((This is for Asexual Awareness Week! I am actually asexual, and it doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is how misunderstood it is to be someone who is asexual in some way, shape, or form. I’m not afraid to tell anybody, but I have and still do receive hurtful and ignorant comments about my sexuality.” Nah, you’re going to change your mind later.” “What? so you’re a plant?” My friends have said this countless times to me. I know they’re joking. They really are. They don’t actually mean any harm, but they just don’t quite understand how or why. I’ve tried to explain it multiple times to them, but they just ignore my explanations. They laugh it off as a joke, and some days, that’s what I feel like, a joke.
But… I have so many amazing bros who support me. They make jokes everyone can enjoy. They don’t put me in uncomfortable situations. They don’t shun me or push me to do anything I’m uncomfortable with. They encourage me to be who I am, and that’s what I have to say to any other Asexuals out there, or anyone for that matter. Be who you are. Don’t try to force yourself to fit into society’s norms. And yes, you can be in a happy relationship. Yes, there’s always a possibility you will find someone that you will want to be sexually active with. Yes, there are people out there who will love you. You’re not cold. You’re not weird. You’re not unwanted, undesirable. You are a person. You are somebody.))
The fact that there are so many allies believing the A is theirs is so ironic to me. It’s for aromantic and asexual. By insisting the A is yours, you’re erasing an entire group of people from the LGBT+ community. You’re actively erasing queer people. If you insist on taking the A from me, then you are absolutely no ally to me because you are hurting us more than you are helping.
Asexual Awareness Week (AAW) is generally held at the end of October. It is a week dedicated to raising visibility of the issues faced by asexual and ace-spectrum people, as well as increasing general understanding of our orientations.
How Long Has This Been Going On?
The first AAW was held in September, 2010. It began as a campaign, spearheaded by Sara Beth Brooks, a Californian asexual activist, to encourage the LGBT+ community, particularly community leaders, to be more inclusive and understanding of aces.
The next year (2011), a committee was formed to broaden AAW’s focus, events were held globally, including screenings of the documentary (A)sexual, using funds raised through the committee’s website, and a community census was taken. The week has continued to grow from there, though the committee was disbanded after 2011, with events almost always being held during the last week of October.
What Does AAW Specifically Aim To Accomplish?
Individual aces and asexual groups may have different goals for AAW. However, some desired outcomes from this week are:
To promote awareness and understanding of split attraction and asexual identities in general,
To help people who might identify with an ace-spectrum label to understand that they are not broken or alone,
To promote the understanding that love and sex do not have to go together, and that a relationship without sex or sexual attraction is not lesser,
To spread understanding of the discrimination and violence that ace-spectrum people face, and to help decrease that discrimination and violence,
To help allies understand how they can be supportive of their asexual friends and loved ones,
And to spread awareness of support structures and groups for asexual people.
You are allowed to be naive and asexual. You are allowed to be innocent and asexual. You are not required to understand sexual things. Who you are as an asexual is okay.
You are allowed to be dirty-minded and be asexual. You are not required to be puzzled by sex to be asexual. Both of these are valid expressions of asexuality, and neither deserves to be erased or belittled.
An important thing to note is that black people, more specifically black girls, are both hypersexualized and deemed disgusting at the same damn time. The jezebel stereotype, otherwise known as the idea that black women are prone to being sexually promiscuous, has been placed on us for centuries.
Black girls aren’t allowed to be asexual.
We’re supposed to have uncontrollable sexual appetites. We’re supposed to love and crave sex at all times. We’re supposed to have had tons of sexual experience from our teens on up.
Not to mention asexuality is often associated with being childlike and innocent, shy and unemotional. Traits that are obviously never associated with black girls.
1) If we say we are uncomfortable it’s not so you can laugh and say we’re cute, it’s because we’re uncomfortable and want everything to stop.
2) Sometimes we will not state that we are uncomfortable so if we try to change subjects when discussing sexual activity, let me change the subject.
3) If you say “you just haven’t found the right person yet” We have the right to punch you in the face
4) If you say “I can change you” We will punch you in the face.
5) No means no, do not try to convince us. (this one is just a rule in general)
6) We are apart of the LGBT community however we do not feel like we belong so please do not ecourage the feelings of not belonging simply because you don’t understand.
7) Asking what traumatic experience we had to make us this way is actually really rude and might make us cry.
8) We exist. Please do not try to say otherwise.
9) Ask if we reproduce like starfish or plants and we will kick you where you would not like to be kicked.
10) If you are confused or curious about asexuality and the asexuality spectrum, please ask as we are always happy and willing to explain. As long as you respect us during the conversation, we will respect you.