9 asexual and aromantic celebrities paving the way for better representation in media

These celebrities are challenging misconceptions and stereotypes about what it means to be asexual or aromantic.

Side-by-side photos of ace icons who are improving asexuality representation in the media, all standing in front of purple backgrounds

Even though ace media representation is improving, and there is a better understanding of the broad range of identities that exist under the asexuality umbrella, there are still major misconceptions about what it means to be asexual (ace) or aromantic (aro). Seeing celebrities and other people in the public eye who are vocal and proud about being asexual and aromantic can be a great help in fighting stereotypes and misconceptions.

One example of such poor representation is that many asexual characters in film and media are depicted as being cold, awkward, or unfeeling, but this unfair generalisation couldn’t be further from the truth.

Marilyn Monroe was recognised as one of the warmest and most captivating women of her time, and excerpts from her unfinished autobiography suggest she was likely asexual. She shared, “I used to wonder if the whole world was crazy, whooping about sex all the time… Then it dawned on me that people – other women – were different than me.”

While asexuality wasn’t widely known as a label during Marilyn’s time, here are nine asexual and aromantic celebrities who are fighting these media stereotypes today.

Alice Oseman

Photograph of Alice Oseman, one of the asexual celebrities listed in the article, holding a copy of Heartstopper

We’ve seen huge improvements in asexual representation thanks to shows like Heartstopper, which accurately depicts ace and aro identities. As the author of the best-selling graphic novels, it’s clear that Alice understands a range of sexualities and romantic experiences.

Oseman is very open about their own experiences being asexual and aromantic. They said, “Interviewers come to me with a preconceived notion of what my identity is, and assumptions about how an ace person experiences the world. No one is asking deep questions. It’s a complicated thing to understand about yourself.”

Yasmin Benoit

Photograph of Yasmin Benoit, one of the asexual celebrities listed in the article, posing in purple top.

As a writer, model, and ace activist, Yasmin has been using her platform to advocate for better asexual media representation. She created the #ThisIsWhatAnAsexualLooksLike hashtag and co-founded International Asexuality Day.

She radiates confidence and comfort in her own body in a powerful way. As a Black asexual and aromantic woman, she also brings attention to the intersection of race, gender, and queerness that is too often under-represented.

David Jay

Photograph of David Jay, the founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network

As the founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), David makes space for more asexual people to meet, connect, and defy stereotypes.

He advocates for more open and honest public dialogue about ace experiences. For example, in his own experience, ace people can have deep emotional needs where they crave touch and intimacy, but not sex. He happily talks about his own family, which includes a three-parent household with his partners and daughter.

Michaela Coel

Photograph of Michaela Coel, one of the asexual and aromantic celebrities listed in the article, wearing a black dress posing in front of purple background

This aromantic British writer and actor is best known for her roles in Chewing Gum, Black Mirror, and Black Earth Rising.

Michaela rarely shares details about her private life with the media, but in a 2014 interview, she shared, “I googled aromanticism and I very much felt like, ‘Oh, that’s me.’” She continued, “I am OK being by myself. I like having intimate relationships but I don’t want to change people or want to be changed by anyone.”

Tim Gunn

Photograph of Tim Gunn standing in a suit in front of a purple background

The Project Runway fashion icon came out as asexual in a 2010 interview with People Magazine sharing, “For a long time, I didn’t know what I was. I knew what I wasn’t: I wasn’t interested in boys, and I really wasn’t interested in girls.”

He talks about his previous long-term relationships in his autobiography and how he came to identify with the asexual label.

Janeane Garofalo

Photo of Janeane Garofalo, one of the asexual celebrities listed in the article, holding a microphone against a purple background

Comedian Janeane Garofalo describes her asexuality as having “a genuine lack of interest” in sex rather than a fear of intimacy.

She’s comfortably spoken about the range of asexuality and the distinction between finding someone attractive versus experiencing romantic or sexual attraction.

Cody Daigle-Orians

Photo of man with glasses wearing purple, white, gray and black ace scarf

As someone who identifies as ace, aromantic, and queer, Cody is the founder of Ace Dad Advice. He offers digital workshops where he discusses things like self-confidence, communicating with partners in relationships, negotiating intimacy, and exploring asexual labels like ace and aro.

He also has a YouTube channel that offers advice for people explaining their asexuality, and he curated a book called Being Ace: An Anthology of Queer, Trans, Femme, and Disabled Stories of Asexual Love and Connection.

Angela Chen

Photo of ace author Angela Chen wearing glasses and lipstick

This incredible asexual author of ACE: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex writes about her own experience discovering her asexual identity.

Chen combines research and personal accounts to explain attraction and offer a better understanding of what it means to be asexual.

These are just some of the asexual and aromantic celebrities paving the way for better understanding and more diversity in how ace identities are represented in the media. Their impactful stories are helping break down expectations and misunderstandings about asexuality.

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