Asexuality, known as the “invisible” orientation, is severely underrepresented in mainstream TV and film. According to GLAAD, there have been ZERO asexual characters on air this year. Only one character, Todd Chavez, was part of mainstream TV last year (GLAAD). The show he was a part of, Bojack Horseman, has since ended. There is little to no representation. How can we begin to understand asexuality when it isn’t even visible in the media we consume?

total canon ace characters in TV (2021)


“Asexuality means I’m not sexually attracted to any gender. So I don’t look at men, or women, or anyone, and think, wow I want to do sexy stuff with them.” 

Loveless by Alice Oseman

The background is part of a short film, Asexual Story, by Megan Delany.

Asexuality is defined as having little to no sexual attraction. Like all sexuality, it is a spectrum. A person can be gray-asexual, meaning that they can sometimes experience sexual attraction. Demisexual people are sexually attracted to people after forming an emotional bond with them. It is a layered and fluid orientation that cannot fully be labeled or described in this one paragraph.


There are only TWO major TV shows that have crafted well-developed storylines around the character’s asexuality. For the representation to be explicit, they have to have explored and labeled the character’s asexuality. Unfortunately, the number of shows that fit this criteria is small. 

WHY is there so little representation? You may ask yourself. It’s a valid question. Where are all the ace characters? Keep reading…. 

While Shortland Street and Bojack Horseman are the only shows that have an explicit, developed storyline around the character’s asexuality, there are some shows that still have asexual characters. Usually their asexuality is mentioned implicitly in one scene. Click the button to read more. 


There are plenty of characters people believe to be asexual. We call these characters ace-coded. After looking at many of them – from Sherlock Holmes to Sheldon Cooper, I noticed that there is a similar pattern. Many of them are lacking in emotional maturity, have high intelligence, and are essentially inhuman. This implicit representation then tells asexual people that they are not human, or at least, not normal. 


This is a different, though not uncommon, instance of asexual representation. In the comics, Jones was canonically asexual. An adaptation of the comics, Riverdale, completely erased his identity. Ace erasure, unfortunately is too common. 

Jughead Jones from Riverdale

I have immersed myself in asexual media, but also queer theory. I think it’s important to look at the scholarship as sometimes the lack of asexual representation exists beyond mainstream media. Additionally, some of the existing scholarship does not fully detail nor capture asexuality…. read more here. 

pic of someone wearing a shirt that says, "my sexual preference is nope."


Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) – Hosts largest asexual community and offers resources on asexuality. 
Asexuals in Fiction Database – Database of ALL media (books, TV, podcasts etc.) that have asexual characters. 
A Space for Aces – A local community group for asexual and aromantic people in Allentown at the Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Center. 
Giant List of Asexual and Aromantic Blogs – Comprehensive list of asexual and aromantic blogs on different platforms.