The inspiration for the A-Team piece, despite the fact that it is entirely based in interviews, came from my own experiences as someone who identifies as agender, asexual, and (to a certain extent) aromantic.
I did not want my own experiences to be a part of the story because I felt I already had a platform to share them through my own academic and creative works. Instead, the goal of The A-Team was to share the stories of others and showcase the diversity of those who identify as agender, asexual, and/or aromantic.
My interview process with my four different sources ended up more as reaffirmation conversations than anything. Our experiences were valid. Our use or rejection of labels were valid. Our lives were valid.
What this also reaffirmed for me was that this was a conversation worth starting. In the past year, there has been a lot more coverage given to A-spectrum identities than I remember there being when I came out as asexual and aromantic almost ten years ago or even three years ago when I started exploring my non-existent gender identity. A part of me felt that it was already entering the mainstream consciousness, so why should I just retell the story?
The A-Team is not about retelling the story though, its about expanding upon it to show that there are many ways of identifying and existing.
Photography by Allison I. Moorman, featuring models Cai Santee and Olivia Bashaw