The quest to properly recognise people’s sexuality took a significant step forwards in the UK yesterday, as the first political party acknowledged asexuality by renaming its specialist group.
At their Autumn Conference on 3rd September, 2016, the Green Party’s “LGBTIQ” group voted to change their name to “LGBTIQA+Greens” to include Asexuals, or ‘Aces’ as they are called informally. A post on Facebook announced that “with an overwhelming 61% of first preference votes, our membership decided to change our name to; LGBTIQA+ Greens!”
One Asexual joked that “It rolls off the tongue!” Another said, “It is an important start that the Greens have recognised us.”
According to the Asexual Visibility & Education Network, (asexuality.org), ‘an asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction”. A study in 2004 placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1% at least in the British population. The Green Party decided to recognise Aces alongside Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people.
In the UK, Asexuals are starting to make their presence felt more. As well as podcasts, Facebook and Tumblr groups, Aces are increasingly present at events such as Reading Pride this weekend, with various Meetup groups being organised up and down the country. Large companies like Tesco have started to make them feel welcome at their workplaces.
At Reading Pride, the team from Asexual Podcast, ‘Pieces of Ace’ handed out leaflets as well as slices of cake (a confection which is acquiring a lighthearted symbolic place in the Ace community. An Asexual joke is that when it came to attraction, they were much more attracted to cake).
Aces have not previously been recognised by the UK political parties or even mentioned in the UK Census. There are campaigns by various universities and individuals to change this. In this context, the Green Party’s stance is a step forward.
The Asexual Flag (top of the article) is made of four symbolic colours: