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Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week: What to Know

Aromantic Awareness Week | Graphic by Rose Taylor | The Wright State Guardian


This past week, from Feb. 18 to Feb. 24., was Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. In honor of the celebratory week, here is what you should know about aromanticism.

What is aromanticism?

According to the Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week website, aromanticism is defined as an orientation in which “people whose experience of romance is disconnected from normative societal expectations, often due to experiencing little to no romantic attraction, or sometimes feeling repulsed by romance or being uninterested in romantic relationships.”

The most important part of aromanticism is the fact that it is a spectrum, meaning people who are aromantic may not have the same reaction to romance as others who identify or do not identify. Feelings for romance can range from hatred (or repulsion) to neutral indifference; some aromantic people may also like the idea of romance.

This identity can also be mixed up with its counterpart, asexuality, in which an individual does not feel sexual attraction. The distinct difference between romantic and sexual feelings is important to understand so that you can prevent making assumptions about people on either spectrum.

Aromanticism and asexuality tend to have a heavy overlap; many people who identify as aromantic also identify as asexual, and vice versa. This is not always true, however, and keeping an open mind is very important.

How can you support friends on the aromantic spectrum?

The best way to support your friends on the aromantic spectrum is to keep yourself informed. One of the biggest challenges people with this identity face is that people either do not know the identity exists or they do not believe people who identify as aromantic.

You can find resources about aromanticism and the aromantic community here.

It is also important to keep an open mind; in regards to all LGBTQA+ individuals, many people will struggle with their identity and labels throughout their life. As a friend, you can focus on supporting them during this process. 

How can you celebrate Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week in the future?

While the 2024 week has already passed, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week (ASAW) happens every year. 

“ASAW generally occurs the first full week (starting Sunday) following Valentine’s Day; it began in large part as a way for those in the aromantic community who had difficulty finding space for their experiences in such a universally romanticized event to come together and celebrate their own unique experiences,” the ASAW website reads. 

Throughout the week, individuals around the world will hold events celebrating aromantic identities. If you would like to suggest or register an event of your own, you can reach out to the ASAW website, which is run by volunteers.

There are also creative prompts or challenges held every year during the week, which changes yearly. Past events included the Aro Jam, focused on creating games that feature aromantic characters.

Overall, ASAW is an important week for many members of the LGBTQA+ community, as it shines light on individuals who are often overlooked in media and in real life.


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