It could be the old “asexuality is boring” trope, but somehow I don’t think so.
Maybe the creators of the aforementioned works grew up reading the same sorts of LGBT YA that I did and swore that if they ever included a GSRM character, they wouldn’t make their GSRM-ness the entire plot.
Everything I included on this list is stuff I’ve read/watched and enjoyed OR stuff that I have mostly heard good things about.
I made an executive decision not to include works that have garnered significantly more negative attention, like (novel).
You also have aromantic aces who aren’t depicted as emotionless robots! Given that asexuality is still unfamiliar enough in mainstream media to garner a “wow, these people exist, how weird is that?
For example, also falls under the SF/F umbrella, but I don’t think I’ve read enough of it to be able to classify it more precisely.) Even the more realistic, slice-of-life-type stories tend to feature characters that have a personality beyond their asexuality.
Or maybe the creators of the aforementioned works realized that, hey, asexual people are just people who are asexual, and so making their entire storyline about how asexual they are (isn’t that weird?
) isn’t as interesting as making a story about how asexual they are…while fighting evil tentacle aliens.
The blurb on the back cover usually went something like, “[main character] is living in the small town of [wherever], but he has a big secret! ” or “[main character] is handsome, popular, captain of the football team, and dating the hottest girl in school.
But there’s just something about [obligatory openly gay love interest]…” The gayness of the character was always front and center and composed the entire core of the story; you wouldn’t get blurb that went, “It is the future and [main character] is a space wizard fighting evil tentacle aliens with his boyfriend,” because [main character]’s space wizard shenanigans might distract readers from the fact that HE IS INTO GUYS, OMG.