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a is for…

A rectangular flag with horizontal stripes, starting from the top - black, grey, white, purple.
The Asexual pride flag

I recently published my latest ELT resource, A is for… . Unfortunately, I published it on bisexual visibility day, so I felt a little ‘off’ for having done that. Nevertheless, there is now an asexual resource available from my shop. The resource is aimed at C1 level and is currently free to download, though not for long.

Why do a resource on asexuality?

Well, why not? I’m trying to represent all identities within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella because we all deserve to be represented and be seen – not just for ourselves as writers, publishers, editors, etc. but also for students to see representations of their potential selves. For further information here, please do look at Diverse Educators: A Manifesto and Big Gay Adventures in Education: Supporting LGBT+ Visibility and Inclusion in Schools.

But why asexuality? Quite often, it is forgotten as a sexual orientation – yes, not feeling sexual (or maybe romantic) attraction is still a sexual orientation. In a similar way to bisexuality, aces are faced with questions as to whether they really exist. They do! So why not do a resource on asexuality.

Included in the resource is the asexual pride flag, pictured above. For those who don’t know, the colours represent the following:

– Black represents asexuality

– Grey represents grey-asexuality (grey-ace) and demi-sexuality

– White represents non-asexual partners and allies

– Purple represents the community.

(If you are unsure of the terms, have a look at Stonewall’s glossary.)

The resource was inspired by someone I met in real life (I won’t mention you here, but you know who you are – and thank you for the resources and advice) and also Yasmin Benoit.

You’ll notice that I’ve taken the disruptive approach to this (thanks Tyson, How to Write Inclusive Materials). Discussing or learning about asexuality is one I found difficult to present in a usualised way.

The initial discussion questions are intended to show students that we shouldn’t assume who people are merely by the way they look. There is no one way to ‘look’ gay, bisexual or asexual. After all, we’re all people. The images I chose for this section should hopefully reflect that, too.

The next part of the resource looks at reading an interview with an ace activist (one of the people in the images, but I won’t say which one). This is fictitious, but based on answers given by Yasmin Benoit, so there should be realism coming through the text. It’s also been checked by someone with lived experience, so I feel confident that this is a true representation.

As always, or rather lately, I’ve included some research for students to learn more about asexuality, attitudes and being an ally. There’s a short video where people talk about their experiences, and I think this is really useful.

Anyway, I wanted to write a short blog post explaining my choices and why I think this resource is needed. More to come.

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