I finally went to a meetup of my local queer community and it was great. No one quizzed me on my identity and whether I was “queer enough” to be there. In fact hardly anyone even said what exactly their identity was, sometimes it came up in the conversation sometimes it didn’t.
We played a game one girl had on her phone where you try to match flags with the identities, did we know all of them? no. Did we know all these identities? no, we googled some of them it was quite educational, sometimes we said we wouldn’t feel the need to use a label like that but not even once did anyone say that a label was “silly” or “useless” or “not a thing”.
The ace flag came up too of course. The girl across from me went “hey that’s one of mine, that one and the aro one!” and I said “the ace flag is one of mine too!” and we had a nice same hat moment and absolutely no one jumped at us from somewhere at the table and try to shove us out or tell us that we didn’t belong.
Yeah. Exclusionists really are a mostly internet thing. In real life everyone is just happy to find their people and it doesn’t matter if they’re lesbian or ace or trans or nonbinary or WHATEVER. Some people just say they’re queer, some people use all the labels that fit them and both is completely fine
Don’t let tumblr trolls scare you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your local communities. It’s worth it, I promise.
Today we’re joined by Jason. Jason is a fantastic artist who loves to knit. They run a small business selling their knitted creations, which is all LGBTQIA+ themed. Their work is absolutely gorgeous, brimming with color and demonstrating an amazing craftsmanship. It’s clear they love what they do, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about
knitter! I was taught as a child
but seeing as I’m ADHD
it didn’t go to well. I began knitting again after I had wrist surgery as a
form of gentle rehab and fell in love with it all over again! I now knit
several hours a day and am working on my first sock, but I prefer making small
soft toys and such. I also run a small business selling my pride flag related
What inspires you?
Every time I get a message from someone saying, “I never
knew I had a flag!” or “I’ve never seen my flag mentioned or sold!” it makes my
day. The ace flags was one of the first I added on and I still get happy
messages when people find it. Also, after my surgery I was so scared about what
it would mean about the usability of my hand, so I keep knitting to make sure
it stayed working.
What got you
interested in your field? Have you
always wanted to be an artist?
I took part in a project to raise money and awareness for
the LGBTGIA+ community in Australia around the time my country held a vote on
legalizing same sex marriage. I began knitting rainbow flags and selling them
to raise money for charity. Looking back now, they were awful, but people loved
them! I began expanding; got new yarn, got a website and now I have a popular
Instagram account, a growing business and 130 sales under my belt! Due to
chronic illness I can’t work, so this business has become my main source of
income. I’ve always wanted to create things as long as I can remember but I
never thought I’d get this far
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 but this has me thinking I should create one!
What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?
Whatever you do, enjoy it. Even if the other style looking
better, gets more likes, or whatever, the important thing is that you truly
enjoy your art. My first creations were hideous. I wish I was kidding but they
were truly awful. However, I was having a blast! The fact I was having so much
fun with it lead me to continue. Also, likes are great and it fine to be sad if
you get less than usual (I freely admit that I do!)/that you hoped, but the
amount has no bearing on your skill.
Where on the spectrum
do you identify?
Plain, 100% asexual. I’m still not convinced sexual
attraction is real 😉
Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
People seem to think that the fact I stock the ace flag is
the most horrifying, soul destroying heinous crime that exists. Before I was
able to source the yarn for the lesbian flag, I was regularly the recipient of
slurs because “ugh you don’t have the lesbian flag but you have the ace and non-binary
flags and those aren’t even real!!!!!!!”. As a non-binary ace that wasn’t the
nicest thing to experience. I did my best to explain to people why I had the
flags I did and if they wouldn’t listen, I’d disengage completely. When I was
really sad, id post photos of my ace and aro products in my Facebook groups and
they’d hype me u and remind me that good people exist. Knitting is my happy
place and gives me independence so I do my best to only share it with those
that respect it and me.
What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Either the pure innocent child myth (completely false, my
aroace friend and I are filthy minded) or that all aces/aspecs hate sex
What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
I know that feeling. I know the pain. You are NOT alone. You
have a whole community behind you and if you figure out that this isn’t your
community, we’ll send you on your journey with a smile and a hug. Give yourself
time and be kind to yourself.
Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?
So I know it can be hard to find good original m/m specifically by category. Some publishers offer tagging systems and some don’t.
QueerRomanceInk is a database (free for readers) that allows you to search original published m/m by a lot of different categories, including orientations like asexual and non-binary, tropes and potential trigger warnings. It’s very fandom friendly re: search parameters.
It’s gaining momentum in the m/m world and will be very helpful given so much quality m/m is actually self-published these days and therefore very hard to find (especially given the implosion of Riptide Publishing in the meantime).
But it’ll only get better if folks check it out! So if you’re someone who is interested in having a place to have a to-be-read and favourite authors list, get notifications for books on sale and new books by fave authors, and don’t want the entrenched drama that is GoodReads, I highly recommend you check it out!
When it came to the word “gay”, my neighborhood was pretty conservative. I grew up in Catholic schools, and not much was discussed about the topic of homosexuality. All I was ever told by my ever-accepting teachers was that it was okay nowadays to be gay; the person just couldn’t act on it. Then it would be a sin. Being thirteen years old and discovering online pornography for the first time, I had no idea how to come out of my teens without causing myself eternal damnation.
I separated myself from homosexuality as far as I could when I got to high school. I was tired of feeling different than everyone else and I just wanted to belong. I walked with my legs farther apart, and I made sure I didn’t talk with limp wrists. I agreed when people when they said math class was gay, or that someone else was a “fag”.
The closet was killing my spirit. But it was either keep up the charade or disappoint my parents; my dad, who made fun of transgender people and feminine gay men regularly, and my mom who just wasn’t buying that bisexuality stuff. I was gonna have a wife and naturally born children if it killed me.
This all ended of course, when I met Derrick.
My First Boyfriend
My best friend (who I knew wanted to date me) had introduced the two of us in my last year of high school. Derrick was…..