Educational Resources

Theorizing Conscious Black Asexuality through Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk about Love

This article is by the scholar, Brittney Miles, University of Cincinatti

Asexuality is often defined as some degree of being void of sexual attraction, interest, or desire. Black asexual people have been made invisible, silent, or pathologized in most fiction, scholarly literature, and mainstream LGBTQ movements. Claire Kann’s 2018 young adult romance novel, Let’s Talk About Love, explores Black asexuality at the intersection of race and (a)sexuality. Through the story of the Black, bi-romantic, asexual, 19 year-old college student Alice Johnston, this text illuminates the diversity of Black sexuality in the Black Diaspora. Using a Black feminist sociological literary analysis to complete a close reading of the novel, I interrogate what Let’s Talk about Love offers for defining a Black asexual politic. To consider Black asexual politics beyond the controlling images of the asexual Mammy figure, and not merely in juxtaposition to the hypersexual Jezebel, calls us to instead center agency and self-definition. This project seeks to answer what Conscious Black Asexuality is, why it is a necessary concept for asexuality studies and the Diaspora, where we locate Black asexuality in Black history, and how Let’s Talk about Love by Claire Kann presents a depiction of Black agentic queerness that reclaims agency and intimacy within one’s sexual politics.

A Ten Oaks Project

The Ten Oaks Project is a charitable, volunteer-driven organization that engages and connects children and youth from 2SLGBTQ+ (two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) identities, families, and communities.

The Ten Oaks Project engages and connects children and youth from LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer) communities through programs and activities rooted in play. Ten Oaks offer four annual camp programs to children and youth: Camp Ten Oaks (ages 8-17), Project Acorn (ages 16-24), Oak Grove Family Camp (all ages), and Camp Lifting Leaves (ages 8-21).

History of Asexuality

We’ll be looking at mentions of asexuality* in history, worldwide. Starting with a first documented mention of ‘monosexual’ in 1869. We’ll go over the specifics, show evidence of these historic pieces if they are available, as well as explaining context if needed. We’ll keep adding on to this post as more information becomes available.

*Keep in mind that the term asexuality/asexuals was formed later and identifying early instances of asexuality is a matter of interpretation. That being said, historical figures have long discussed their low levels of sexual attraction, even if they did not have an official term for it yet.

Not a Place on the Map: Desh Pradesh, 1988-2001

Desh Pardesh was a South Asian arts festival that was held between the years 1988 and 2001. It began under the name Salaam Toronto in collaboration with the Khush collective — an organization for gay men of South Asian background. We have collaborated with The ArQuives, the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), and the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory to compile this festival's oral history. Our findings are presented below. The South Asian Visual Arts Centre created these oral history interviews with artists and organizers involved in the festival in 2016. 

Please note that the snippets of interviewee respondents included are very small portions of much larger conversations. We encourage you to listen to and leaf through the actual full interviews for context and clarity purposes. We have linked the snippets of interviews to the full interviews for this purpose.

This exhibit aims to layout the festival year by year and highlights significant events or ideologies that emerged during these times. You can click through each set of years and find clips of interviews discussing the festival and related archival documents that provide more context to what the interviewees are saying. 

LEADING & LEARNING WITH PRIDE: A Revitalized Tool Kit on Supporting 2SLGBTQI+ Seniors

Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) at the City of Toronto recognizes and celebrates the diversity and lived experiences of 2SLGBTQI+ seniors. With close collaboration from community members, service providers, advocates, and allies, SSLTC has released a revitalized 2SLGBTQI+ Tool Kit – Leading & Learning with Pride. This resources includes useful examples, insights, guidance, and resources to support providers throughout the care continuum to provide respectful, inclusive, and affirming care to 2SLGBTQI+ seniors.        

 

Queering Gender- Based Violence Prevention & Response in Canada Report & Toolkit

As part of its “Shockproofing Communities” project, the Canadian Women’s Foundation hired Wisdom2Action to conduct research on GBV affecting 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Canada. The resulting report presents the findings from a literature review, focus group, and interviews. It presents what we know about the scale and scope of GBV impacting 2SLGBTQ+ communities, looking at the experiences of queer and trans Black, Indigenous and people of colour (QTBIPOC), refugees and newcomers, trans+ people, queer women, youth, sex workers, and people living rurally or remotely. It then turns to existing violence prevention and survivor support programs and points to the gaps and needs 2SLGBTQ+ communities are naming. It also looks at promising practices and offer opportunities and recommendations for funders and service providers. The report concludes with suggestions for mobilizing knowledge about GBV prevention and response for 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

The report is accompanied by a 5-page toolkit that summarizes the main findings and recommendations of the report for social service providers. 

Asexual Visibility and Education Network

Asexual Visibility and Education Network hosts the world's largest online asexual community as well as a large archive of resources on asexuality. AVEN strives to create open, honest discussion about asexuality among sexual and asexual people alike. This platform provides a community hub for connecting over events, discussions, and solidarity actions. 

 

Our Health: Canada-Wide 2SLGBTQQIA+ Community (Ongoing) Study

Community-Based Research Centre, Egale CanadaThe Enchanté Network, and 2 Spirits in Motion Society are collaborating on a ground-breaking national project that will look into the current state of health among people in our communities. Add your voice and complete our online survey now to help us support the health of 2SLGBTQQIA+ people across Canada by improving programs, services, and policies! All participants will receive a small honorarium for completing the survey. You are eligible to participate if you are a member of 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities, live in Canada, and are 15 years of age or older. In order to participate in the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) component, testing for COVID-19 antibodies, you must be 18 years of age or older.”

In honour of your time and support, participants who complete the COVID-19 antibody test will receive a small honorarium.