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    (Redirected from A-spectrum)
    A flag with four coloured rectangles. The top right is dark green, the top left is black, the bottom right is grey, and the bottom left is purple. There is a white star in the middle.
    The a-spec flag.
    The aloe vera a-spec flag.
    The redesigned aloe vera a-spec flag.
    The striped a-spec flag.
    Alternative a-spec flag.

    A-spec (or A-spectrum) is an umbrella term for all identities on the asexual and aromantic spectrums. A-spec can describe an individual who is on the asexual spectrum, the aromantic spectrum, or both.

    A-spec is also sometimes used more broadly to include other identities that use the "a-" prefix, such as agender and aplatonic.[1] Aroace agender is sometimes called AAA-spec (pronounced "triple-A-spec").

    Controversy

    Asexual and aromantic individuals have sometimes been accused of appropriating the term "a-spec" from the autistic community. However, the term was created in 2015 specifically for aces and aros and had no prior usage history.[2][3]

    Within the asexual and aromantic communities, the use of the term "a-spec" has also been criticized for introducing confusion through frequent misuse, particularly regarding asexuals using "a-spec" when only asexual spectrum (ace-spec) individuals are relevant or through saying "a-spec and aro-spec", implying that the aromantic spectrum is not inherently included under the a-spec umbrella. Unfortunately, for some individuals, "a-spec" and "ace-spec" are phonetically indistinguishable when spoken aloud.[4]

    History

    Tumblr users warriorsdebt, whes, and strategicgoat introduced the term a-spectrum in 2015.[5]

    Flag

    Tumblr user the-moon-is-aroace created the a-spec flag on March 25th, 2019.[6] The compass rose in the middle symbolises how individuals all experience attraction differently, if at all. The green and purple are on opposite sides of the quadrant to show that asexuality and aromanticism are separate and independent identities, with the black and grey quadrants connecting them. Black represents the aroace community, and grey represents grey communities.

    Tumblr users sapphic-squirrel and hetaces​ designed the aloe vera a-spec flag with help from the Inclusionist Discord Server, and they posted it on November 17th, 2019.[7] It was designed to mimic the sapphic, achillean, diamoric, and pluralian flags with three stripes and one plant. The green is for aromantics, the purple for asexuals, and the grey is for the grey area between "a-" identities and "allo-" identities (including those that don't have solid labels but know they are somewhere under the umbrellas of asexual or aromantic).

    Tumblr user untitled-google-docs-document created an alternative flag on July 5th, 2022.[8] She created this flag mainly because the a-spec flags have only included aro and ace individuals and not aplatonic and agender individuals. Thus, she wanted to make a flag inclusive to all a-spec individuals. The green stripe represents aromantic and agender individuals. The yellow string represents love and relationships outside of amatonormative ideas, how the community fights against amatonormativity and radicalises the word "love", and tertiary attraction. The white stripes represent the diversity of the a-spec community. The blue stripe represents anyone who is aplatonic. The purple stripe represents asexual individuals and the a-spec community as a whole. The compass rose symbol was inspired by the-moon-is-aroace's a-spec flag, only changing the colour for aesthetic reasons.

    References

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