October is a month full of celebrations. From ADHD Awareness Week to Halloween, the best fall month is looked forward to throughout the year. However, my favorite week is Asexuality Awareness Week, which was created to help educate people about asexuality.
So what is asexuality? Asexuality is the term for someone who feels no sexual attraction. An estimated 76 million people globally identify as asexual. Just like all sexualities, asexuality is a spectrum. There are some people who never experience sexual attraction. There are some people who only feel sexual attraction when they have a strong emotional bond with another person. There are some people who feel sexual attraction sometimes but not all of the time. All of these identities fall onto the asexuality spectrum.
There is little asexual representation in popular media, so the ace community has adopted several unsexualized characters as it’s own. Although it’s not explicitly acknowledged, many people think that Jughead from the famed Archie Comics is ace. Throughout the original series, Ethel is constantly chasing after Jughead, having fallen head over heels in love with him. However, Jughead wastes no time in saying that he has no interest in women – preferring Pop’s hamburgers over a relationship. Further proof is that, whenever he even gets close to a girl, he turns away in disgust. The ace community has claimed his character as representation despite the lack of confirmation because of the clear distaste for any romantic or sexual advances made on him.
Not representing asexual people in popular media perpetuates many misconceptions. Since asexuality is not talked about enough, when people first realize that they aren’t attracted to anyone, they may not know what asexuality is and it may leave them feeling broken. This notion is reinforced by how some people in the LGBTQ+ community say that ace people don’t belong in the community. However, most people agree that they do, because asexual people are not heterosexual. The lack of portrayal of ace people is a serious problem because like everyone else, ace people just want to be acknowledged.
Just remember, next year from October 21st to 27th, it’s ace awareness week, so celebrate with some of your ace friends, or stand in solidarity with all of the ace people who are underrepresented in popular media.