Interview: Gem

Today we’re joined by Gem. Gem is a wonderful writer who specializes in aroace fairy tales. She is currently working on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which is so exciting. She’s a wonderfully enthusiastic writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am the writer of aroace-fairytales, where I rewrite popular fairytales with aromantic and asexual main characters. For example, my current work is Beauty & the Beast where both said characters are aroace.

What inspires you?

What inspired me to initially start my blog was finding out I was on the asexual spectrum and realizing that there was little to no representation in literature. While the LGBT community is beginning to have a louder voice in television, books, movies, and more media, the AroAce community is getting practically none. So being a writer, and identifying on the asexual spectrum, inspired me to write AroAce Fairytales.

What inspires me to keep writing is the immense amount of encouragement and support and love I receive from the AroAce community. It’s amazing how many people enjoy my writing and the representation I present within my stories. Without constant affection from my readers, I would have given up the idea long ago.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’ve been writing since I was a little child and I used to write my own original fairytales when I was younger, so yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I won’t be pursuing it as a career at this point, but it’s my first love and my undying passion – it always will be.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Hmmm, well before I started writing AroAce fiction, I would always kill off one of my love interests so I wouldn’t have to write romance. xD But besides that, I don’t really think so. I enjoy including some foreign language in my writing, but other than that, not really.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up. Ever. And don’t do it for your audience. Do it for you. Otherwise, you’ll get bogged down by feelings of inadequacy and if your audience doesn’t enjoy your art, then you’ll become discouraged. But if you do it for you, your passion will attract like-minded people to your work and you won’t have to worry about the people that don’t support you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I currently identify as demisexual.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Yes. I have readers consistently tell me that romance and sex are a part of life, so not incorporating that into my stories is “stupid” and “unrealistic” and “no one will want to read your writing”. At first, I was very defensive and would argue with people (mostly around me locally) until I would break down. Now, I understand that it’s because they just don’t have the same experiences (or lack thereof) that I do, so I give them grace. I just ignore them and, when they realize I won’t change because of them, they shut up.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Ahahahaha…just one? There are millions! But the most common one is probably that I’m not interested in romance or that I’m somehow “broken.”

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

First, I’m always here for you. Second, it’s totally okay to struggle. Because our society and culture push sex as a part of all relationships, it’s so easy to feel discouraged and broken because you don’t have that urge. But society should not dictate how we feel, who we are, and what we do. It’s possible that you will eventually experience sexual attraction. However, it’s important that you understand you don’t have to label yourself and you don’t have to focus on your sexuality if it really tears you up. It’s way more vital that you feel comfortable with yourself, no matter the sexuality.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Aroace-fairytales on Tumblr (search for #aroace fairytales)

And my AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/10298354/chapters/22783049.

Thank you, Gem, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

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