LC Pride invited students, faculty, and the local community to take part in a lecture, Jan. 24. The initial lecture was the first of an ongoing series that will be discussing the spectrum of sexuality and gender. The topic of the first lecture was Asexuality, which was defined as: the exhibition of no sexual feelings or desires, or a major lack thereof.
Kristen Stellhorn, who was in charge of the presentation, described asexuals as “just as diverse in how much love they feel towards other people, but without sexual desires”.
According to a 2015 article by Hetty Tullis, “In this hyper-sexualized era it can be difficult for some to understand how a person can not be interested in sex, but there are a myriad of reasons why someone may become asexual. Some may have had a sexually abusive past, or they may have developed a complete mental lack of interest in sexual behavior as a result of finding things they consider to be ‘more important’ than participating in coitus.”
The lecture also discussed the issue of inclusion of Asexuals under the umbrella of the LGBTQ+ Community. Ironically enough, there has been a large amount of discrimination against Asexuals from a smaller, more radical group within the community, whom are “loud and offensive” about exclusivity, according to an attendant who wished to be left unnamed.
According to Stellhorn, asexuals do belong under that umbrella, but only if they wish to include themselves.
In order to further impress this point and increase solidarity, a short video was presented in which Jeffrey Marsh, a voice of advocacy within the community and an advocate for this sentiment of inclusion for Asexuals, affirmed the philosophy that Stellhorn had presented. Marsh also encouraged Asexuals to seek inclusion only if they desired to be included.
Asexuality may seem uncommon to those less involved with the community or to people unfamiliar with the subject, but its incidence is actually quite common and has even affected some celebrities. Some contemporary Asexuals of notoriety include: Caitlyn Jenner, comedian Janeane Garofalo, and Stephen Patrick Morrissey who is the solo artist and former lead singer of “The Smiths”, to name a few.
There are often misconceptions about Asexuals from people who are misinformed. Kerri Hulme, an openly asexual, award winning author from New Zealand, helped to dispel these misconceptions in an NZ Herald interview when she was asked about asexuals being cured and she responded, “I am not sick, I am not deficient; I may not be normal but I am thoroughly natural. And I don’t want to be any different from the way I am.”
This was not the first lecture of this type at Lewis and Clark, as Landon Brownfield hosted a lecture on the spectrum of sexuality on Spirit Day last October. Lewis and Clark Community College continually pursues its mission of empowering the community through education, and part of that commitment includes more educational lectures.
On Valentine’s Day there was also a lecture on non-binary genders and a lecture about pansexuality hosted Feb. 28.
There have been two different lecture topics on the “Spectrum of Sexuality” each month. Due to Spring break there will only be one lecture scheduled for March 28. Anyone interested in joining LC Pride may contact club coordinator Steve Higgins via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or attend a general meeting on the first and third Thursday of every month at 3:30 pm in Caldwell 1329.