There are many gender identities and sexual orientations that anyone can feel connected to or identify with.
More and more terms have been popularized over the years to represents the emotions and experiences of queer individuals and if you aren’t immersed in the LGBTQ+ culture or the queer community, you might not recognize a few sexual orientations and gender identities due to a lack of representation in mainstream media.
One such term is aromatic, so we are going to talk about what does it mean to be aromantic, talk about the five-striped aromantic pride flag and its colors, then help you with some information to become a better straight ally to aromantic individuals.
In this article we will cover...
- What Does Aromantic Mean?
- The Aromantic Flag Meaning
- When Is Aromantic Pride Day?
- Other Aromantic Information That Will Help You Be A Better Ally
- Things to consider if you are aromantic…
What Does Aromantic Mean?
While many people aspire to date and are in relationships, not everyone desires the experience of a romantic relationship.
Put simply, an aromantic person doesn’t experience romantic interest or attraction in romantic relationships. The definition of a romantic relationship may be different depending on who you’re talking to. But, generally, romantic attraction is the need to have emotional interaction and contact with a partner.
Aromantic people have no desire and don’t feel the intense need for closeness, passion, or overwhelming emotional intimacy that other people do. This is in contrast to asexual people who do not experience any desire or need for sexual contact or demisexual people tend to form a strong emotional connection or bond with someone before they experience sexual orientation.
While this is a general definition, if you are wanting to know what does aromantic means to a specific individual, it is often best to ask them to define it in their own words for you. Be mindful that while some identities may have only slight differences from others, they may still mean a lot to someone.
All you need to remember is that everyone’s experience of gender and attraction is different – and that it is for them alone to define.
The Aromantic Flag Meaning
Most queer identities have their own flag – and aromantics have been represented by three flags in the past few years. The first one had four stripes with orange, green, black, and yellow. On this flag, green is the opposite of romance, yellow is for friendship, orange is for grey aromantics, and black is for alloromantics who don’t subscribe to the traditional boundaries of romance.
It isn’t known who created this flag or when.
The next aromantic pride flag had five stripes. The colors were black, grey, yellow, light green, and dark green. This flag was created on February 7, 2014, by Tumblr user Cameron. The third design is the most recent one and is currently flown by the GSRC. It is the most accepted version of the aromantic pride flag. Cameron also designed this flag on November 16, 2014.
Dark green is for aromanticism. Light green represents the aromantic spectrum. White is for aesthetic attraction and queer/quasi platonic relationships; grey stands for demiromantic and grey-aromantic people, while black stands for the sexuality spectrum.
When Is Aromantic Pride Day?
Awareness, visibility, remembrance, and celebration are all important in increasing the acceptance and recognition of queer identities and queer folx around the world.
By observing an international day for aromanticism, it is easier to for aromantics to talk to friends and loved ones – and to feel the love. It also helps foster awareness and increased sensitives from society at large.
So, mark your calendar and plan something special (even if it is just a social media post!) for which is Aromantic Pride Day, which isn’t actually a day but an entire week and is known as Aromantic Spectrum Awareness week.
It takes place the week after 14 February (Sunday-Saturday) -in the week after Valentine’s.
Other Aromantic Information That Will Help You Be A Better Ally
Here’s what you can do to be a supportive ally or friend and help your loved one or friend who is aromantic.
Respect their orientation
Even if you don’t fully understand all aspects of what it means to be aromantic, it would be best if you showed respect for what your loved one or friend feels. Listen to what your loved one needs to say and ask them if they need support, accommodate them, and make an effort to show support.
Don’t be dismissive
Remember that you could never understand someone else’s feelings as much as they do. Don’t try to convince anyone to change what they feel or dismiss their feelings when they reveal them to you. Pushing people into romantic situations when they aren’t interested in them isn’t fair.
Clear your head
Even if you don’t acknowledge it, you most likely have biases and prejudices that you should confront. It might be uncomfortable for you to realize it at first, but once you realize what they are, you will be able to defy them.
