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Who Puts The 'A' In LGBTQIA+?

Let's break down the acronym and focus on the A, what does it stand for?

The Asexuality flag held in a persons hands

There's a lot of debate over that one letter in the acronym. If I had a penny for every time I've had to explain that the 'A' doesn't stand for Ally, I would probably have enough to pay off a sizable chuck out of my gas bill... Ahem.

All joking aside the 'A' does have a meaning, it stretches to a very broad spectrum which means it has many 'sub-sexualities' that come under the umbrella of Asexuality. Ever heard the terms; Demisexual, or Aromantic? How about Grey-sexual? Don’t worry if you haven’t, I hadn’t either! There was a time when I didn’t believe that identifying as ‘Straight’ was appropriate for me but neither did any of the more mainstream sexualities like, Bisexual, Pansexual or Homosexual. And since there is a lot of pressure in society to apply labels to oneself, I felt that I had to do my research. In this article, I will be explaining what some of the different types of Asexuality are and how to tell if this applies to you I will also debug some of the misconceptions that surround Asexuality.

What is 'Asexuality'?

Most people misunderstand the term 'Asexual' as being someone who despises relationships and sexual contact. But that isn't true. It is true that this might apply to a small number of people who identify as Asexual but for many, it is far from the truth. This is where the 'sub-sexualites' come in, here are just a few that I have come across in conversation:

  • Asexual – applies to people who get sexual urges sometimes but for the most part, don’t, we call this being Grey-sexual. Grey-sexual may also get mistaken as Grey-romantic which is similar but not completely the same. Grey-romantics, want romantic relationships but under very specific circumstances. These circumstances can change depending on the person, so if your partner tells you that they identify as Grey-romantic you may need to sit down and talk about what they are comfortable with.

  • Demisexual and Demiromantic – applies to people who don’t feel primary attraction (like a person’s looks or the way they smell) but do feel secondary attraction (their emotional connection to the other person, for example).

  • Aromantic – applies to people who feel little to no sexual or romantic attraction to people of any gender. This can also be mistaken for Apothiromantic or Antiromantic which are very similar, but with the difference being that the latter feel repulsed by the idea of romance and will feel no romantic attraction at all. These are not to be confused with Caed(o)romantic, who once felt normal romantic attraction but now don’t due to past trauma.

  • Reciprosexual and Recipromantic – applies to people who don’t feel attraction to people unless they find out the other person is attracted to them.

  • Cupioromantic – applies to people who don’t feel romantic attraction but still desire a romantic relationship.

This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of the sexualities that come under the umbrella of Asexuality. If you would like to find out more, you can do so here.

And if you think you are Asexual?

That’s okay!

It is important to remember that there is nothing wrong with being asexual, in the same way, it isn’t wrong to be Gay, Bi, Pan or Trans. You are who you are, and you are attracted to whom you are attracted to…or aren’t attracted to as the case might be. If you are in a relationship and think you may identify as under the Asexual umbrella, or if you identify as a term under the asexual umbrella and want a relationship, then it is important to communicate it to your partner. Relationships are like people, they come in all sorts of shapes and colours, and all are as meaningful as each other.

I used to want the perfect relationship, real Disney style. But as I got older I realised that there are certain parts of a relationship that I’m not comfortable with – and that’s okay. It just means that I value certain details over others, personally, I think the emotional connection you have is more important than the physical or romantic attraction but not everyone will feel the same as me – and that’s okay!

It is also perfectly normal for Asexual people to want families and marriage, and many Asexual people do have these things. There is a reason Asexuality is a spectrum and it’s because the term means something different to everyone, but it doesn’t make you any less valid than anyone else.

If you think you may be Asexual or you wish to find out more, you can find out more here.


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