SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the first time, International Asexuality Day (IAD) will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
It’s a worldwide awareness campaign focused on recognizing the full asexual spectrum. That includes asexual, greysexual, demisexual and all other ace identities. The campaign is also geared towards promoting ace visibility and giving a voice to a group of people who often get overlooked – or misunderstood.
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a non-profit on a mission to end discrimination against LGBTQ people, an asexual – or ace – person is someone who experiences “the lack of a sexual attraction or desire for other people.” Data from The Trevor Project's 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health shows 1 in 10 LGBTQIA+ youth identify as asexual or on the ace spectrum.
Meanwhile, a 2019 report from UCLA School of Law – the Williams Institute shows an estimated 1.7% of sexual minority adults identify as asexual. The study also found asexuals are “more likely to be women or gender non-binary, assigned female at birth, and younger, compared to non-asexual lesbians, gay men, and bisexual (LGB) adults.”
"Asexuality is an emerging identity," Dr. Esther D. Rothblum, a visiting distinguished scholar at the Williams Institute, said. "Given that the majority of asexual respondents were young, we expect that the prevalence and understanding of asexuality will grow as more youth reach adolescence and become familiar with the identity."
The Williams Institute report also shows asexual sexual minority adults report more everyday discrimination and stigma than non-asexual LGB adults. Additionally, statistics show, asexual youth report higher rates of depression and anxiety compared to the overall LGBTQ sample. This year’s IAD campaign comes with four themes to highlight the advocacy work of ace communities and LGBTQIA-plus organizations. That includes Advocacy, Celebration, Education and Solidarity.
The Sacramento LGBT Community Center, a non-profit on a mission to create a region where LGBTQ+ people thrive, is encouraging the public to recognize IAD as well as support all LGTBQIA+ communities year-round. The organization is also committed to "supporting the health and wellness of the most marginalized, advocating for equality and justice, and working to build a culturally rich LGBTQ+ community."
“I think it’s really important for community members or anyone questioning their identity to have a day that celebrates who they are, especially for asexual people,” Alexis Sanchez, Director of Advocacy & Training at LGBT Community Center, said. “When you grow up not seeing yourself reflected in popular media or not knowing that other people like you exist, it can be really isolating. International Asexuality Day really helps people feel as though they are valid in their identity and community.”
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are still ways you can recognize IAD. You can simply share a post on social media supporting the ace community. You might also want to consider virtually joining organizations all over the world who are holding events, running campaigns, and supporting the cause. To find a local organization celebrating IAD, visit the IAD website. To learn more about how you can get involved in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, visit the Sacramento LGBT Community Center website.
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