In light of recent discussions, and the recent rise in divisive discourse and policies in many countries, the AVEN Board of Directors would like to post this as a reminder of AVEN’s values, and of their importance to our community.
AVEN has always striven to be an inclusive and respectful platform for our community, allies, and visitors. Being inclusive, to us, means creating a platform where people are free to explore their identities, to self-determine and to be respected while doing so. Exploring our identities can take time, it can sometimes involve mistakes, changes of heart, feeling “broken” or “lost”, and it is important that our community steps in for support and friendship during all of this.
In particular, as far as discussions on AVEN go, it is for each person to decide what sexual, romantic or gender identity fits them (if any). We are here to support each other, to offer facts, encouragement and any other relevant information, which may help people make sense of themselves, but in the end no one has the right to label anyone else.
We are aware that there have been many discussions regarding the topic of the definitions of asexuality. AVEN uses a “lack of sexual attraction” definition as default, but there is no requirement every member has to agree with this. There are different views on this even within the AVEN staff as well as the larger member-base, and that’s fine. However, when it comes to labelling individuals, a line is drawn. It is our duty as an organization to strongly discourage the assignment of sexual, romantic or gender-identity by any means other than self-identification.
We would also like to emphasise that AVEN is intended to be a safe and welcoming area for trans and non-binary people: trans people make up a large and significant part of the ace community, and are also important allies. It is fine to ask respectful questions about trans issues, but deliberate misgendering and disrespecting someone’s gender identity is not acceptable on AVEN under any circumstances.
These core values are decided at a board level, not by the admod team, and cannot in fact be changed by the latter; the board is grateful to volunteer staff members serving AVEN for their work in upholding these values – which isn’t to say there is no room for improvement. It is important and expected that any prospective future team member will be equally vigilant in upholding them, and will continue to support the right of people to identify as they choose in regards to their sexual orientation and their gender identity, and to be respected no matter their background and beliefs.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or PM one of us.
The AVEN Board of Directors
(AVENguy, Coleslaw, ithaca, Kelly and michaeld)