When “American Idol” star David Archuleta came out over the weekend, he mentioned several identities, including asexuality, which may be a lesser-known term under the LGBTQ umbrella.
“I came out in 2014 as gay to my family. But then I had similar feelings for both genders so maybe a spectrum of bisexual,” Archuleta wrote in an Instagram post. “Also have learned I don’t have too much sexual desires and urges as most people … which people call asexual.”
Though Archuleta did not specify how he identifies today – nor should he have to – some may want to know more about what it means to identify as asexual.
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When "American Idol" star David Archuleta came out as a member of the LGBTQ community over the weekend though didn't pinpoint – and didn't need to – which identity best suits him. (Photo: Charles Sykes, AP)
What is asexuality?
Someone who is asexual doesn’t fit traditional standards and expectations around sexual desire. Many people in the LGBTQ community think of sexuality as a spectrum. Asexuality is just one end of spectrum with identities (gray areas) in between. Someone who is asexual may not be sexually active but still masturbate. Or they may be attracted to people but not desire sex.
This means that someone could be asexual but also identify with another LGBTQ label, such as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Approximately 1% of people are asexual, according to The Asexual Visibility & Education Network.
People who identify as graysexual fall somewhere between asexual and sexual on the spectrum, and can include people who experience sexual attraction rarely.
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In the asexual Pride flag, which is black, gray, white and purple, the black stripe is for asexuality; the gray for the gray area in between sexual and asexual and demisexuality; the white for non-asexual partners and allies; and the purple for community.
‘God made me how I am’: ‘American Idol’ alum David Archuleta says he’s a LGBTQ community member
What is aromantic?
Asexuality is not to be confused with “aromantic,” which refers to a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.
What is demisexual?
A demisexual person only develops sexual attraction if they emotionally bond with someone beforehand, according to Medical News Today (whose definition was reviewed by a medical expert).
Bonds could take a short amount of time to develop but could take years and may never lead to sexual attraction.
Contributing: Alia Dastagir and Elise Brisco
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