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Representation in the media

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message 1: by Yuè (new)

Yuè (maanorchidee) | 36 comments Hey guys!

In the Netherlands, students have to write a "profielwerkstuk", which is a paper, and it's huge. For that paper I'm writing about asexuality and representation in the media and I'd like to include stories of aces on (the lack of) asexual representation in books, movies, shows, etc, so I'm asking you: do you think media can help with the representation of asexuality? And if so: if asexual representation were more common, how would that have influenced your questioning? Like: would you be more open about it? Do you think it would've made it easier?
You do not have to answer, but if you do. THANK YOU!!!


message 2: by Yuè (new)

Yuè (maanorchidee) | 36 comments For example: for me, the fact that Chris Colfer used the word "asexual" in his book actually changed my life. I was aware of the word before I read that book, but I had a "oh man, it really exists" moment.
Not that I can actually count it as representation, because it was only one word, but I can say it has changed me.


message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Hello Yuè
I can tell you in Italy we're so busy bashing gay marriage that the word hasn't come out in the medias yet. I discovered it on an Italian book on sex, though, where they also mentioned AVEN.
Although reading that book (non-fiction) opened my mind to the thought that "oh, I don't really have to be bothered with sex", I've started putting asexual characters in stories much later. But at least one was misunderstood by a reviewer. Maybe I've gotten better since! ;)
Hope this helps...


message 4: by Widge (new)

Widge If there were more aces in the media I would have probably come out a lot earlier. (For me personally though, I feel media representation would have had much more of an impact on me coming out as aro rather than ace as this was the orientation I questioned more and had more trouble identifying.) I'd definitely be way more open about it with acquaintances if there was more representation (and hopefully therefore more understanding), as I dislike coming out to people when I have to explain my orientation time and time again. With friends I'm very open and actually talk about my asexuality a lot, so switching between that and not discussing it is a little frustrating sometimes, because I feel my asexuality is such a big part of me but quite a few people don't know about it. I took a few years to come out to my parents even though I still lived at home, and it even took a couple of years for them to fully understand it even though they've always been supportive. For me, representation is such a big thing because I want to see more characters I can relate to more. My realisation of this actually happened not with an ace character, but with a bi character in the webseries Nothing Much To Do. When the character came out as bi and other characters used the word bisexual to describe him it just hit home that I didn't see enough LGBTQIA/MOGAI representation, and that I hadn't seen any characters actually come out and work out their orientation before.

I think this might have gotten a bit incoherent because I have a lot of thoughts on media representation but I hope it's still helpful! :)


message 5: by karten (last edited Mar 01, 2016 02:18PM) (new)

karten | 21 comments Hi! I have some time, let's answer!
I was aware of the asexuality because I used to follow an ace on Twitter and she was tweeting about it some times, but I already knew the world. I don't even know where, or how, but it's probably thanks to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. I always read Sherlock as asexual even before I knew the exact world. Having my childhood's heroe ace helped me a lot to be more okay with my own asexuality. But I wish I would have read more ace characters, in a contemporary area, some which I could relate more. And I think that if it had been the case, I would have label myself much sooner. I took forever to label because I wasn't sure that it was myself, it's only after reading different ace's stories that I get it. So obviously, reading about fictional aces would have help me a lot and would have make my journey in the questioning area less long. Moreover, if ace characters were more commons, I wouldn't have to explain what asexuality is each time I came out to someone and I sure would came out more easily.
Recently, I read a webcomic with a ace character and it just felt... amazing. I could relate SO HARD with him and all the things that the comic made me feels was stronger only because this guy had the same sexual orientation as me. I feel like, only now, I start to know what identification to a character truly is.

I hope this was useful! Good luck with your paper :3


message 6: by Bianca (new)

Bianca | 11 comments Hii, firstly, I love that you are making a profielwerkstuk about asexual representation. I'm from the Netherlands too, and I have never seen anything about asexuality either on tv or any Dutch site eve, thought I have seen something from Claudia de Brij, she mentioned it in a very short, superficial and stereotypical but it is something.
I personally really had to do research on international websites to find out about my sexuality and wouldn't even have known now if I hadn't taken that initiative.
Asexual representation is very bad, but that is also the case with a lot of other sexualities and gender identities, the only represented sexualities and gender identities are literally: Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender and no other identities if the LGBT+ comunity.
Good luck with your profielwerkstuk xx


message 7: by Yuè (new)

Yuè (maanorchidee) | 36 comments Hi. Me again.

