Ryerson celebrates first Asexuality Awareness Week

Ace Toronto facilitator, Steven Rayson, conducts asexual definition game at the Asexuality 101 Workshop in the Student Campus Centre on October 30, 2014.

Ace Toronto facilitator, Steven Rayson, conducts asexual definition game at the Asexuality 101 Workshop in the Student Campus Centre on October 30, 2014.

Allies and members of Ryerson’s queer community gathered at the Student Campus Centre on Oct. 30 for the Asexuality 101 Workshop.

RyePRIDE, an equity and service centre that operates under the Ryerson Students’ Union, organized the workshop to celebrate asexual awareness for the first time at Ryerson.

Asexuality is a sexual identification of a person who rarely or never feels sexual attraction with anyone. However this is only the base definition that does not describe the different variations of asexuality. Two of the most common variations are grey asexuality, someone who feels sexual attraction on certain circumstances; and demi-sexuality, the need for a strong emotional bond to experience sexual attraction.

Fourth-year history student and RyePRIDE coordinator, Daniella Enxuga, planned this event to raise awareness and educate students on asexuality.

Enxuga, who identifies as asexual, hopes that more people will understand asexuality and “lesser known” identities from these types of events.

“There are so many identities under the LGBTQ but people only really know about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender,” says Enxuga. “I think we need to have education, not only on asexuality, but on all the identities on campus.”

According to Enxuga, other identities that are often overlooked and misunderstood include two-spirited, intersex and questioning.

In partnership with Ace Toronto, the workshop consisted of a presentation on the definition of asexuality, the various types of relationships, the asexual spectrum, as well as group games. Ace Toronto is a community group for asexual, or “ace,” people residing in Toronto to build a local community and hold regular social events and public education sessions.

Although there are a larger percentage of people who recognize asexuality now than 13 years ago, when the term was founded, Enxuga says, “There will still be people and friends who just suggest that ‘you’re in a phase’ or ‘you haven’t met the right person.’”

Ace Toronto, which is now two years old, is holding a series of workshops on asexuality at community centres and schools.

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