On 6 April, people across the world will be raising awareness for International Asexuality Day.
This day aims to celebrate the full asexual spectrum, focusing on four key themes: advocacy, celebration, education and solidarity.
What is asexuality?
Asexuality is a spectrum of identities related to an individual not experiencing sexual attraction. It is paired with aromanticism, which refers to people who do not experience romantic attraction.
These are collectively known as A-spec identities, which encompasses a number of different experiences within these categories.
Asexual people are part of the LGBTQ+ umberella, because they do not experience attraction to another gender.
Many asexual people have found it helpful to describe their identity in more detail, so there are many sub-identities to be aware of:
- Asexuals – who don’t experience sexual attraction, but may experience other forms of attraction, such as romantic attraction.
- Aromantics – who don’t experience romantic attraction, but may experience sexual attraction.
- Aro-aces – who don’t experience romantic or sexual attraction.
- Grey-asexuals – who experience sexual attraction only very rarely.
- Demisexuals – who experience sexual attraction only after forming a close bond with someone.
- Sex-repulsed asexuals – who have an aversion to the idea of having sex.
- Sex-favourable asexuals – who like sex despite not experiencing sexual attraction.
- Aegosexuals – who can find things arousing despite not feeling sexual attraction.
Why do we have a day dedicated to asexuality?
Asexuality is relatively unfamiliar to many people, so today aims to raise awareness for asexual and aromantic people.
The day also hopes to tackle discrimination against asexual people, including a range of prejudices, such as negative attitudes, behaviours and feelings toward people who identify as part of the asexual spectrum. This may look like the belief that aromantic and asexual people:
- Are less than human or against human nature.
- Are deficient or broken as a result of mental illness.
- Have just not met the ‘right’ person.
- Are confused or ‘going through a phase’.
- Cannot experience love and have relationships.
- Are ‘prudes’; that asexuality is a choice rather than an orientation.
- Don’t face oppression and are damaging the LGBTQ+ cause.
How can we support A-spec people?
Validating the feelings that A-spec people have is a great way to show your support. Society tells these people that they’re broken, which can be a really difficult experience. One way to help is by not assuming that everyone has or wants a partner.
If you think you might identify as asexual, there are plently of resources to help you explore this. This Reddit thread looks at some key asexual FAQs.
Harrogate-based group which offers support and advice to young LGBTQ+ people (aged 13-25).
A group to offer support and advice to young LGBTQ+ people. This organisation offers a safe place to meet as well as useful information sessions.
A UK-based charity providing advice, support, research and lobbying around the issues of LGBTQ+ policing.
The world’s largest online asexual community.