The journey started with just LGB and now we are at LGBTTQQIAAP- we have come a long way. Many within and outside this community are confused or even unaware of what each of these letters stand for. So today we are here to solve a part of that confusion. We are going to explore the wondrous letter A in the LGBTQIA+ community.
The letter A in the LGBTQIA+ community stands for Asexual and Aromantic individuals. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction and aromantisim is the lack of romantic attraction. Both are a spectrum and hence also act as umbrella terms for demisexual, graysexual and demiromantic, grayromantic respectively. As basic as this definition sounds, there are still many assumptions floating around about these terms and the people who identify with it. Let’s address some of these and break this mystery fog. Time for some clarity folks.
Oh! You mean celibacy.
No. We do not mean celibacy. Celibacy is a conscious choice to refrain from sexual acts. But asexuality is like any other sexual orientation, it comes from within. It is not a choice but a part of our identity. Some asexual people also indulge and in fact enjoy sex and other sexual acts, whereas some are repulsed by the same. Some do occasionally or rarely feel sexual attraction (graysexual) and some feel it after a strong emotional or romantic bond has been formed (demisexual). Does this sound anything like celibacy to you?
You just haven’t found the right one.
This is something that almost every asexual and aromantic individual has faced during their coming out. And honestly, we are tired of hearing of it. A lot of asexual and aromantic individuals have found their one or many and are living happily with them. It is just that their relationship is a little different than a person who isn’t asexual (aka allosexual) or aromantic (aka alloromantic). Love between two consenting adults in a relationship can be in many forms and so can its expression. Some may express it through sexual acts, some through romantic gestures and some through just being there for each other. The validity of a relationship isn’t decided on the basis of the way the love between the individuals present in the partnership is expressed.
You must not feel love then.
Do you want to rethink that? Is love only sexual or romantic? This is something that is mostly faced by aromantic individuals. People confuse romance with love and don’t realise that love that is not of romantic nature is nothing less. Aromantics are people who do not experience romantic attraction, but this does not mean they don’t feel love.
Did you suffer trauma?
You see reduction in sexual drive or interest in romance when a person experiences trauma. And some of these individuals find comfort with the label asexual and aromantic. But this doesn’t mean that is the case with all asexual and aromantic individuals. Most people who identify with these labels have not gone through any sort of trauma and have led a relatively healthy lifestyle and continue to lead one in all forms. Asexuality and aromantisim are just more kinds of sexual and romantic orientations. They need not be an effect to a cause.
You are just afraid to commit.
Does that mean all allosexual and alloromantic individuals are always up for commitment? Relationships involving asexuals or aromantics maybe a little different, but they share a strong bond and go through the same ups and downs like any allosexual or allromantics. Level of commitment is something that varies from person to person that doesn’t have anything to do with an individuals sexual or romantic orientation.
These are some of the most common questions or comments the asexual and aromantic community face. Coming out is more annoying and tiresome than scary for people who identify as asexual or aromantic. But everyday as we spread awareness we make the world a little less difficult for the next generation of this community, just as our previous generations did for us.