Ace Toronto is a grassroots community group of diverse people in the GTA on the ace/asexual and/or the aromantic spectrums (and questioning). We host regular discussions and social events for people within our community, as well as facilitate educational workshops for organisations, school groups and the general public.
We will be hosting a full-day (Un)Conference in January, 2017, for ace and/or aromantic spectrum community members. This conference will not be specifically a place for educating organisations about asexuality and aromanticism. However, to raise funds for the conference, we are inviting organizations like you to book our educational workshops for your staff and volunteers. (Please see workshops descriptions below.)
Why this (Un)Conference is important to our communities:
In previous years, asexuality conferences gave aces from around the world opportunities to come together in large numbers, talk about important issues in our lives, and meet people who share our experiences. Ace Toronto’s conference aims to continue that community-building work. For many of us, just meeting other aces and/or arospec people is a unique and life-affirming moment; we are often isolated in our home communities.
Accessibility and inclusivity are central to the goals of this conference. Without them, the conference cannot take place. Since Ace Toronto does not have any formal source of funding, we need financial help to meet our accessibility goals (which include offering ASL interpretation).
Our political orientation:
Ace Toronto recognises that social context matters, and we acknowledge and oppose many systemic barriers and forces of oppression. We aim to proactively create a space that is welcoming and inclusive of ace and/or arospec community members who are particularly marginalised– especially those who may be excluded from community events because of accessibility barriers. Community-building must prioritise accessibility, or else it will perpetuate the isolating forces we are trying to resist. The 2017 (Un)Conference is therefore a politicised space.
How we can help you:
Ace Toronto has been successfully facilitating educational workshops since April 2014. We have hosted a number of workshops for student and educator groups with various school boards, as well as provided training for staff and volunteers at organisations including Planned Parenthood. We believe that our knowledge and experience would benefit your organisation, and help you to better serve ace and/or aromantic spectrum individuals in your target populations.
How you can help us:
If your organisation is able to make a financial contribution, we can offer valuable training for staff or volunteers at your local* organisation in return. All funds will go toward supporting accessibility costs of our 2017 (Un)Conference:
- For a contribution of $150 you get a 2-hour workshop (for up to 10 people) from your organization. You get to choose from one of our existing workshops.
- For a contribution of $300 you get a 2-hour workshop customized for your organization (for up to 10 people), as well as your organization name listed as a contributor in our program and online conference Thank You page.
- For a contribution of $500 get a 2-hour workshop customized for your organization (for up to 10 people), as well as your organization name and logo listed as supporter in our conference program and online conference Thank You page.
- For a contribution of $1,000 get a 2-hour workshop customized for your organization (for up to 10 people), as well as your organization name and logo listed as formal sponsor both on our promotional material (i.e., conference posters & online advertising images), and in our conference program and online conference Thank You page.
To contribute and arrange a workshop, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (please include “Ace Toronto 2017 (Un)Conference Workshop” in the subject line).
* We are able to travel to locations within approximately 75 km of Toronto (i.e., Hamilton, Newmarket, Oshawa, etc.).
Unassailably Ace: Introducing Diversity of the Asexual Spectrum and Some Ace-Related Challenges
This introductory workshop provides a solid overview of the diverse asexual spectrum i.e., “ace”) community. Organized around the idea of the “unassailable asexual,” it highlighting the diversity of ace communities, and the ways in which dominant norms and oppressive structures render some ace experiences relatively intelligible and socially acceptable, while marginalizing and invalidating others. In particular, this workshop explores how issues of intersectionality play out for people with asexual spectrum identities and experiences. Overall, it offers a broad appreciation of the asexual spectrum, some of the challenges facing people in ace communities, and how organisations can be more ace-inclusive.
“From Bananas to Zucchinis: How Talking About Asexuality Contributes to Queer and Trans Positive, Comprehensive Sexual Education”
The asexual spectrum (i.e., “ace”) community brings new ideas, words and concepts into discussions about identity and relationships. This workshop shares lessons from the ace community about safely exploring diverse forms of physical and emotional intimacy and desires, and about negotiating boundaries in many kinds of relationships. In particular, it questions assumptions that often govern dating relationships and exposes their negative consequences (e.g., unspoken sexual obligations compromise consent; narrow views of possibilities for intimacy limit relationships). Conversations about asexuality have untapped potential for talking about gender and sexual diversity, and offer useful discursive tools open and honest communication about , desire and consent.
Asexuality, Aromanticism & Relationships “Outside the Box”
This workshop outlines the diverse asexual “ace” spectrum (including the many aces who are trans and/or non-binary in terms of gender) as well as romantic attraction and the aromantic spectrum. It explores different ways of doing relationships outside of typical “sexual” and “romantic” boxes. Unpacking social expectations and hierarchies about sexuality and relationships (e.g., compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory sexuality and amatonormativity), this workshop works through the scope of these influences and how they related to issues of consent and healthy relationships.