The views expressed in this article are the views of the author.
The LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that represents different sexual and gender minorities. Among these minority groups and beyond, there is one sexuality group that lacks acknowledgment, not only in the general population, but also within the community itself.
Asexuality is the oft-forgotten A in LGBTQIA+, as the A is often relegated to represent allies. This exclusion from the standard set of recognized queer identities in the acronym is representative of a greater issue: the exclusion and denial of asexuals from the community.
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others and runs on the broader sexuality spectrum. The portions of the sexuality spectrum under the asexuality umbrella are often contested in their inclusion to the queer community, though wrongly so. Asexuals face similar discrimination and a lot of the same obstacles the rest of the LGBTQIA+ community faces. Through the lack of proper sex education and the exclusion of asexual people from larger LGBTQIA+ events and movements, this divide is only furthered as the queer community allows room for discrimination within itself.
Sex education within the greater United States is problematic to begin with. But when it comes to general public awareness and acceptance of asexuality, this issue is exacerbated. If sexuality is even discussed at all, the narrative is that sexual attraction is natural and expected, without including the possibility of asexuality as also natural and normal. Historically and even currently, asexuality has been pathologized, instead of recognized as a healthy and normal sexuality.
Treating this expression of a healthy sexuality as a disease is massively detrimental to asexual individuals and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole. Refusing to acknowledge asexual people only further alienates them and defies the need for queer communities and spaces to be safe havens for all members.
Additionally, sex-positive movements must be more inclusive of asexuality. An understanding of sexual and relationship health must include the understanding that lack of sexual behavior in healthy relationships is not inherently pathological or wrong. As a portion of the LGBTQIA+ community, asexual people should naturally be included in the events and actions of the broader community. Denying their validity is the root cause of misinformation, and the exclusion of asexuality and asexual perspectives in the sex-positive and relationship health movements exclude them from public acceptance and exposure.
The LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, is extraordinarily intersectional and diverse. Again, much like other communities, it is prone to inter-exclusionary practices and habits, which, if left unchecked, can further divide the community against itself. The purpose of a community at its core is to help members grow and thrive through a system of collaboration and support within itself. In the case of minority communities, like the LGBTQIA+ groups, this is critical to also combat exterior forces acting in opposition to the good health and prosperity of the group. Asexual inclusion is important not only for those who identify within the asexual spectrum, but also for the queer community as a whole.