It’s Asexual Awareness Week
October 22, 2018
October 21st to 27th is Asexual Awareness Week. The goal for this week, which was created by Sara Beth Brooks in 2010, is to teach people about asexuality, including what it means and why it is completely O.K. to be asexual (or “ace” for short).
In honor of this week, I spoke with two friends who identify as asexual about their experiences. I asked my friend Alexa, 16, of Maywood, NJ, if she has ever felt left out because she is ace. “Very much so, oh boy,” she says. “I felt like I didn’t have a place in this world. Everyone’s always expecting you to get a crush or into a relationship and get married at some point.” Being asexual can also feel isolating. Alexa explains, “Knowing that there’s others like me helps a lot, I don’t feel so lonely identifying as ace. It describes me and others, and it’s important to have representation to inform people.”
Sometimes people might not realize what their sexual orientation is right away. “I didn’t know I was ace because I really didn’t know enough about it,” says Sol, 15, of Bay Shore, NY. “The media never really shows it much. I mostly learned about it from LGBTQ+ accounts! And Bojack Horseman, obviously.” (Netflix show Bojack Horseman features a character who identifies as asexual). Sol is absolutely right. We don’t often hear about asexuality, either in the news or entertainment. In movies, for example, sex can appear as this wondrous, mind-blowing experience that can define a good romance. But what if you don’t need to have sex to experience romance? What if you’re not interested in sex at all? Even if you don’t realize it, the message that sex and romance are automatically tied is out there, loud and clear.
Now, whether or not you identify as asexual, you’re aware of this week! So, if you or any of your friends are ace or feel like you might be, you can officially feel acknowledged by the relatively new but very impactful Asexual Awareness Week.