LGBTQ+ News and views
Aromantic Awareness Week
The Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week starts on Sunday 20 February this year. It is celebrated internationally during the first full week after Valentine’s Day. This is a week to spread awareness and acceptance of people who see themselves on the spectrum of aromantic identities. It is a relatively unknown community which experiences a lack of visibility.
Why, would you ask, does one need so many labels? Well, it helps some people feel they are not alone in their experience, feelings, and identity. It is an acknowledgement of their validity and visibility.
In the words of assistant professor Jennifer Pollitt of Temple University: ‘A person who identifies as aromantic is someone who may experience sexual attraction but doesn’t experience romantic attraction. They are often uninterested in having romantic relationships but may be potentially interested in having sexual relationships.
A person who is asexual, on the other hand, may experience romantic attraction, but does not typically experience sexual attraction. They may be interested in romantic relationships but are often uninterested in sexual relationships.
There are people who identify as both aromantic and asexual, and both of these identities are valid orientations that belong within the big, beautiful rainbow umbrella of LGBTQIA+.
We know aromantics and asexuals have existed for as long as humans have. However, it’s only through the terminology recently going mainstream that we can actually put words to these feelings, identities and experiences. As language evolves, so does visibility and understanding, though we haven’t reached enough understanding yet. Social media platform Tumblr was one of the main online communities helping to create language for asexuality and aromanticism, while other online spaces were involved in helping these identities flourish and thrive’.
If you are exploring your sexual identity, it may be empowering to discuss these definitions of identities and orientations and how you feel about them in a therapy session.
The Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society has an informative page on ‘What do “Asexual” and “Aromantic” Mean?’
There is also useful information on the Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week page: ASAW
It is important to try to understand what is behind the labels and the words. Listen to others and discover meaningful connections and acceptance!
We hear you! You are not alone!
[image description: The Aromantic flag. The flag has five horizontal stripes of dark green, light green, white, grey and black; dark green symbolizes aromanticism, light green, together with the dark one, represents the aromantic spectrum, white stands for platonic and aesthetic attractions, while grey and black represent the sexuality spectrum.]