I'm not sure how far this news has penetrated the asexosphere, but this is major, so I'll talk about it:
A New Zealand soap opera called "Shortland Street" is currently featuring an asexual character. This is huge, because the character, Gerald, actually self-identifies as asexual. He looks it up on Wikipedia and everything! It's set in one of those television hospitals where no one ever does anything remotely medical. Apparently, Gerald is currently dating his first girlfriend and finding that he isn't interested in sex. A way-cool New Zealander has compiled relevant clips of the show on Youtube here. I have to say, these videos are among the most awkward things I've ever viewed in my life. I know that asexual awakening can be difficult, but I've never actually seen it occuring outside myself, if that makes sense. I doubt anyone who's not asexual outside of New Zealand will ever see this show, but I hope that it will be enlightening to at least a few folks over there.
Granted, there are plenty of inaccuracies (you don't get "diagnosed" as asexual), although I guess everyone who comes out is faced with some people that have...strange...ideas. However, there are many statements made in the show that are correct ("Most asexuals feel there's nothing wrong with them", etc).
Also, it's interesting that Gerald is so...well...*gay*. You can't really use accurate gaydar over television, and especially not cross-culturally. But if I saw Gerald walking around in San Francisco? TOTALLY GAY. I just hope he's actually asexual; I don't want those "BUT YOU MUST BE GAY" adherents to have any more fodder for their claims.
I also find it interesting that the first representation of television asexuality is male. I just can't avoid thinking about how gender plays into representations of sexuality. Sure, you could say that there was a 50/50 chance that the character would be male. But it's hard for me to imagine this character being female. And I think I know why, for once. We've progressed somewhat in terms of sexual equality between men and women. But when it comes to sex, I think men have an autonomy that women still lack. A man can identify as asexual because his sexuality is identified by himself alone and exists internally. However, a woman's sexuality is identified through her actions and relationships with others. Women are supposed to have a sexual "utility" that men don't need to have. Queen Christina wanted to "die a bachelor" instead of "an old maid" because being a bachelor implies an element of choice that being an old maid lacks. Old maids are seen as hopeless, but "confirmed bachelors" are an intriguing challenge. I'm not saying that asexual men have it easier; we all have our own issues to contend with. I just think that bringing up ideas of inequality anywhere they exist is the first step to true equality. And because theories without action items annoy me, here's what women can do: Start using/reclaiming all male or unisex sexual/relationship descriptors that imply choice. What are some other ones we can use? Is that a strange idea? I hope it makes sense.
And, watch the Shortland Street videos! (But don't say I didn't warn you about the awkwardness.)
Your confirmed (?) bachelor,