Smith’s Alternative, arty, fringey and gloriously hipster, has got an excellent line-up so far for October and November. There will be story jams, hosted debates, and music and art as always. Smith’s is also concerned with issues surrounding gender and sexuality, which is the subject of the Q&A they’ll be hosting this Saturday.

LGBT issues have been brought to the forefront of public debate, even for people who normally don’t pay attention to politics. Update for those who live under rocks: the plebiscite sucks. A lot of people are suffering because the federal government thinks that human rights make a fun football. 

It’s easy, with multifaceted and complex things like LGBT issues, to lose nuance in the effort to make the thing easier to understand for outsiders and allies. Asexuality is one of those many oft-neglected facets, despite being highly misunderstood, and that is why I want to tell you about the Asexuality Awareness Week Q&A at Smith’s. 

Being asexual (or ace) is just like being any other type of queer. It is a sexual orientation which exists beyond the boundaries of what is considered the “normal default” – aka, asexuals aren’t heterosexuals, ergo, they’re queer. 

The established, easy-to-understand dichotomy of sexuality, for most people, is Straight VS Gay. So the idea that a person can be neither, or gay but without being “actively homosexual”, conflicts with what people think they know. Asexuality is uniquely challenged because it transcends the boundary between sex and love, which is why a lot of people don’t get it, because the popular opinion is that sex and love are intrinsically tied together. 

It’s hard to come out, even to yourself, when you’re ace. Relationships are complicated and often painful, unless your partner is also ace or extremely understanding. This is why spreading awareness and discussing the issues around this identity is very important. 

Asexual Awareness Week starts this week, and the Q&A will be held on Saturday 28th from 3 pm till 4 pm. Speakers include the event organizer, professional fairy princess and speaker Maddie, plus three individuals including the entrepreneurs behind Attire Dolls, and yours truly. 

If you’ve ever wondered what the heck someone meant when they described themselves as “ace”, or if you read through this whole thing scoffing, please come along and participate in the Q&A. Meet us face to face and ask what you want to know. Smith’s is many things, but first and foremost it is a safe place for honest friendly conversation, and we could all do with a little more of that these days. 

It takes all sorts to make a world, and we’re just a few more aniseed chunks in that lolly bag. 


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons