Ace Week 2021


Kyle Bridston, Writer

During the final week of October, an annual event takes place called Ace Week. Initially established in 2010 as Asexual Awareness Week, Ace Week focuses on spreading awareness and educating about the asexual identity, the ace spectrum, diversity, and the issues of media erasure and representation.

The ace spectrum, a significant factor in Ace Week and the overall ace identity, represents the different identities under the asexual umbrella, spanning between asexuality (not having or experiencing little sexual attraction) and allosexuality (having sexual attraction). Some of the different terms on this spectrum include graysexual – someone who experiences only some sexual attraction, or experiences sexual attraction infrequently – and demisexuality – someone who may experience sexual attraction only once they have formed a close connection with a person. Ace Week also attempts to focus on the Split-Attraction Model, which says that there are multiple types of attraction: sexual, romantic, sensual, platonic, and aesthetic. These attraction types are often used by ace and aro (aromantic, i.e. not experiencing romantic attraction) means to a person.

Another issue that Ace Week focuses on is media representation. Asexuality is rarely depicted in movies and TV shows, and more often than not it is misrepresented. Additionally, the majority of media is allonormative, meaning that all the characters are presented to be allo, and those who are not are presented as having something wrong with them. Overall, the lack of representation is harmful on many levels; firstly, people who are not familiar with the ace community, and secondly, allonormativity may create even more internalized acephobia within ace people. That being said, representation is slowly improving, as more and more shows like Bojack Horseman and the upcoming indie film Dear Luke, Love Me are released with the intention of properly representing asexuality to mainstream audiences.

As a whole, Ace Week is meant to be a time for spreading awareness about asexuality and the many different identities under its umbrella. Furthermore, Ace Week allows for open conversations about asexuality from ace and allo people alike, broadening knowledge on the spectrum of human sexuality as a whole.