PRIDE! Kent hosts Q-&-A with asexual and demisexual members

Drew Parker

PRIDE! Kent hosted a question and answer session with four members of the asexual and demisexual communities earlier this month.

During the event, four PRIDE! Kent members responded to audience questions regarding their orientation.

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network defines an asexual person as someone who does not experience sexual attraction.

Devaun Tyler, technology and publicity director for the Akron LGBTU who spoke at the event, describes himself as both bisexual and demisexual, meaning he can only develop sexual attraction after developing emotional attachment to a person, regardless of sex.

Tyler said he wants people to understand he believes asexuality is not a choice and is acceptable.

“People often assume that I just haven’t found the right person or I’m celibate by choice,” Tyler said. “I just think there’s things in a relationship that sex can ruin, and it doesn’t always appeal to me.”

Stephanie Mote, senior visual communication design major, identifies as asexual but not aromantic, meaning she develops romantic connections with people but has no sexual desire.

“I look at an attractive person the same way I would a beautiful painting or a nice car,” Mote said. “I admire their beauty, but that doesn’t mean I have sexual feelings for them.”

Mote said a lot of misunderstanding about asexuality exists within society.

“People believe that you can be cured, as if it is a psychological problem,” Mote said. “I don’t need to be fixed and I’ll do with my body as I please.”

Angela Backus, lecturer in the health sciences department, said students in her human sexuality classes often misunderstand asexuality or haven’t really heard anything about it before.

“In my experience a lot of students aren’t familiar with many sexuality and gender issues.” Backus said.

Backus said she believes negative opinions on asexuality come from misunderstandings.

“People don’t understand these sexualities, so they have negative ideas of them because they just don’t get it,” Backus said. “I think many people view it as a choice or that asexual people just want to stand out, but in reality its just who they are.”

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].