Pride Month: Asexuality And Me
woman raising rainbow flag in crowd
Photo by Brian Kyed on Unsplash

Pride Month: Asexuality And Me

Ellie-Rose Baker June 7, 2022

An asexual person is usually defined as ‘not having sexual feelings towards others’.

For some, asexuality is also closely linked to being aromantic, which means experiencing little or no romantic attraction.

For me, I consider myself to be asexual, although not aromantic as I do experience romantic attraction, it’s just the sex part that I am completely disinterested in.

Photo by Toni Reed on Unsplash

*Disclaimer: Everything below this point is entirely my own opinion*

In a month that celebrates every sexuality, every gender, every colour of that beautiful rainbow, I thought it was only right to share my opinion on what I think is one of the most under-represented sexualities.

Being asexual/aromantic isn’t about being actively interested in girls, boys, any gender or no gender. It’s about being actively uninterested. This is why I think that asexuality has limited representation, because it sits on the boundary. This boundary is so largely contested that, every year, I continue to read debates on why asexuality and aromanticism shouldn’t be celebrated at Pride.

For years, I thought that I was wired wrong. I thought this because I didn’t seem to be attracted to anyone at school like my friends were. I was called a prude because I didn’t show any interest in talking about sex. I was called a baby, innocent, naïve, because I could never give a reason why I’d never had sex. I just kept telling my peers that it was because I hadn’t found the right person.

In January 2020, after the release of the second season of Netflix’s Sex Education, I began to take notice of the term ‘asexual’. I’d heard of it before but, like many others on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, I passed it off as something that ‘doesn’t apply to me’. I told myself that ‘labels were for others’.

‘Sex doesn’t make us whole, and so how could you ever be broken?’ – Jean Milburn

Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn, 2020, Netflix

After years of thinking that I was broken, I finally felt seen. In 2022, I came across Heartstopper writer Alice Oseman’s Loveless (which, to be fair, was pretty much the only result when searching for ‘asexual literature’). I spent a life-affirming day reading this beautiful YA novel about a girl who was in a near-identical position to me, a position that I had never seen or heard of anyone else being in. As incredible as it was to finally find someone to relate to, it was also devastating to think of the years that I’d spent feeling so dejected and false. All because I didn’t know that there was a term for what I felt.

Despite increasing representation for other sexualities and genders, asexuality/aromanticism still remains relatively unheard of.

I have never been a lover of labels. I could never understand why every slight deviation in sexuality or gender had to have its own individual category. Why couldn’t people just exist, regardless of those definitions? I didn’t realise the importance of having labels until I discovered my label.

However, I still don’t announce my sexuality as such. I still nod at aunties who say ‘You just haven’t found the right person’. I still smile at strangers who talk about sex as if it’s a new cocktail, ‘Don’t knock it until you try it.’ In today’s sex-obsessed society, it’s just easier.

As comforted as I am by being able to fit into that beautiful, asexual box, I remind myself often that my sexuality is not my entirety.

I am a daughter. A granddaughter. A graduate. A waitress. A best friend. A reader. A volunteer. An optimist. A lover, occasionally a fighter if it’s something that I strongly believe in. I am me. I am happy.

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Ellie-Rose Baker, alumni of the University of South Wales, is an almost adult, tackling the big wide world with an English and Creative Writing degree in one hand, and a cuppa in the other. A Freelance Journalist for Freshered, Ellie-Rose's primary focus' are navigating postgraduate life, climate change and literature. She also takes her writing inspiration from her other roles which include theatre ushering and English teaching.