Articles, LGBTQIA

Ace Week 2021

This is the first year that I am celebrating Ace Week since coming out to myself and my family. When I say that I came out to myself this year, I had quite a journey getting to this point. Asexuality was a ‘new’ concept to me up until recently, when a loved one asked me what I knew about it (and the entire umbrella). Suddenly, it was like my eyes had been opened for the first time – my feelings around ‘sex’ and ‘sexual relationships’ no longer seemed ‘strange’ when I read about how others identified themselves.

I guess it’s important to note that we live in a sexualised world. “Banter” is seen as commonplace everywhere. “Sex sells” is a regular mantra from advertisers. When you say “I want a romantic relationship, but NOT a sexual one” (for whatever reason), people often look at you like you’ve grown another head.

Alt-Text: #AceWeek #BeyondAwareness
Image of a pair of hands holding the Asexual flag (horizonatal stripes, top black, grey, white and purple at the bottom). Text on the right says: “Asexuality is a sexual orientation where a person experiences little to no sexual attraction to anyone and/or does not experience desire for sexual contact.”

Image of a pair of hands holding the Aromantic flag (horizontal stripes, top dark green, light green, white, grey and black at the bottom). Text on the left says: “Aromanticism is a romantic orientation where a person experiences little to no romantic attraction and/or has little to no desire to form romantic relationships.”

Having the language to explain my understanding of relationships and attraction made a huge difference to my general wellbeing. Suddenly, I was able to seperate “sexual attraction” and “romantic attraction”. I realised that persevering with sex at times was painful, scary and traumatic. But not all sexual experiences were like that either.

Like all sexualities, there is a spectrum and nuance. I’m lucky that in my recent relationships (both romantic and platonic), I have many understanding people in my life. It has meant that I have been fully accepted for who I am and how I identify.

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