by Gary Chapman
As an asexual, ace erasure is something that is prevalent throughout society and is something that should be dealt with without haste.
First of all, you might be thinking “What the heck is asexuality/ace erasure?” To put it simply, asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, but it is not as black and white as that.
Asexuality is a spectrum from Apolthisexual (feeling no attraction and are repulsed by the idea of sex) to Aegosexual (no sexual attraction, but can have sexual fantasies). There is also demisexual (will not be sexually attracted to people until a preexisting connection exists), and then there is Gray-Asexuality, which is everything in-between Ace and Allosexuality.
Ace erasure is the phenomenon of either lack of education of asexuality or denying they exist. This occurs in a few ways, for instance having a character being in a relationship when in reality they do not need to be.
A famous depiction of asexuals is season eight, episode nine of the show “House” titled “Better Half” from January 2012. The episode has a subplot revolving around a woman Dr. Wilson is treating, who is in a caste marriage because they are asexual. House thinks that there must be a natural cause, and he was right as the husband had a brain tumor that caused him to have low sex drive and that the wife was pretending to be ace to please the husband.
David Jay, the founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, chastised Fox and the writers for asserting “that asexuality is problematic and pathological” and that telling the people who accept asexuality as a valid sexuality that they are wrong. A petition was filed telling Fox to reconsider the depictions of asexuals. Jay asserted in the article by Salon that, “If someone identifies as asexual, chances are they’ve already done a lot of deep self-reflection and analysis to come to that.”
Other problems occur with people not accepting Asexuality into the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, with some people saying that the “A” stands for Ally (a person who is straight but supports the community), while most people, including the Associated Press, assert that it stands for Asexuality.
If you want more info about asexuality, check out the Asexual Visibility and Education Network at asexuality.org.