Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week is an annual event to celebrate and raise awareness of aromanticism. Aromanticism is a romantic orientation, which describes people whose experience of romance is disconnected from normative societal expectations. They often experience little to no romantic attraction, or sometimes feeling repulsed by romance or being uninterested in romantic relationships.
The term “aromantic” refers to an individual who does not experience romantic attraction. While they can still develop close relationships, they tend to be platonic in nature. They may desire close, platonic relationships such as friendships and family relationships without the expectation of romance. Aromantic individuals may identify with any gender identity or sexual orientation.
Throughout the week, people who identify as aromantic or support aromanticism participate in a variety of activities, including online discussions, social media campaigns, and educational events. Aromantic individuals also have the opportunity to share their personal stories and experiences.
Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week holds significance as it promotes awareness of aromanticism and provides a safe and accepting space for individuals who identify as aromantic. By acknowledging and celebrating the aromantic spectrum, we can foster a more inclusive and understanding society. It is typically observed during the first full week after Valentine’s Day to celebrate their unique experiences separate from the romanticized holiday. In 2023, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week will be celebrated from February 19th to 25th.
Established in 2014, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week was initially known as “Aromantic Awareness Week” and was first observed from November 10th to 17th, 2014. However, it was later moved to late February and renamed “Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week” in 2015 to become more specifically inclusive of all identities within the aromantic spectrum.
Mainstream discussions surrounding gender and sexuality frequently overlook and misconstrue the aromantic spectrum. However, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week serves as a tool for highlighting aromantic identities and experiences, thereby increasing their visibility and promoting acceptance and understanding. Additionally, it creates a sense of community and solidarity among aromantic individuals, who may otherwise feel unseen and disconnected within a society that often prioritises romantic relationships.
To know more about aromatic spectrum or if you are looking for representation of aromatic identities, here are a few fictional characters that either self-identify as aromantic or have been identified by outside parties to be aromantic Peridot in Steven Universe, Jughead Jones in Jughead, Georgia, Jess, Ellis in Loveless, the fourth novel by Alice Oseman who herself is an aromantic and asexual individual.
While mainstream discourse often overlooks the aromantic spectrum, Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week provides an invaluable opportunity to celebrate aromantic individuals and encourage understanding and acceptance.