By Founder of Asexual Awareness Week, Sara Beth Brooks
This week, asexual people around the world are celebrating the sixth annual Asexual Awareness Week. When I founded this project In 2010, I had no idea it would not only reach across the United States, but also around the world. As Ace Week has quickly become a tradition in the lives of asexual, demisexual, grey-asexual, and other ace spectrum people each October, it’s important to take a moment to remember why this awareness is so important.
Asexuality is an orientation where a person does not experience sexual attraction. Oftentimes, asexual people, or aces, experience erasure and invisibility in everyday life, because there is little to no public discourse about asexuality. Some aces struggle with understanding their sexuality for some time before finding the asexual community. A common theme of ace identity is feeling broken, alone, or even ashamed of one’s sexual orientation. But as information about asexuality is starting to reach mental health professionals, they are seeing how they can better serve us.
Over the last six years, we’ve worked with countless organizations to educate on asexuality and ace experiences. Since 2012, Trevor Project has integrated materials about asexuality into their trainings and services. And our work as a community isn’t done yet. Last year, the University of California system took demographic information from among its undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff and found that 4.6% of that population identifies as asexual. These growing numbers of people identifying as asexual show that it has never been more important to continue educating about asexuality. Community events such as Asexual Awareness Week not only serve to bring us closer together, but also help more people understand the fundamental diversity of human sexuality.
This week, as profile pictures turn purple, white, grey, and black in support of asexuality, you can learn more too through the collection of resources we’ve gathered on asexualawarenessweek.com. A curriculum is even available for download at asexualoutreach.org and events around the globe are listed here. For more information on asexuality, please visit www.aceweek.org or www.asexuality.com.