First of all, already thank you so, so, soooo much. Second, because I have to write about your answers, I want to know if you're comfortable with that. I don't think my teacher would go on an internet hunt to find everyone's identities, but still, I'd rather have someone's permissons, especially when this can be very personal. And if you're okay with it, you can also tell me your pronouns if you want to, because I don't want to use the wrong ones!

Again, THANK YOU!


message 8: by Yuè (new)

Yuè (maanorchidee) | 36 comments Bianca wrote: "Hii, firstly, I love that you are making a profielwerkstuk about asexual representation. I'm from the Netherlands too, and I have never seen anything about asexuality either on tv or any Dutch site..."

I know that Linda de Mol's character in Divorce is ace, but I don't watch the show. I have no idea if it's good representation or not.


message 9: by Bianca (last edited Mar 01, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Bianca | 11 comments Yuè wrote: "I know that Linda de Mol's character in Divorce is ace, but I don't watch the show. I have no idea if it's good representation or not. "

I din't even know that. That's quite something on a big show like that, tho I don't know if it is good representation either.
Also, I am 100% fine with you writing about my answer


message 10: by karten (new)

karten | 21 comments Yuè wrote: "Hi. Me again.

First of all, already thank you so, so, soooo much. Second, because I have to write about your answers, I want to know if you're comfortable with that. I don't think my teacher would..."


I'm totally fine with that! I go by she/her :)


message 11: by Widge (new)

Widge Yuè wrote: "Hi. Me again.

First of all, already thank you so, so, soooo much. Second, because I have to write about your answers, I want to know if you're comfortable with that. I don't think my teacher would..."


I'm totall cool with that! I use she/her pronouns :)


message 12: by Asher (new)

Asher Blake Beckner (AsherBlake) | 12 comments I know that if asexuality was represented more/better in media, it would certainly be recognized as at least existing. My family seems to view asexuality as a phase-- unlike bi/gay/straight-- so I do believe that more representation would help in that regard, too.

As far as recognizing my orientation/ coming out about it-- I'm not sure if it would've helped me in either regard (considering that I found out about it on tumblr), but it would certainly help me deal with the alienation I often feel when consuming media that says that everyone that doesn't want sex is "weird". Which, frankly, I kind of needed when I was figuring myself out. (Who am I kidding? I'm still upset that we're so alienated).

(and, yeah, you can use this if you want. She/her pronouns ^_^ )


message 13: by Asher (new)

Asher Blake Beckner (AsherBlake) | 12 comments Karten wrote: "Hi! I have some time, let's answer!
I was aware of the asexuality because I used to follow an ace on Twitter and she was tweeting about it some times, but I already knew the world. I don't even kno..."


What's the name of the comic??


message 14: by Jay (new)

Jay Just a heads up my reply deals with some potentially triggering material including discussions of sexual assault and rape culture.




I feel that representation in the media is crucial for a lot of reasons, many of which plague our community to this day.

For one, you hear so many stories of ace / aro people not realizing their identity until significantly later on in life despite of course knowing they don't want sex / romance, or only sometimes want it, or do it but don't really feel an extreme desire for it, ect ect. I didn't learn the term asexual until I was 18 and this was after I got the " I'll fix you baby" rhetoric from several ex boyfriends along with some other unsavory stuff. Representation and education are two sides of the same coin, our total lack of it hurts us greatly.

Secondly, I absolutely believe the lack of proper representation and instead depicting asexual spec people as just "frigid" or "needing to find the right person" definitely feeds into corrective rape that asexual / aromantic people do face (and we do face it no matter what anyone says). It's failure to be seen as legitimate to the greater population, again fed into by complete lack of representation and education, greatly endangers us.

I personally choose not to have a romantic relationship with anyone on the allosexual spectrum due to this, and in ways it's kind of sad? (but also screw people it's not my fault I fear violence from you) I do wish people were more educated, I do wish asexual representation was a thing.


