just started to read a
lot of it and thought that maybe I could do it too!

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

I usually project at least one thing about myself onto the
character I relate to most. Whether that is my sexuality or my state of mind. I
also tend to focus on writing from the point of view of the character I don’t
relate to that much but still love just as much. For example, when I’m writing
Spock/McCoy, I usually focus on McCoy. I also usually put an author’s note
before the beginning of a chapter.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Dare to be different. Go against stereotypes. If something
hasn’t been done that you think should be, do it yourself. That may seem scary,
but if you care enough about it, your care will overrun your fear.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromantic. I am also mostly
sex-repulsed.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I have not, thank god! And I hope I never do, though that’s
unlikely. I know that there is a lot of it out there, and what to expect, so
I’m prepared.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That we’re all the same. That if one of us is sex-repulsed,
so are all of us. That if one of us is aromantic, so are the rest of us. We are
not all the same, and people need to realize that.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

Go with your heart. If your heart says you’re asexual,
believe it. If it’s confused, maybe look up some other a-spec orientations.
Don’t trust people who aren’t asexual to tell you whether you are or aren’t
asexual.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

I post things occasionally on my Tumblr, which is fangirl-star.

My active fanfiction account is on Archive of Our Own is FangirlStar. I post my
Star Trek and Babylon 5 fanfiction on there, along with a few other bits and
pieces. The ships I currently write for are Spock/Leonard McCoy (Star Trek) and Vir Cotto/Lennier (Babylon 5), but I’m going to start
writing Thor/Bruce Banner (Marvel) soon. Everything I post on there is slash
and rated T at most. I only ever imply at sexual content.

My very first fanfiction account, which I don’t post on
anymore, is Ellis
Jenkins
on FanFiction.net. About two thirds of my stuff on there is Sherlock Holmes. I wrote OC/Mycroft
Holmes. My very early Star Trek slash
is on there as well.

Thank you, Ell, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Hampermarketplace

Today we’re joined by Hampermarketplace, who also goes by Sophie. Sophie is a phenomenal visual artist and fanartist. For visual art, they mostly do digital illustration, both original work and fanart, They also do some photography as a hobby. Aside from that, Sophie also cosplays and writes fanfiction. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Sure thing! I’m mostly a digital artist, though I don’t know
if “drawing” or “painting” describes best what I do, but in any case, I have a
lot of fun doing it. I draw a lot of Homestuck,
(I’m unfortunately rather obsessed with it—and it’s easy to share online), but
I also do original work, when the inspiration strikes. Since, when it comes to
hobbies, I’m very much a jack of all trades, I’ve done writing (I once wrote a
40k fanfic, several one-shots, and began some original stories I’m probably
never going to finish, I’ve got a word doc somewhere full of cringy poetry),
cosplay (once again Homestuck—so
basically, I’m just really good at putting on grey facepaint), and photography
(I take my iPhone and try to take pretty pictures I then post on Instagram so
it’s not just all filled with selfies).

Basically, I just like to create stuff, no matter the
medium.

What inspires you?

You mean, apart from Homestuck? I’d say my life. Ok, I know
that’s vague, but I haven’t quite got a more specific muse. There is a lot to
show and tell about the subtleties of everyday life, the things I see, hear, or
feel. I’m ADHD, so perhaps trying to put my constant zoning out to good use is
my main inspiration after all. I think sunsets are good, too. They’ve got lots
of pretty colors, there’s nothing like a rainy autumn sunset to get a good
photoshoot full of pinks. The city inspires me, too. The sort of aesthetics
born of the layered lives of so many people, written in the concrete and the
weed peeking through it, the graffiti’s, the decaying factories and the shiny
skyscrapers. In painting, I draw people a lot, too. I think it’s because the
figure is so evocative. I like the humanity, the feelings, the fleeting joys
and pains of life, and so I try to capture them whenever I’m bored enough. It’s
cheesy, but it’s true.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

Oh boy. Well, I’ve always hung around people who drew, and
the envy that I felt at their cool talents pushed me to try my hand at it.
Around maybe 11 or 12, I got into manga and anime, and the thing with those, is
that they make the human figure very appealing, and yet very simple-looking to
draw, for someone who is just starting out. I’ve been a casual artist ever
since my early teens, and recently, when I graduated high school and all my
friends entered art programs, I started to realize just how much I didn’t know
about art, and that’s really what helped me get much better really fast. Just a
year ago, I didn’t draw half as well as I do now, because now I draw almost
every day, pay attention to the world and put a lot more effort in studying the
theory of art than I ever did in any of my school classes, ever.

I’m still in college, and I’m not planning on making a
career out of my art, but I’ve still got some ambitions to reach a point where
I can paint and draw at a professional level, for myself.

Maybe one day I’ll write an actual book or make money from
my art—I’ve been offered to be an assistant photographer once, when I showed my
Instagram feed to the woman whom we had hired to take our family portraits, but
it didn’t work out. In the end, I take opportunities as they go. Art is just
one of the things for which I have potential and interest, it’s a refuge, and I
don’t want to ruin that by forcing it into a business perspective.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

Well, I’m known on most platforms (Instagram, deviantart,
tumblr—although only for Homestuck in
the last one) as hampermarketplace, and I sign my digital paintings (some of
them—I often forget) as HMP. By now, it’s how I sign pretty much all of my artwork.
Often, I won’t put it in the lower corner, but try to include it within the
drawing, if there is writing somewhere, graffiti or posters in the background.
It’s my thing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You’re going to feel bad sometimes, like you can’t quite
illustrate what you want, or like everyone is better than you. It’s important
to learn to use that dissatisfaction as motivation, not as a deterrent. The
process of improving is an adventure, to be taken one step at a time, so awaken
your inner Moana or whatever, and sing about wanting to know how far you’ll go.
When you’re stalling, and nothing works, push through by going back to your
basics, and putting less pressure on yourself. Take a chill pill. Go watch some
Bob Ross. It’s ok to just doodle for 15 minutes sometimes, you’ve got to make
art time a time to meditate, to enjoy yourself. If you do it right, it won’t
feel like a chore (too much—I can’t make any promises if you decide to make a
living out of it). One day you’ll look back and be amazed by how far you’ve
come.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m asexual, low libido but not sex repulsed per se, and
somewhere in the grey areas of romance, probably demi, although I still think
of myself as a lesbian because I’ve always had a strong aesthetic attraction to
women, and if I were to fall in love, I feel like it would be with a woman, or
someone woman-aligned. I identify *mostly* as a woman, although I won’t deny to
some gender fluidity as well.

