Add Frigid Grrrl Manifesto to your wishlist if cat/visual novel/diverse topics are your thing! I'm so happy to see more and more games talk about LGBTQ+, especially the minority-in-minority like asexuality. You will see the author's 7-year research in asexual history in queer community.
Frigid Grrrl Manifesto
A downloadable game
This is only a placeholder page right now, but will be updated when the game is ready.
Frigid Grrrl Manifesto is a relatively linear interactive historical fiction Twine game about an asexual lesbian riot grrrl zinester in the 90s figuring out her identity through the zine community and queer spaces. This game is inspired by 7+ years of research into asexual history in queer community print media and zines and running the Ace Zine Archive, so the final game will be full of historical notes!
Regarding the historical accuracy of this storyline:
I'm writing this game because I'm also writing a book on asexuality and the use of the words "asexual" and "asexuality" in queer community print media and zines between 1950 and 2005. I've done research in physical archives of primary sources in addition to digitized ones, and have accumulated hundreds of sources over the years. I've also been deeply personally involved in the zine community since 2014 and the asexual community since 2011. I also care a lot about making marginalized histories more accessible, particularly to other members of those marginalized communities.
The fact is that asexual identity has been discussed in queer communities using the term "asexual" since at least the 1950s, though the first specifically asexual-focused English speaking communities didn't emerge (to my knowledge) until the late 80s to mid-90s (yes, I said 80s. I found someone running an org for asexual people (as well as intersex and nonbinary people) through the mail and advertising it in other queer publications dating back to the late 80s, and the language was clear enough to differentiate sex, gender, and sexual orientation to specify that asexuality as it is understood now was a major focus of the group).
While the term "asexual" was used differently in the past, so were words like "gay" and "lesbian" and "bisexual", and all of these terms went through similar evolutionary arcs from being primarily referring to actions to referring to patterns of attraction (or lack thereof.)
Asexuality also went through an arc similar to bisexuality in being:
- discussed in gay and lesbian publications by people who did not identify as asexual or bisexual
- to having people with asexual and bisexual identities writing into or posting personal ads and letters in gay and lesbian and other queer publications
- to asexual and bisexual people discussing asexual and bisexual identities together inside of other communities
- to developing their own communities
I've come to these discoveries and conclusions after hundreds of hours of painstaking research, the vast majority of this being by reading and keyword searching thousands of queer community print publications and ephemera and zines.
I'm focusing on riot grrrl because stumbling across a riot grrrl zine where multiple people discussed asexuality together was what spurred me to look into older publications for evidence of asexuality. I have had the privilege of viewing these riot grrrl zines from the mid-90s to early 00s where people in the community were collectively discussing asexuality, even entire essays about asexuality from a queer perspective. I've also talked to people who attended the Queeruption conferences in the late 90s and early 00s who have confirmed that there were sessions there where asexuality was discussed.
If you're interested in learning more about the research that inspired Frigid Grrrl Manifesto, feel free to reach out to me. I also plan on releasing my book and the full annotated bibliography as free downloads when they're ready.