You can use this sure, I use they/them pronouns.


message 15: by karten (new)

karten | 21 comments Rielly wrote: "Karten wrote: "Hi! I have some time, let's answer!
I was aware of the asexuality because I used to follow an ace on Twitter and she was tweeting about it some times, but I already knew the world. I..."


The comic's Shades of A (there're some obvious plots who came from 50 shades but it's in a non-abuse way, and somehow this comic become quite independant from the book). There's also a non-binary character! But there's some mention of BDSM and sex stuff, so be aware if it makes you uncomfortable :c It's right there : http://www.discordcomics.com/comic/sh...


message 16: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Yuè wrote: "Hi. Me again.

First of all, already thank you so, so, soooo much. Second, because I have to write about your answers, I want to know if you're comfortable with that. I don't think my teacher would..."


sure you can. I write under a pseudonym anyway, LOL!
Just kidding. It occurred to me that I'm probably of an older generation and therefore the word wasn't invented yet. I was 43 when I found that book at the newsagent (I think it was included with one of those psychology magazines, and it's a book on sex in all its aspects). Then I investigated on the internet, found AVEN, etc, but for me, I simply grew up straight and remained single because I couldn't find a boyfriend, or so I thought. I don't think anyone of my generation (I'm 50 now) has heard that word, not in Italy at least... Besides, like I said above, Italy is too busy discussing gay marriage to bother with a "new" sexuality! ;)


message 17: by Asher (new)

Asher Blake Beckner (AsherBlake) | 12 comments Karten wrote: "Rielly wrote: "Karten wrote: "Hi! I have some time, let's answer!
I was aware of the asexuality because I used to follow an ace on Twitter and she was tweeting about it some times, but I already kn..."


Thanks for warning me about the sex/BDSM stuff. I don't really think I want to get into it. But have you heard of a comic called Rain or one called Heartless? The first is about a transgirl, but there's many characters with different sexualities/genders :) Hearltess is about an asexual vampire.

(Rain: http://rainlgbt.smackjeeves.com/ Heartless: http://heartless-comic.com/post/10121...)


message 18: by karten (new)

karten | 21 comments Rielly wrote: "Karten wrote: "Rielly wrote: "Karten wrote: "Hi! I have some time, let's answer!
I was aware of the asexuality because I used to follow an ace on Twitter and she was tweeting about it some times, b..."


The BDSM part isn't a big part of the comic, but I understand! :3 I didn't know any of those but I'm gonna take a look, thanks for the links! :)


message 19: by Taryn (new)

Taryn Riley | 4 comments I know for me I felt really broken because I wasn't experiencing what everyone else said they were. The only reason I found out about asexuality was a watt pad author wrote a one shot with an asexual character in honer of her coming out. I asked some questions and did some research but it was because of her. If there was more representation in the media I wouldn't have felt so broken and weird for so long, it would have helped so much


message 20: by Yuè (new)

Yuè (maanorchidee) | 36 comments Hi everyone, it's me again.

I'm just writing this to tell you that I got a solid 10 for my PWS (which is the highest possible in the Netherlands), so I just want to thank all of you for helping me.

- Yuè


message 21: by Bianca (new)

Bianca | 11 comments my god that's amazing. congrats!!!


message 22: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Whoot! Well done! :)


message 23: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Mihajlich | 2 comments Congratulations!

I may be trying to resurrect a dead thread, but asexual representation in the media is really important to me. I didn't find out about asexuality until college, and high school is hard enough even if you're not having a mid-adolescence crisis.

I just got an article published in Bitch Magazine about asexuality in young adult fiction:

https://bitchmedia.org/article/not-ac...

They also have a more in-depth article about asexual characters in pop culture:

https://bitchmedia.org/post/were-not-...

There are hardly any canon asexual characters. Most are just headcanon asexuals like Sherlock Holmes, but R.J. Anderson has a book called Quicksilver with a canon asexual, and there's a one on Sirens as well.

I wrote a young adult trilogy with an asexual protagonist, which is 109% funded on Kickstarter right now.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...


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