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Gray-asexual,[1] also known as graysexual or gray-A,[1][2][3] is an asexual identity characterized as being "in between" asexual and allosexual; that is, being asexual while also able to experience, or have experienced previously, sexual attraction.[1] People who identify as gray-asexual may experience sexual attraction that occurs infrequently, at low intensity, or in an ambiguous way.[4][5][6][7] The term is often included in the asexual spectrum.[6][7][8]

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Etymology[]

Preceded by earlier discussion of "semisexuality,"[9] the term "gray-a" was first used in a 2006 Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) thread of the same name by AVEN user KSpaz, who dedicated a thread to the "fuzziness" in between asexual and allosexual.[10] The term "gray area" is often used to refer to an ill-defined situation wherein the rules are not clear or unknown.[11]

Community[]

The term gray-asexual has become one of the most common ace identity terms after asexuality itself. In the 2019 Ace Community Census, gray-asexuals made up about 10% of ace respondents.[12]

Flag[]

Gray-asexuals are represented by the gray stripe in the asexual community flag, which was created collaboratively within the community in 2010.[13][14] A flag specifically for gray-asexuality was created by Milith Rusignuolo and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons on June 21, 2013. For this flag, purple represents asexuality, white represents allosexuality, and gray represents the transition between asexuality and allosexuality, which in turn is meant to represent the infrequent or low feelings of sexuality that grayasexual people may feel.[15]

Distinction[]

Asexual[]

Although gray-asexuality is on the asexual spectrum, it is different from asexuality by itself. Asexual is generally defined as not experiencing sexual attraction, or experiencing very little of it, whereas gray-asexual people may specifically feel sexual attraction rarely, weakly, or otherwise under limited circumstances.[6][7]

Perceptions and discrimination[]

According to the 2019 Ace Community Survey Report, 10.9% of all 10,648 self-selected participants identified as gray-asexual. This was the most popular response behind asexual (67.9%). Gray-asexual people were just as likely to be questioning as asexual-identified people, and less likely to be questioning than demisexual-identified people.[16]

Some gray-asexual people reported that they received harassment from both inside and outside of the ace community. In particular, other asexual people may judge those who are gray-asexual as simply being allosexual people who want to feel "special" or "unique". In other cases, some asexual people may question if gray-asexual and similar labels actually "count" as being part of the asexual spectrum. Thus there ends up being pressure put on gray-asexual people to "prove" that they count as part of the community.[6]

Some gray-asexual people experience internalized acephobia, as their experience of asexuality may be different from other people, particularly around the concept of wanting and enjoying sex.[17]

Media[]

  • Tristan Miller, who organizes the annual Ace Community Survey[18]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality (in English) by Decker, Julie Sondra. Published 2014 by Carrel Books. ISBN 978-1-63144-017-5.
  2. Understanding Asexuality (in English) by Bogaert, Anthony. Published 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. ISBN 978-1-4422-0101-9.
  3. "Graysexuality: What Does It Mean" on <webmd.com>. Published 2021-06-29 by WebMD. (no backup information provided)
  4. The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell. Published 2016 by Mango Media. ISBN 9781633534087.
  5. "What Does It Mean to Be Graysexual? 16 Qs About Attraction and More" by Ferguson, Sian on <healthline.com>. Published 2019-09-17 by Healthline. (no backup information provided)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Ace and Aro Journeys: A Guide to Embracing Your Asexual or Aromantic Identity by The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project. Published 2023 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781839976384.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Amazing Ace, Awesome Aro: An Illustrated Exploration by Victoria Barron. Published 2023 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781839977145.
  8. "Grey-Asexual" by The Trans Language Primer on The Trans Language Primer(no backup information provided)
  9. "The development of gray asexuality and demisexuality as identity terms" on <pianycist.wordpress.com>(no backup information provided)
  10. "Gray-A's" by KSpaz on Asexual Visibility and Education Network. Published 2006-04-13. (no backup information provided)
  11. "Gray area definition" on <collinsdictionary.com>. Published by Collins Dictionary. (no backup information provided)
  12. "2019 Asexual Community Survey Summary Report" by Weis, Robin; Hermann, Lea; Bauer, Caroline; Miller, Tristan L.; Baba, Ai; van der Biezen, Tracy; Campos, Ana; Smiga, Joseph A.; Tomaskovic-Moore, Sig; Trieu, Theresa H.; Walfrand, Aria; Ziebert, Jacci on <acecommunitysurvey.org>(no backup information provided)
  13. "Asexual Flag: And the winner is....." on <asexuality.org>(no backup information provided)
  14. "The Ace Flag: A History and Celebration" on <asexualagenda.wordpress.com>(no backup information provided)
  15. "Flags I've created" by Rusignuolo, Milith on <avia-viridis.neocities.org>(Archived on 2018-02-10)
  16. "The 2019 asexual community survey summary report." by Weis, Robin; Hermann, Lea; Bauer, Caroline; Miller, Tristan L.; Baba, Ali; van der Biezen, Tracy; Campos, Ana; Smiga, Joseph A.; Tomaskovic-Moore, Sig; Trieu, Theresa H.; Walfrand, Aria; & Ziebert, Jacci on <asexualcensus.wordpress.com>. Published 2021 by The Ace Community Survey Team. (no backup information provided)
  17. "We Spoke to 8 People Who Identify as Asexual, Ace, or Grey-Ace" by Team Zoella on <zoella.co.uk>. Published 2021-02-22 by Zoella. (no backup information provided)
  18. "The Ace Community Survey" on <acecommunitysurvey.org>(no backup information provided)
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