3 Ways Ace and Aro Advocates Built Inclusion at Creating Change

Creating Change is one of our favorite events of the year. Every January, thousands of LGBTQ+ advocates, service providers, and leaders gather together to advance the movement. In a new city each year, they connect, share their skills and experiences, and build the relationships that underlie the movement.

For years, an ever-growing group of ace and aro advocates have built inclusive and educational spaces within this conference. Their efforts help LGBTQ+ organizations across the country include aces and aros in their community centers, programs, and services. These advancements are changing lives.

Miniature ace and aro flags lay on top of the Creating Change 2019 program book
Miniature ace and aro flags lay on top of the Creating Change 2019 program book

The opportunity to share our knowledge and ideas with LGBTQ+ activists and service providers is particularly valuable. This year, four workshops taught them about ace and aro identities, how they can build support and inclusion for ace and aro youth, and how they can reframe relationships in a way that recognizes the value of non-sexual and non-romantic intimacy.

A screen displays the name and time of a workshop titled "Queering Relationships"
A screen displays the name and time of a workshop titled "Queering Relationships"

Two people stand at the front of a room as one of them speaks into a microphone
Two people stand at the front of a room as one of them speaks into a microphone

Of course, the conference isn’t just about learning. It’s also a place where people can be their truest selves and where they can find others who share their passions and experiences. One of the places this happens is in the conference’s “hospitality suites” – hotel rooms that have been transformed into gathering places for people who share a specific identity. Through years’-long efforts of a collection of activists and a series of unofficial suites, the first official, conference-sanctioned hospitality suite for aces and aros opened this year.

A sign beside an open doorway reads "Asexual/Aromantic Hospitality Suite." In the background, people are having a conversation
A sign beside an open doorway reads "Asexual/Aromantic Hospitality Suite." In the background, people are having a conversation

Throughout the weekend, aces and aros gathered to discuss their identities, share their experiences, and for some, meet others like them for the first time.

Five people are sitting around a table in front of a window. It is dark outside, and a demisexual flag hangs on the window
Five people are sitting around a table in front of a window. It is dark outside, and a demisexual flag hangs on the window

In many ways, this conference was a year of firsts. This year, our team hosted our first exhibition booth where we shared resources with hundreds of activists and leaders.

Two people sit behind an exhibition table. On the table, there are posters, brochures, a book, a basket, and a screen displaying a map. The tablecloth reads "aces & aros"
Two people sit behind an exhibition table. On the table, there are posters, brochures, a book, a basket, and a screen displaying a map. The tablecloth reads "aces & aros"

Not only did we hand out countless posters, pins, and brochures, we connected leaders to their local communities to help build partnerships and collaborations throughout the country.

A stack of posters, brochures, and business cards are lined up on a table. Beside them is a basket of ace and aro flag pins, and behind them is a book titled "Ace Inclusion Guide for High Schools"
A stack of posters, brochures, and business cards are lined up on a table. Beside them is a basket of ace and aro flag pins, and behind them is a book titled "Ace Inclusion Guide for High Schools"

We believe that a movement for change takes the efforts of countless people working together toward a common goal. Movements are advanced by the partnerships that sustain them, and our work at Creating Change builds meaningful relationships with other organizations advancing LGBTQ+ causes. Through partnership and collaboration with LGBTQ+ activists, the ace and aro advocacy movement continues to grow and strengthen.

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