Usually, the womanlier I feel, the gayer I get, then on some
days I’m just what is gender and what is love, I want to blog about cats. My
main on Tumblr is like 75% cats, 20% beautiful women and 5% ace positivity. I
think that sums it up pretty well.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

The most kind of ace prejudice or ignorance I’ve personally
encountered is from myself. I’m usually quite down-low about it, I’ve come out
a couple of times, but not to everyone, and I’m pretty sure most people going
through my art aren’t even aware of my sexuality—I come off quite gay in real
life. Since I don’t do commercial work, I can easily surround myself with
people who are OK with my orientation, and anyway, I live in some of the most
progressive places, where no one would openly challenge you on stuff like that,
even if they disagreed with it. I’m lucky in that regard. I’m always afraid
that people will still hold subconscious prejudice towards me, though, I don’t
think I’m paranoid, but I need to get over it if I want to be myself, and work
towards deconstructing those prejudices. When I’ve actually come out, I’ve been
met mostly with love and acceptance—just once a bit of confusion. Also, once I
came out to a sex-loving vegan by saying “I don’t like sex, but I do like ice
cream” and she just told me “You go girl! Live your best life!” and anyway, she
gets it.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I think this one is not an explicit, but an implicit
misconception that even well-meaning people will hold, and that is this idea
that aces don’t like to talk about sex, or be exposed to sexuality, and that
the goal of asexual activism is to make a world where it’s possible to ignore
the fact that sex and romance exists. I mean, some aces may be uncomfortable
with discussions about sex, or don’t want to be exposed to explicit sexual
content, but truly, anyone may have these holdups regardless of sexuality. The
basics principles of consent, human decency and content warnings should be
plenty to cover that. In my experience, most aces I’ve met are more than eager
to talk about sex and the different types of attractions, so long as they are allowed
to openly share their experiences without feeling like outcasts or weirdos. Unless
they tell you otherwise, it should be perfectly fine to share your latest
thirst with your friend who came out to you as ace. You don’t have to stop
being yourself, and most asexuals don’t want to be treated like little kids
with bleeding hearts that can’t handle the sexiness, neither do they want you
to stop being yourself: they just want to be allowed to be themselves as well.

This is pretty abstract, I’m not sure if I’m making sense,
but I feel like this needs to be said more. Asexuality doesn’t exist within
queerness as a form of “Don’t force sex on me”, because, honestly, sex
shouldn’t be forced on anyone, but rather as a force of “It’s OK to live in
accordance to how you feel, regardless of social norms or whether or not it
aligns with the majority around you,” because that represents much better the
aroace community as I’ve known it: diverse, open, with a wide range of
worldviews and experiences, just wanting to live their truth.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

It’s not easy to find out who you are. Being asexual is
challenging, because it’s probably even only one part of the identities you’re
going to have to cope with—asexuality doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with
the prejudice of being gay, bi or trans—but it’s also challenging in and of
itself. You’re going to have to deal with conflicting cultural ideals about
chastity, lust, marriage and family, with a world that you’ll never quite
understand despite your best efforts to do so, and which probably won’t even
try to understand you. You’ll fidget in your psychology or sexuality class, not
quite capable of explaining how you know for a fact the textbook is wrong
without sounding like you’ve spent way too much time on Tumblr. You’ll smile,
glad, at queer representation in the media, not quite daring to ask for some
yourself—afraid it’ll take away some gay or trans kid’s chance to see
themselves on screen. You’ll feel like you don’t exist, like there are no
historical figures or public personalities who can bear your flag in your name,
you’ll doubt yourself.

Don’t. There is nothing to doubt about it, there is nothing
to be ashamed about. You’re on the frontline of progress, of our growing
understanding of love and sexuality, as a society. Asexual people have always
been there—the world just didn’t have a box to place them in until recently.
Before that, we erred like bohemians among dandies and spinsters, bisexuals, pilgrims
and nuns. But today, there are words for it, for asexuality, for aromanticism,
for all the maybes and in-betweens. We are many, more than you would think, and
we are solidary—to one another, and to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans
people, and to all other minorities, and it is our strength. Through sharing
our experiences, through creating new words to define how we feel, we help
people from all walks of life define themselves. So maybe, really, we’re
something like great.

You can be proud.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

My main blog on Tumblr is chaoticintellectual, though,
like mentioned previously, it’s mostly  filled with cats and pretty women.

I have a Homestuck
blog where I post art frequently, called Hampermarketplace, for all the
filthy Homestucks out there

I write on AO3 under the name miki_and_company

Hampermarketplace
is also my DeviantArt, though I don’t post much on there, but I do show my
original art there more,

And finally, my Instagram, still hampermarketplace,
where I post a lot of my photography.

My inboxes are open to talk, I’m quite friendly and impishly
verbose, however I’ll be gone and inactive for most of the summer, sadly, but
I’ll be back without question next fall.

Thank you, Sophie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.