Arts & Culture / Mosaic / October 31, 2018

Common Ground hosts event for Asexual visibility

Juniors Katie Goldstone-Hersch, Teslin Penoyer and Ashley Kerley discuss ways in which they can support the asexual community.

The Common Ground executive board was delighted to have a time and place to celebrate the asexual identity on campus during asexual awareness week. The event “asexuali-tea” resembled “bi-ce cream social” which instead celebrated the bisexual identity. Both events wanted to make the sexual orientations that aren’t validated as often as others come to the forefront and celebrate their uniqueness.

“There’s a reason we do asexual and bisexual and not like a ‘gay day’ because its like orientations that are sometimes underrepresented and not acknowledged and we think it’s important to bring those more to the forefront,” senior and Common Ground project manager Katherine Goldston said.

Asexuality refers to a person without sexual feelings or associations; asexuals do not necessarily have to be queer, and because of that, they often get pushed out of the LGBTQ+ community.

Junior and Common Ground president, Ashley Kerley wanted to make sure that the Knox College campus knows that even if the community sometimes kicks out the asexual orientation, Common Ground is still a loving and accepting place where students can come to feel validated in their identity.

“So this whole week is asexual awareness week. . . asexuals definitely don’t get enough visibility in this community, they definitely get overlooked so we wanted to put something together to celebrate those identities and say hey, we see you,” Kerley said. “We want to make sure that anybody who identifies as ace on the spectrum or whatever knows that Common Ground is an accepting place to be seen.”

Common Ground plans to continue validating other orientations and genders throughout the year with the second year of Trans Visibility Week during Spring Term. They always have been addressing a new sexual orientation or gender during every meeting to educate the members. Common Ground is held every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the Human Resource Center. They want to make sure that if they can make a difference to the [LGBTQ] community, they will do it.

“That’s how I became okay with coming out as a whole general thing, and to Knox. I’m just speaking for myself but it definitely has an impact on an individual level,” Goldston said.

Seniors Ellie Tapley and Zoe Meyer both attended the event for the second year in a row. They were both excited to be surrounded by a positive environment and others who will accept them in their identity.

“I mean, asexuality is such a minority. [I’m] constantly around people that are like ‘hey, sex right?’ and I’m over here like, ‘I don’t understand you’, Meyer said.

Tapley said they didn’t feel unaccepted on campus, but both Tapley and Meyer agreed that it may be because all of their friends are also asexual. Events like these make them excited to celebrate their identity.

“Well, I’m super ace so I was super glad to see it, and I like puns,” Tapley said.

The event, Asexuali-tea, continued to draw in many different orientations throughout the night. They shared tea, cider, hot chocolate, and snacks while coloring sheets that said things like “space ace” to help celebrate the asexuals at Knox. The exec board is excited to continue bringing other orientations and genders into the light on campus.

Sadie Cheney

Tags:  Ashley Kerley common ground Katie Goldstone-Hersch Teslin Peynor

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