I have a question; what does the “A” in LGBTQIA stand for? Your answer could be one (or more) of five things:
- I don’t know
If you said 2, 3 or 4 than you are 100% correct. If you said 5 than that’s okay maybe this blog post could educate you a little on the matter. If you said 1 then I am afraid that you are wrong. Are you thinking “what Lauren there’s no way I could be wrong! A stands for Ally.” Well I’m afraid it doesn’t. The “A” in LGBTQIA stands for “asexual”, “aromantic”, and “agender”. The reason why the “A” doesn’t stand for “ally” is because everyone in the community is in someway been oppressed, allies who are heteromantic, heterosexual, and cisgendered are not in anyway oppressed, whereas people who are aromantic or asexual or agender are.
But why is this important to me?
Note: As I am cisgendered and not very educated on the agender community I feel that it is best if this blog post is mainly about asexuality and aromanticism which I am more educated on and leave the agender side to someone who is agender and/or more educated with the matter.
I am an aromantic asexual.
“But what does aromantic and asexual mean?”
The definition of someone who is asexual is the following:
- “Someone who identifies as asexual (shortened term: ace) feels little to no sexual attraction towards any gender.”
The definition of someone who is aromantic is the following:
- “Some who identifies as aromantic (shortened term: aro) feels little to no romantic attraction towards any gender.”
The reason the “Take Back The A” movement is so important to me is because the aro and ace communities are mostly unknown or forgotten about. How many canon! asexual and/or aromantic characters can you name? And now compare that to the number of canon! gay or bisexual characters you can name. You see the difference. I can name at least 10 gay or bisexual characters. Here’s some examples
- Connor Walsh – How To Get Away With Murder
- Oliver Hampton – How To Get Away With Murder
- Clarke Griffin – The 100
- Magnus Bane – The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices
- Alec Lightwood – The Mortal Instruments
- Helen Blackthorn – The Mortal Instruments & The Dark Artifices
- Aline Penhallow – The Mortal Instruments & The Dark Artifices
- Ethan – Teen Wolf
- Danny Mahealani – Teen Wolf
- Mason Hewitt – Teen Wolf
- Cosima Niehaus – Orphan Black
Okay you get the idea I know a lot of canon! gay/bi characters. But now let me list the asexual or aromantic who are canon!:
- Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead
- Raphael Santiago – The Mortal Instruments
That’s all I can list. Don’t get me wrong representation is great! We need more representation from all of the LGBTQIA community because there isn’t a lot of it but most of the representation of the ace and aro community is speculated except those 3 characters I named above. Daryl confirmed by the writer, Raphael confirmed by the author via twitter, just for your information asexuals aren’t always aromantic and vice versa so someone can be gay AND asexual. romantic orientation doesn’t always have to equal sexual orientation. Yes when it comes to the ace and aro community most of us are both asexual and aromantic but some of the community are biromantic, heteromantic, homoromantic and so on.
I want more people to understand the terms “asexual” and “aromantic” and what they mean and the fact that they aren’t a bad thing. Just because we don’t experience one or the other, or even both it doesn’t mean we can’t be happy. Asexuals can still have sex if they want to, and either can be in a relationship if they wanted to. People can be happy without sex and/or a romantic partner. It’s recently come to my knowledge about “Queerplatonic Partners” (QPR for short). It’s the equivalent to a romantic and sexual relationship without the romantic and sexual parts, but it’s up to the people with the QPR to decide what they find comfortable doing with each other. It’s a long life partnership.
What I want from the “Take Back The A” movement is people to stop looking at aromantic and asexuals as broken or weird and see that it is normal to experience what we do and that the world doesn’t have to revolve around sex or romance. People can be happy as they are. And please NEVER say the following things to someone who is asexual or aromantic:
- You haven’t found the right person yet
- You’ll never know unless you try it
- Asexuality and/or Aromanticism doesn’t exist
- It’s just a phase
- You’re just scared
- That’s unfair on me (making the asexual or aromantic person feel guilty about not doing something like sex for example)
I swear if I hear one of those six things ever again said to someone who is ace and/or aro I will release my dragons.
For more information about asexuality and/or aromanticism I recommend these sites (most in which have information about both aromanticism and asexuality):
- The Asexuality Blog
- Affirm-Ace-Ions (Positivity Blog)
- Asexuality Archive
- The Asexual Agenda
- The Thinking Asexual
- Fuck Yeah Asexual
- Intimacy Cartography
- Aromanticism 101
- You Might Be Aromantic If…
- Asexuality Exists
- Asexual Advice
- Aspec Safety Net
- Perks Of Being Ace
- What Is Asexuality
And there are many others out there. I hope this blog post either educated you on some topics or made you understand the importance of the “A” in “LGBTQIA”.