Author: Eris Young
My Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.94
Publication Date: December 21st, 2022
Genre: LGBTQ+ Nonfiction
Format Read: Ebook
Goodreads Summary: How do we experience attraction?
What does love mean to us?
When did you realise you were ace?
This is the ace community in their own words.
Drawing upon interviews with a wide range of people across the asexual spectrum, Eris Young is here to take you on an empowering, enriching journey through the rich multitudes of asexual life.
With chapters spanning everything from dating, relationships and sex, to mental and emotional health, family, community and joy, the inspirational stories and personal experiences within these pages speak to aces living and loving in unique ways. Find support amongst the diverse narratives of aces sex-repulsed and sex-favourable, alongside voices exploring what it means to be black and ace, to be queer and ace, or ace and multi-partnered – and use it as a springboard for your own ace growth.
Do you see a story like your own?
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Before I started this book, I didn’t know much about what it meant to be on the asexual or aromantic spectrum. I was aware that the ace community (as it is frequently abbreviated) is characterized by either a lack of sexual or romantic attraction, as well as the fact that this attraction exists on a spectrum, but other than that I remained largely ignorant of the perspective of the community at large. As someone who does my best to be an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, this has to include groups that I am not a part of. Because of that, I made the decision to read this book (and another book on asexuality which is waiting in my Kindle queue) to educate myself. My goal was to be better able to join the discussion, as well as to know the appropriate times to hold space for asexual people to speak up.
With those goals in mind, this book was clearly not for me in hindsight. Eris Young put together a stunning collection of interviews from asexual people across the spectrum of identities. While the book was split into sections based on topic (definitions, relationships, experiences, etc), the overwhelming amount of text in this book was quotes from interviews which Young did while writing this book. I went into it expecting the history of a queer community, and that most definitely contributed to my low rating.
What was contained in the pages of Ace Voices was a deep sense of belonging. No matter where you fit in on the spectrum, there was someone in this book talking about the exact same thing you were going through. With so many different perspectives being shared and anecdotes being told, it is inevitable that you will find at least one section that makes you feel less alone. This book was clearly written by and for the a-spec (asexual/aromantic spectrum) community, and there’s so much value in that. Despite falling somewhere between allosexual and demisexual of the spectrum, there were sections in this book that made me feel less alone simply by virtue of hearing from other members of my larger LGBTQ+ community.
If you are unsure of how you are feeling and want to seek a community to relate to, this is most definitely the book for you. Young did an incredible job of chronicling the interviews which they collected in a way that told a story of community persevering through difficulty. It was beautiful to get to hear these stories that were shared. On the other hand, if you are an ally looking to learn more, I would direct you somewhere else for a place to start. The many interviews that made up this book– which I wholeheartedly believe strengthened Young’s goal of writing– tended to alienate me, as they largely did not line up with my lived experience.
I loved the way that this book embraced the community aspect of being queer, and more specifically of being asexual. If Young were to write a similar book about one of my identities, I would most certainly be rushing to the shelves. At the end of the day, this book was for asexual people to see themselves reflected back in the voices of dozens of other asexual people across the world, and that’s beautiful.