Asexual & Agender

LGBTQ+: An Educational Series

By Sarah Vick

     Earlier in the fall, The Salemite covered the first six letters of the LGBTQIA+ initialism. Now we are continuing our journey through the alphabet with definitions provided by the Gender Equity Resource Center at the University of California at Berkeley. This is the third installment of an educational series that gathers LGBTQIA+ terms from scholarly resources and breaks them down to make them easier for everyone to understand.

    November 2015 is brought to you by the letter “A.”

     A is for “asexual” and “agender.”  Broken down to its roots, asexual literally means “without sex.” Asexual people, commonly referred to as “ace” people, fall under the umbrella term of asexuality, which covers an absence of sexual attraction or low interest in sex and sexual activity. Under the ace umbrella are “gray-asexuals” who may experience sexual attraction infrequently, vaguely or are simply unsure if they experience sexual attraction. “Demisexuals” are a type of gray-asexuals who only experience sexual attraction after developing a close emotional bond with someone. The asexual community is highly diverse and everyone experiences romantic and sexual attraction (or lack thereof) in their own, unique way.

    Broken down to its roots, agender literally means “without gender.” Someone who is agender may identify as non-binary or without a gender identity altogether. Gender is separate from sexuality; agender people can have any or no sexual or romantic orientation.

    Gender and sexuality are complex personal characteristics, and everyone feels differently about them. This article is an educational overview of terminology. It is important to keep in mind that people are free to identify themselves as they choose, and some prefer not to use any labels at all. Stay tuned for next month’s edition of LGBTQIA+ in The Salemite!

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