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“There is nowhere near enough a-spec representation in the music industry”

Zoe Maras, founder and artist services at 97 Joyride Agency, explores how the industry can be more welcoming to asexual professionals

28 Jun 2024

When I realised I was asexual, everything around me clicked into place so rapidly that truthfully, I was overwhelmed. But through the overwhelm, there was content because finally everything made a lot more sense.

My name is Zoe, I am a 26-year-old asexual, sober, gender diverse, CALD [culturally and linguistically diverse] music lover and tour manager based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. According to the LGBTQ+ Centre of UNC, the definition of asexuality is “a term used to describe someone who does not experience sexual attraction toward individuals,” which for context’s sake I will include, however, I don’t entirely feel any definition on the topic is as simple as that.

Every a-spec person I know is vastly different, and asexuality also has several subcategories that someone can identify with, and as such, sometimes I find that the general definition can be both restrictive and misinformation. When I tell people I am asexual, for the most part, I am met with a positive response because a lot of my network is queer, however sometimes, directly or indirectly, I’m met with a pity party, judgement, and stigma, which can unfortunately seep into my work. Quite frequently I see people’s faces drop, am met with ignorant and offensive remarks, and can almost immediately spot the difference in treatment before and after I disclose to people that I am asexual.

When I tell people I am asexual, sometimes I’m met with a pity party, judgement, and stigma

I do believe that, with the stigma around asexuality and the widespread issue of sexual harassment and abuse of power in the music industry, specific professional opportunities haven’t eventuated – even though I am more than capable and qualified. Additionally, my asexuality can unfortunately get in the way of creating and maintaining genuine personal and professional relationships, both due to the stigma and taboo nature of compulsory sexuality and asexuality, as well as the intentions of individuals who try to get away with the aforementioned abuse of power.

I am a qualified and legitimate music lover and worker, and while it is a shame that my asexuality can sometimes affect opportunities, what matters more is that I am living authentically; and when I live authentically, I naturally attract others who are also living authentically, too. From there, I can clearly gauge who is around me for the right reasons. So how do we change the narrative for a-spec people? Through conversation, education, and genuine, judgement-free curiosity.

I believe that there is nowhere near enough a-spec representation in the music industry, partly because sometimes it still doesn’t feel safe to be out and because there is not much of an invite to represent to begin with. Simple changes can be made, however, to make sure that the needs of asexual music industry workers are being met, including active efforts to hire more ace (asexual) people and include their perspectives on panels at conferences, backstage, in crew, and in other appropriate professional settings, for example.

I hope that by being out as ace in the music industry, I can show people that their a-spec existence matters

Further change and allyship can also be made by reading literature, watching videos on the topic, and donating to an ace-centric charity, for example. You can also look around your network and see if there are any asexual people. If there isn’t, how can you be more welcoming of asexual people? Ask that question truthfully, even if it means sitting in discomfort, unlearning nuance, bias, and other judgement.

I am a firm believer in the importance of representation. Representation matters, and I believe that if you can see it, you can be it, and if you can see that language and community exists, you can literally save lives. I don’t think I’d be openly queer if it wasn’t for other a-spec people talking about their existence, and it’s grim to think that without representation, community, and things such as a-spec-specific terminology that I could have remained in a dark, confused, and isolated place, both personally and within the music industry.

I hope that by being out as ace in the music industry, I can show people that their a-spec existence matters and is welcomed, regardless of other people’s opinions about asexual people. I hope that telling my story can help you or someone you know understand more about people like me or maybe start your journey of self-discovery as well.

I dedicate this piece to the a-spec community. I think that it is radical that we exist because it challenges all that is fed to us about how relationships should look. We naturally go against the grain and that is game-changing. We exist and that’s enough. May we continue to blaze our own trail, exist in and amongst chaos and discomfort, and challenge societal nuance by simply existing.


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