Ace Week (also known as Asexual Awareness Week) is celebrated every last full week of October, beginning in 2010. Started by Sara Beth Brooks and David Jay, founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, Ace Week celebrates asexual people and their experiences and promotes acceptance and education. Check out some community-oriented and intersectional content at aceweek.org.
We asked some of our staff about their experiences with having identities on the asexual spectrum.
Steph Liu (She/Her) | Illustrator
For a long time, I went back and forth on whether I was on the ace spectrum or not because I didn’t quite understand that libido and sexual attraction were not the same thing. I knew I had a libido, but it was extremely rare that I felt sexual attraction to a person. Learning about that distinction from an OutWrite post last year helped me feel more comfortable calling myself ace in my head. It took another couple of months before I felt comfortable saying it out loud. I still haven’t really settled on a particular label, and I don’t know if I ever will— just asexual doesn’t feel quite correct to me. I’m playing around with demisexual in my head. But it’s still nice to articulate that my experience with sexual attraction is different.
Lorely Guzman (They/Them) | Writer
I’ve known I was gray-ace since I was a teen, but I hadn’t felt able to truly embrace that until now as an adult. I felt pressured by the world to shove my own feelings into a box to cater to my partners, and if I didn’t perform for them, I feared I would lose value in the eyes of these people that I loved and be abandoned for someone “normal”. Working to free myself from that self-objectification has been a process, but I’m so grateful that I did because I’ve never felt more comfortable with myself and in relationships. I can express love and affection in the way that I want to, and that’s opened me up to feeling so much more genuine warmth, comfort, and safety than I ever did before.
Paheli (She/Her) | Illustrations Intern
For a long time in high school, my friends used to joke that I was asexual because I didn’t show any interest in boys and was always only focusing on school (specifically Chemistry). They used to joke that Chemistry was my husband. When I came to college, I discovered my queerness because I started developing romantic feelings for one of my close friends. It took me a long time to recognize they were romantic because I didn’t feel like my feelings were sexual. I identify most closely with demisexuality or gray-ace. Finding the asexual community at UCLA has been really helpful in understanding and validating my experiences.