Asexuality Awareness Week is an international campaign to promote awareness and educate communities about asexual and other aromantic experiences.
From Oct. 22 to Oct. 28, Asexuality Awareness Week can help people who are unaware of these sexualities to become educated, eliminate misunderstandings, and can help people who fall under these categories be reminded that they are not alone or forgotten. It was first founded by activist Sara Beth Brooks in 2010.
To give more information and to help students learn about how UConn gets involved, Beth Radcliff, a seventh-semester HDFS major, opened up about the importance of the week and what the Rainbow Center will be doing for it. Radcliff is one of the facilitators for Aces and Aros, a weekly discussion group through the Rainbow Center.
“Asexuality Awareness Week is to promote awareness of the asexual and aromantic community, as well as the entire spectrum, because it’s not just asexual and aromantic, there are many other smaller parts of the community… there’s a lot,” Radcliff said. “The awareness that this is even a community has been an issue… even probably 20 years ago there wasn’t very much information.”
The Rainbow Center is hosting an Asexuality Awareness Week event, called “Ace of Cakes” Friday at 3:15 pm. The event will be a mix of both fun and education.
“You can come, have fun, decorate cupcakes, play board games and videogames. There will also be a discussion about the asexual community, but it’s more of an event for everyone to come to and to learn more about the community,” Radcliff said.
Asexuality Awareness Week is for more than just those who identify under these categories, it’s for students and allies to come together to learn and celebrate.
“I would say come to the event, come have fun, you can specifically come to me or the other facilitators at the event and ask any questions you have,” Radcliff said.
She explained that beyond the event, there are volunteer opportunities available through the Rainbow Center, which is currently trying to increase its outreach to the UConn community to have more participants in its events.
One of the most important takeaways of the week is to understand that awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and of sexualities in general must extend beyond a specific week. It’s something that needs to be year-round.
People can use this week to make themselves more aware, ask questions and get involved. But once the week is over this needs to continue, Radcliff said.
“Beyond this week, we need more discussion about sexuality. I’ve only had discussions about it here at the Rainbow Center or in class. Possibly because of the harsher light sexuality gets portrayed under, sometimes as a bad thing, sometimes it’s just hook-ups.” Radcliff said. Because of that type of discussion, we don’t get into what sexuality actually means: pleasure, to have children, whatever it’s for. And then, what does being asexual mean for a person.”
Radcliff said the discussion about sexuality in terms of those who are asexual needs to expand into a larger community.
“If sexuality is only to have a child, if it’s only for pleasure, what does that mean for people who aren’t interested? Do they miss out on these things? A larger discussion of this needs to be had beyond Asexuality Awareness Week.”
Melissa Scrivani is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.