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Asexuality and the internet's key role in the Ace community




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The internet has often served as a refuge for marginalized groups such as the LGBTQ and Trans communities. But it's connection to Asexuality and the "Ace" community, as members call themselves, is a little more unique.

While the concept of Asexuality has been around for a long time, the internet gave it a name and space in the world.

For more, Take Two's Libby Denkmann spoke to Naomi Gettman, she's a Southern California native who identifies as Asexual.

Interview Highlights

Define Asexuality.

"It exists on a spectrum. So you have, people over here who have a libido or sexual desires but they still aren't necessarily attracted to people. And then you have over here, where it's definitely not 'no way' and then a gray area in between. So, in the loosest terms, Asexuality just means not feeling sexual attraction to anybody, to any gender."  

When and how did you come to the realization that you were Asexual?

"Oh man, probably my senior year of high school. So, I was about 17, it was never something that I thought about because Asexuality is a lack of something so how are you supposed to know if you're missing something if it's not there...

I just figured, everybody was like this. People would talk about crushes and I don't know...I just never took them seriously or maybe they're just joking around or like...it was always something in the future. Like, 'Oh, when you grow up you'll feel this way.' I'm 17, I'm older...when's this going to happen?' 

...You know people online that I've met and talked to, we go to a chatroom or Tumblr and that's a very common narrative, where people feel broken and alone because, yeah...everyone's like this and maybe they're a little more self-aware than I am and that's what's so important about representation and getting out there. Because, Asexuality is something that you have to Google...you have to pull down the powerpoint and explain to people, it's not out there yet."

There has been instances where Asexuality has been questioned or different questions have come up about whether there's a place for Asexuals in the LGBT community. Have you ever felt that when you're going online or talking to your friends?

"I think there's a disconnect in that a lot LGBT spaces, they try to relate to Pride or love is love where it's always focusing on the relationship. Like, 'Oh, I'm just like you but I'm a girl that loves a girl and you're a guy that loves a girl so actually, we have a lot in common'. So, if there's a focus on sexuality and love interests and stuff like that, you always see it as couples and pairings but not everybody is necessarily like that.

And you go to Pride and it's very sexually open and sexually expressive and that's great, because people aren't always allowed to show that in their day to day and that's why Pride is around but for a lot of Aces, which is slang for Asexual, will go and they feel uncomfortable because they're not sexual, that's like the opposite of them."

Answers have been edited for clarity.

To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.