International Asexuality Day (IAD) was announced on 31 January, and will be held on 6 April from 2021 onwards.
The day aims to celebrate and support all asexual people, with a particular focus on those outside the Western, English-speaking world.
It was set up collaboratively by individuals and organisations from 22 different countries and regions.
“We need more momentum for our community so that asexuality is treated with the same legitimacy, consideration and respect as other orientations. This is a step in the growing movement for asexual visibility.”Co-organiser Yasmin Benoit, a model and asexuality activist from the UK
Asexual people are those who don’t experience sexual attraction or any intrinsic desire to have sexual relationships. Asexuality is also often described as the ‘invisible orientation’; Vox estimated that the first sincere representation of asexuality on TV was in 2007.
“Whether it be in the media, education, social policy, academic research — you name it and you’re probably not going to see us included,” Miss Benoit said.
She explained that visibility and education were necessary to combat anti-asexual attitudes and empower asexual people — and that special occasions were what drew attention.
“We might get some attention during Pride Month, but that depends on which country or region you’re in. There is an Ace Week in October but that leaves most of the year with minimal visibility for the community,” she said.
When IAD organisers started planning in spring 2020, inclusivity was — and remains — a key aspect. They wanted to ensure everyone was able to participate, particularly those who weren’t usually spotlighted in Western mainstream coverage of asexual issues. A key aspect of this was making the date accessible — it wasn’t enough to just avoid national holidays in the UK and US.
IAD also aims to be inclusive to all asexual identities. Although an orientation in its own right, ‘asexual’ is often used as an umbrella term too, covering identities such as demisexual and graysexual.
More information can be found at https://internationalasexualityday.org/
Words by Naomi Curston
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