Confronting your biases includes educating yourself about what being aromanticism is. Remember that the LGBTQ community no longer uses derogatory terms such as ‘homo’ or ‘homosexual’. Instead many prefer to use the term ‘gay’, ‘queer’, or ‘lesbian’ to describe themselves, and remember that the most commonly used pronouns for genderqueer folx are ‘they/them/theirs.
Never, ever, ever say “it” – because only a bad human would want to refer to another human in this way – regardless of gender.
Some people like to make crude comments or derogatory remarks and jokes towards queer and nonconforming folx. If you hear such remarks against your friend or other people in the queer community, speak up against such prejudices and let them know it isn’t right to encourage or take part in it.
The same goes for any jokes that are at others’ expense, especially queer marginalized communities and misunderstood identities such as intersex, non-binary, transgender, agender, genderqueer, and genderfluid. We are not here to be the butt of any jokes – and quite frankly, are sick of it. It is not – and never was – OK.
Most times, offensive material is circulated on social media or WhatsApp. Remember to tell people that are making such comments why it’s wrong to do that.
Don’t make any assumptions
There are many common misconceptions about aromantic people. One may assume that an aromantic individual is cold or they haven’t met the right person.
If you have questions, ask the person you’re addressing whether they’re comfortable answering them and understand that not everyone is comfortable sharing parts of their lives. Learn more about what it means to be aromantic and educate yourself about what it means.
No one likes a judgemental Judy – and there’s no reason to judge someone. Not even for their gender identity or romantic orientation. Please don’t do it, especially if they thought coming out to you was worth it.
It’s best to show your support if a partner, friend, or family member came out to you as aromantic. Even if you’re confused at first, keep an open mind and try to learn more about aromanticism. Most of all, be supportive.
Affirm and validate your loved ones
One of the best ways to support your aromantic loved one is to affirm their right to choose what they need or require from a relationship. It’s best not to put any pressure on them to date, get into long-term relationships, or have children.
Remember that not everyone feels the need to have a romantic partner, even if they aren’t aromantic. It’s a personal choice that everyone must respect.
Understand the Aromantic Spectrum
Both aromanticism and sexuality are part of the identities on the asexual spectrum. Many aromantic people are asexual. But, people with different sexual identities can also refer to themselves as aromantic.
For instance, someone may describe themselves as an aromantic gay man, an aromantic lesbian, or an aromantic bisexual. When learning about aromanticism, you can educate yourself about the aromantic spectrum. Here are other identities you should know about:
- Gray-sexual or gray-romantic: individuals identify as somewhere between aromantic and romantic- asexual and sexual. People who identify as gray-romantic or gray-sexual may experience sexual or romantic feelings but only when certain conditions are present.
- Demisexual or Demiromantic: these are people who only experience sexual or romantic feelings with someone else after they’ve formed an emotional bond. We have a whole article covering what it means to be demisexual.
- Lithromantic or akoiromantic: refers to people that experience romantic feelings towards others but have no desire or need for the feels to be reciprocated. If the feelings are returned, the attraction is lost.
- Reciprosexual or recipromantic: these individuals only experience sexual or romantic attraction if their feelings are reciprocated.
They can still be in romantic relationships
Even though aromantic individuals don’t experience romantic interest or attraction, they can still have sexual or romantic relationships. But, understand that such kinds of relationships may not look the same as other romantic relationships.
Such relationships may include having sex, showing affection, exclusivity, or living together. Some aromantic individuals get married and have children or raise families.
Things to consider if you are aromantic…
There are many instances of aromantic individuals facing misconceptions and stigma about their orientation. People may think that they aren’t loving or that it’s only a matter of time till they change and get into romantic relationships.
These myths may make aromantic people feel pressure to align to other people’s expectations or isolate themselves.
Even if you aren’t interested in romantic relationships, it’s crucial to have social support for your well-being and mental health. Put effort into building solid relationships with other people that do not involve romance. Romantic love isn’t the only way of showing love to the people around you.
Remember that you shouldn’t succumb to pressure to participate in sexual or romantic experiences if you aren’t interested or comfortable. Doing things you don’t want to due to social pressure isn’t good for your mental health.