In the asexual community, there are many symbols and signs, from playing cards to orientation flags, that we use to identify ourselves. Today I want to focus on a key symbol in the asexual community, the ace ring. What an ace ring is, is a black ring worn on the middle finger. Typically, the ace ring is placed on the right hand, but it’s not a set rule. The designs on the ring, the style, and the meaning of the ring varies between ace to ace, but at the base it is away to show off our asexual pride to other people and potentially meet other asexuals.
For us, the ace ring is a calling card for the community. Sexuality isn’t something you can identify just by looking at someone, but it seems, at least for me, that there is a straight assumption when in public. Unless you’ve identified with others most people assume you straight or sexual in one way or another. This can be stressful when you’re asexual and in a new place with a crowd of people, especially if the topic turns to who’s attractive and potential encounters. Whenever we are in public and we spot someone else with the ring, we are filled with pride, with knowing that we aren’t alone out there.
Not every ace chose to identify with a ring and for those who do, it can be tough.
For me, I’ve had a shifting relationship with mine. My ring is a chipped, worn down black ring with a clear aqua stone in the middle. It’s been through a lot and needs a lot of care, but I wear it anyway. When I first got it, I worried a little, about being seen and thought about what I would do if someone happened to know what is was. In my case that actually never happened, occasionally people would say it was pretty, but no one recognized it. I grew a little frustrated at this. Not because people didn’t understand what the ring stood for, but because I realized I wanted to be seen and I wanted people to know that part of me.
So instead of saying anything, I stopped wearing it and forgot about the ring. After I came out to my family, I found the ring again and started to wear it occasionally. The ring didn’t feel as important anymore and I didn’t know whether I wanted to continue to wear it or not. That was until I met another ace. They were wearing a ring too, so I gathered up my courage and asked them what the ring was for. Their response, “Oh, I’m asexual”, a simple, but powerful response. I had heard something that I needed to hear in person. From there, I thought about myself and how this response was a goal for me. I wanted to not be ashamed of myself and knowing that someone was wearing their ring, that they weren’t afraid to admit it’s meaning, helped me look at myself differently.
Since then I’ve decided to wear my ring often, at least when I haven’t misplaced it, and I’m even considering buying a new one. One that will mark for me a new era for me. So for me, the ace ring is a symbol of me and my pride. It’s a symbol that reminds me there are others out there like me, that I can help other aces who are insecure know that I’m not ashamed of myself and that they should never be ashamed of themselves. So for all the aces out there, I want to leave you with a question. If you wear a ring, what is your ring for?