June is Pride month and to celebrate it we would like to share more about asexuality, and its different portrayal in pop culture and video games.
Even though in modern society we can see more and more representation of LGBTQ+ characters - such as Ellie from "The Last of Us", or Isabelle from "Animal Crossing" when Isabelle admits that she is in love with the player whether male or female -, we are still eager to see more shades of the rainbow.
The term "asexuality" actually defines the lack/low/absence of sexual attraction that a person can experience. Asexuality is a spectrum so a person can experience it to a different degree, whilst some can also be sexually active.
Ok, I know this can look confusing, but the reality is never just black or white, that's why people can fluctuate between no sexual activity at all, or some of it with specific partners (demisexuality) or on occasions (grey asexuality). Inside this spectrum, some people are interested in having a romantic relationship and others do not experience any sentimental attraction (aromantic).
In a world where EVERYTHING may appear to revolve around sex, there's 1% of the population that actually prefer cakes (so they say).
Let's examine a good example of asexual representation in pop culture: Todd, from "Bojack Horseman". Todd is an intuitive, spontaneous and ingenious character that, with his crazy ideas, always steals the show.
In the series, he doesn't seem to be interested in intimate relationships, so the other characters start to question him, mostly because they can't understand him. In the 4th season, Todd finally reveals themself to be asexual but also interested in having romantic relationships.
In the video game environment, Parvati from "Outer Worlds" is an awkward engineer, the first character that joins your crew on the Unreliable once you start the game. In it, you can't have any romance going on with your crewmates but one of Parvati's quests is to date another female engineer. It's here that Parvati reveals she's not interested in any physicality:
“I’m not much interested in… physical stuff. Never have been. […] I just don’t care for it”
Parvati became immediately a fan favourite, being conceived by two incredible minds, the first one being Chris L’Etoile and the second one Kate Dollarhyde. In one of the multiple interviews that Kate Dollarhyde made about Parvati, she revealed that she reaches out to her personal experience to write down a genuine character. In doing so, she also came out as asexual.
Honourable mentions that have to be considered in the Ace world are Jonathan Sims - lead character from the horror podcast "The Magnus Archives" who is canon, confirmed by the author, asexual and he has shown romantic interest in both men and women - and in "Good Omens", while not explicitly stated in the book nor the tv show, many people agree that Aziraphale and Crowley are a lovely ace pair.
Neil Gaiman, the co-author of the novel, write in one of his tweets:
"I wouldn't exclude the ideas that they are ace, or aromantic, or trans. They are an angel and a demon, not as make humans, per the book. Occult/Ethereal beings don't have sexes, something we tried to reflect in the casting. Whatever Crowley and Aziraphale are, it's a love story."
We could write a lot more about the asexual spectrum and if you are interested in knowing more, we suggest you play "Ace in Space", the first visual novel with an asexual main character, and 5 different relationships to pursue. In discussing this you must also mention the book "How to be ace", written by Rebecca Burgess, a comic book about growing up as an asexual, funny and intuitive, it is a good read first and foremost.
We hope you enjoyed this insight into the asexual world and reading this will help you to discover more shades across the LGBTQ+ community.