A new gender classification coming soon to a nearby Catholic university or college…


One of the premiere campus events during the month of October occurred beneath the radar screen: “Asexual Awareness Week.”


This lack of awareness won’t contine if Emily Johnston and some of her pals at Carleton College are effective in getting their message out, according to Inside Higher Ed. Johnston is the President and Co-Founder of The New England Asexual Community and Education (ACE) which holds meetings and is actively working to expand programming at Carleton for asexual students.

To date, Johnston and her allies have experienced some success. For example, Carleton’s Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) earlier this year added the word “asexual” into its mission statement as well as an “A” onto the LGBTQ acronym. For Johnston, that’s important because it provides recognition that asexuals exist and are a valued and visible part of the queer community. “It’s an act of validation,” Johnston noted.

The GSC’s Director, Laura Haave, said her organization is making an effort to sponsor programs that are more inclusive of asexual topics or speakers. In addition, the GSC is also revising some of its programs concerning communication and consent. The idea is to acknowledge that talking about sex for some people means identifying as asexual. “There’s a pretty strong belief in our society that if you don’t experience sexual desire or sexual attraction, there’s something wrong with you,” Haave said. Haave hopes the GSC’s recognition will mean asexual people won’t face the discriminatory pressure that confronted the gay, lesbian, and transgender populations, namely, to “change who they are” or “get better.”

What’s an “asexual” person? Johnston defined an asexual as a “person who doesn’t feel sexual attraction.”  However, Johnston added:

It means something different for everyone, and it means they experience relationships and intimacy differently.

As this definition isn’t inclusive of the wide spectrum of asexual variations, Johnston expressed her preference that people use the more inclusive term “asexual spectrum.”

For Johnston, even though the number and visibility of people who identify as asexual has grown, it’s still too low. Johnston observes:

It happens so often that people don’t even know that asexuality is an orientation. Or they’ve heard of the word, but don’t know what it means.

Beyond Carlton, the movement appears to be growing nationally with the establishment of support groups for asexual students at the University of Colorado at Boulder and New College of Florida. At other institutions—like the University of Georgia, for example—existing student groups have added asexual to the list of gender identities and sexual orientations represented.

Once academic administrators at the nation’s Catholic colleges and universities learn that asexuals are being stigmatized on their campuses because sex, attraction, and desire are celebrated and encouraged by the culture, they’ll be sure to note that Catholic social teaching requires a more inclusive approach towards asexuals. Perhaps the New England ACES would be willing to offer those administrators recommendations for their college gender and sexuality centers. Then, they’ll demonstrate greater compassion toward and inclusity of the newest of sexual minorities, all of those students on the “asexual spectrum.”

Any bet which Catholic college or university will spearhead the effort?




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  1. I’ve got a confession. According to queer theories, I must be explained and defined by a fluid (or fixed) sexual identity. At no point am I able to escape or be defined apart from my attractions and it must rightly be politicized as to make sure I do not lose sight of who, or what, attracts me. So let me be 100% open with you and admit that I am a transspecies mealsexual. It’s true, I cannot even think about sex and sexuality on anything but a full stomach. I am compulsively moved to satiating this appetite at least 3 times a day, 7 days a week. I form fluid relationship with a bowl of cereal, carrots, various meats and cheeses- and of course they are fluid, open relations because usually by the end I open and they’re fluid. But don’t oppress me for this, for I am but one on the spectrum that you need instructing upon. As a transspecies mealsexual, I have more to offer the world, because my identity has a very sensitive constitution and completely different way of experiencing intimacy. Like, for example, I get awfully cranky if you come between me and my regularly scheduled meal times. I also will be less interested in sex on an empty stomach than on a full one. So be careful when dealing with me because this may be nothing like your hetero-cis sexual triggers, this is just how I’m built. So please, just understand that you don’t have to treat me any differently. My personal pronouns are I, belch, barf, fart, blat and burp. Thank you.

  2. I don’t begrudge these people their desired category, but I do have a question–if they are not attracted to anyone of any sex, then why do they self-identify with LGBT groups? If I declare myself completely apolitical, but insist on attending Democratic events and want to be part of the Young Democrats club, would anyone take me seriously?

    If I had to guess, I would say it is just a desire to be in with the “cool kids.”

  3. Is it out of line to just call them bacteria? Sure would make it easier on us.

    btw…..Hummmmmm, your funny!
    Love the identity. 🙂

  4. They all came into the world through a mother and a father. “Honor thy mother and thy father that thou shalt be long-lived upon the face of the earth.” the Fourth Commandment

  5. And I thought that these idiots had pushed the envelope as far as they could go when they started insisting that men could go into bathrooms with little girls b/c the men think they are a woman. Boy was I wrong!

  6. This is the result of an unfilled spiritual vacuum in these folks lives. Their identity needs to be found in the Trinity. -not in a labeling of themselves by their sexual desires or lack of sexual desires. This is an attempt to address an eternal spiritual need by filling it with the satiation of a temporary physical desire.

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