[Ace and Aro Spectrums]
Asexual (ACE) is a sexual orientation characterized by a lack of sexual attraction toward any gender. “Ace”is short for “asexual,” just like “bi” is short for bisexual and “trans” is short for “transgender.”
Aromantic (ARO) is an orientation characterized by a lack of romantic attraction toward any gender. “Aro” is short for “aromantic.”
Ace & Aro spectrums are two separate orientation spectrums–a sexual and a romantic one–with which to identify. These spectrums can create a multitude of identity combinations. “Ace” and “aro” are also umbrella terms used to refer to anyone with asexual and/or aromantic identities including demisexual and/or demiromantic and gray-a. The colors of the asexual flag are incorporated into the umbrella graphic.
Gray-A is considered the middle gray area between asexuality and sexuality on the sexual spectrum and between aromantic and romantic on the romantic spectrum. Demisexual and demiromantic identities fall underneath this “gray-a” identity.
Demisexual people can experience sexual attraction after a close emotional connection has formed.
Demiromantic people can experience romantic attraction after a close emotional connection has formed.
PEOPLE OVER DEFINITIONS:
Asexuality and aromanticism are two of the more recent areas being explored, included, and named in the LGBTQIA+ community. In this work, it is important to remember: all identities are self-identified. Never ascribe an identity to someone else. Let them tell you how they choose to identify. Like gender identity and gender expression, ace and aro identities can change over time.
A New Look:
Exploring Romantic &
The horizontal red to blue spectrums represent the orientation of one’s romantic or sexual desire. The vertical gray aro and ace spectrums represent the intensity of one’s attraction toward that orientation. Although romantic orientation and sexual orientation might often correlate, they do not necessarily align. For example, a person might identify as heteroromantic but bisexual. Plot yourself on each grid.
*“Homosexual” is useful when learning aro/ace spectrums, however most gay and lesbian people do not use it as an identifying term and find it offensive.
A half sheet print version of this resource is available and can be used alongside the "Lutheran Introduction to LGBTQ People and Their Families" resource
Asexuality: an Introduction to the Asexuality and Aromantic Spectrums:
Lutheran Introduction to LGBTQ People and Their Families:
ReconcilingWorks’ Reconciling in Christ (RIC) program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations that publicly welcome LGBTQ people. Below is how to begin your RIC journey. For more complete details, visit: RWKS.org/RIC
- Begin a conversation with the RIC resource page: RWKS.org/resources/RIC and the “Building an Inclusive Church” (BIC) toolkit & training: RWKS.org/BIC
- Pass a welcome statement specifically naming "LGBT," "LGBTQ," "LGBTQIA+" or “people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”
- Proclaim your welcome and let ReconcilingWorks know by filling out the RIC Profile Survey: RWKS.org/survey.
Special thanks to Tara Fleck, M.Div student at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, in Candidacy through the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA for editing this resource.
Content and design by Zac Baker.