Ace Week 2021

Ace Week (formerly Asexual Awareness Week) this year runs from 24th – 30th October 2021. We look at what the week seeks to achieve and how we can all be better allies to Ace people.

What is Asexuality?

Asexual people experience little to no sexual attraction and/or sexual desire. Asexuality is not a choice, it as a sexual orientation, unlike abstinance or celibacy, which are both choices to avoid sex.

Why was Ace Week established?

Asexual Awareness Week was established in 2010 as a campaign to encourage LGBT+ organisations, communities and leaders to support the Ace community, although the scope of its objectives have now broadened, celebrating its community and expanding education around asexuality. It takes place in the last full week of October each year.

There are many discriminatory myths about the Ace community that the week seeks to dispel, such as the incorrect notion that Ace people do not have relationships, that they have intimacy issues or that their asexuality is a ‘phase’ that they will grow out of.

Asexual Pride Flag

The Asexual pride flag was created in August 2010. It consists of four horizontal stripes. A black stripe to represent asexuality, a grey stripe representing the grey area between sexual and asexual, a white stripe to represent sexuality and a purple stripe to represent community.

There are other flags for identities that fall under the asexual umbrella, including (but not limited to) graysexual, demisexual, aromantic and parasexual.

The Asexual Umbrella 

Like other sexual orientations, asexuality is a spectrum, with ‘Ace’ being the term used to describe anyone who identifies until the asexual umbrella. 

A gray-asexual may experience sexual attraction rarely, only under specific circumstances, or they may fluctuate between periods of experiencing sexual attraction and periods of not experiencing sexual attraction.

Demisexuals can only experience sexual attraction if a strong emotional bond is present and while that bond is required for attraction, it is not a guarantee that attraction will occur.

Aromantic or ‘aro’ people do not experience romantic attraction and grey-romantic people experience romantic attraction very rarely. 

Demiromantic people are only romantically attracted to people with whom they have a strong emotional bond.

How to support the Ace community

  1. Ace people are a valid and beautiful part of the LGBT+ community – call out ace-erasure and acephobia whenever you encounter it
  2. Learn about Ace identities (this list is a good place to start) and be understanding that as well as being ace, a person may also have an additional identity. For example, an asexual person who is romantially attracted all genders may also identify as pansexual
  3. Educate others about asexuality and the asexual spectrum
  4. Don’t ask ace people intrusive questions about their sex life. This is never ok regardless of a person’s orientation
  5. If someone comes out to you as Ace – believe, accept and support them. Not everyone needs sex or romance to be happy

For more information about asexuality, visit www.aceweek.org/

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