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Why we’re launching our Ace awareness workshop toolkit

Tuesday 25-04-2017 - 00:01

As your current NUS Wales LGBT+ Officer (open place), I’m really pleased to bring you the first NUS Wales LGBT+ Campaign Ace awareness workshop.

As soon as I started being involved with NUS and activism, I saw the complete lack of understanding and awareness of individuals of Ace identities, and knew that mostly people were saying unintentionally upsetting things to Ace individuals due to lack of education.

I knew that we should be doing more as a movement to support Ace individuals and to bring awareness to this particularly underrepresented identity. This is particularly important to me as I was not aware that I was asexual until I reached 20 as it was not talked about, and this thought that was also shared by the student movement, which is why we passed policy on launching an Ace awareness campaign at the NUS Wales LGBT+ Campaign Conference 2016.

What do we mean by Ace?

Ace refers to the aromantic and asexual spectrum, all of which are fluid, as with any identity. There are many different identities under the two spectrums, but the most known are the following:

  • Asexual – someone who experiences little or no sexual attraction.
  • Grey asexual (Grey A) – someone who identifies with the area between asexuality and sexuality: someone who may experience sexual attraction but at a lesser frequency and/or intensity than most people.
  • Demisexual – someone who only experiences sexual attraction after a strong emotional bond has been formed.
  • Aromantic – someone who experiences little or no romantic attraction.
  • Grey aromantic (Grey A) – someone who identifies with the area between aromantic and romantic: someone who may experience romantic attraction but at a lesser frequency and/or intensity than most people
  • Demiromantic – someone who only experiences romantic attraction after a strong emotional bond has been formed.

Why is this campaign being launched?

In a hypersexualised world, where people think that everyone experiences and enjoys sexual and/or romantic attraction, as well as where there is a lack of education about what asexuality and aromanticism is, many asexual people may feel isolated, invisible and different.

In order to reduce these negative feelings of the self, to avoid discrimination and bullying, as well as to increase the chance of someone understanding their sexual and romantic orientation, this workshop briefing has been launched.

With this workshop, we aim to:

  • educate individuals about what it means to be asexual, aromantic or another identity under the Ace umbrella;
  • increase awareness of Ace identities and why they are part of the LGBT+ community;
  • bust myths around Ace identities and explain how to be an advocate to the Ace community;
  • introduce individuals to the split attraction model; and
  • provide some resources for those to educate themselves further and explore Ace identities if they are questioning their own identity.

So if you want to run an Ace awareness workshop for students you can now download these resources:

And if you have any questions, please do feel free to get in touch with me.

In solidarity,

Jasper

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