At its most basic definition, an asexual person is someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction to other people. But, as asexual artist Kat Flores wrote on their blog, asexuality — like any other sexuality — is more complicated than that.
Asexuality is a spectrum, and while some people fit into that basic definition and feel no sexual attraction at all, others do feel some sexual attraction or feel sexual attraction only in specific circumstances. Often, those people identify as grey ace or demisexual, which means they fall somewhere along the line between totally asexual and totally allosexual (which is the term for those of us who aren't asexual at all).
As Flores writes, asexual people can also be aromantic (meaning they also don't experience romantic attraction), or they can form romantic connections. They can be transgender or non-binary or any of a number of other gender identities. They can be gay or lesbian or bisexual or pansexual or any other sexuality in their romantic, aesthetic, and sometimes even sexual attractions.
One thing an asexual person definitely isn't, is broken, Flores wrote. It's a common feeling for many asexual people as they figure out their identity, and also used to be what doctors and other medical professionals thought. Asexuality was still classified as a medical disorder, in fact, until 2013.
"My hope is that if we share our experiences, more people will see us and recognise asexuality as a valid identity," Flores wrote.
They posted their comic on asexuality for Asexual Awareness Week, which started Sunday, October 22 and lasts until this coming Saturday. It's a week not only for those of us who aren't asexual to educate ourselves about this lesser known sexuality, but also for asexual people to celebrate themselves and their community.
As should be clear from Flores' words, asexuality can't be boiled down to a single experience, and it definitely doesn't look just one way.
Read on to see how 25 asexual people are celebrating their identity this week.