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Article and art by Gabi Linehan

Asexual/ Aromantic: Beyond the Visible Line of LGBTQ Identity

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In this new series I’m producing, I will be writing about the sexualities and genders beyond the terms people know as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer. For this piece, I’ll be explaining the terms Asexual and Aromantic.

First off, Asexual and Aromantic are two different things! You can be one but not the other or you can be both. There is no limit to labels. In new news people use, in the acronym LGBTQIA, the A refers to Asexual, Aromantic, and Agender, not Ally, but today we’re only going to talk about sexuality and romance or lack thereof.

Asexuality is the feeling you have when you don’t experience sexual attraction. It is an umbrella term for some other sexualities. Representation includes Florence from the Netflix series “Sex Education” and Raphael Santiago from Freeform’s “Shadowhunters.” Asexuality does not mean you can’t be romantically attracted to people.

The colors of the asexual flag are black, gray, white, and purple. The black represents Asexual. The gray represents graysexual and demisexual. The white represents allosexual. Last but not least, the purple represents community.

According to Feeld Guide, “Asexuality first originated as a concept in the late 1890s.” It was founded by Magnus Hirschfeld, a German sexologist. “The term was used to expand received ideas about sexuality. In 2001, David Jay founded the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), which became the most prominent platform for asexual communities.”

Aromantic is the feeling you have when you don’t experience romantic attraction. This does not mean you can’t feel sexually attracted to others. Representation includes actress Michaela Coel and singer-songwriter, Moses Sumney. However there are not a lot of Aromantic representations in TV shows or movies with characters who identify as just aromantic.

The colors of the aromantic flag are dark green, light green, white, gray, and black. The dark green represents aromanticism. The light green represents the aromantic spectrum. The white represents platonic and aesthetic attraction. The gray represents gray-romantic and demi-romantic. Finally, black represents the sexuality spectrum.

According to AUREA, the term Aromantic was founded around 2005 and 2006, when The Asexual Visibility and Education Network [AVEN] was first making its appearance in the LGBT community. It was seen in the Qing dynasty when a group of women banded together to stand against arranged marriages.

Representation of people who identify as both includes musical artist Cavetown and model Yasmin Benoit. Representation is important because people who identify with Asexuality or Aromantic or both need to be able to relate to someone, whether it be a character or a celebrity. We hope you learned something new about Aromantic and Asexual identities.

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