Interview: Barbara

Today we’re joined by Barbara. Barbara is a phenomenal artist who does a few different things. She’s a visual artist who does drawing, painting, and carving. Aside from visual art, Barbara is also an enthusiastic dancer. If that weren’t impressive enough, Barbara is also an acrobat! She has just started training in aerial silks, which is super cool. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image1

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Okay. Starting with the visual arts I have been learning how to make visual art such as drawing painting and carving since I was just a few years old so I can say I have been learning for over 10 years. I am going to start an official art school next year. I started dancing 4 years ago and 2 years ago I went to my first aerial silk training (it’s an air acrobatic technique mostly performed in circus). I’ve improved my skills especially in the last 2 years and I am going to perform my first solo choreographies (acrobatic and dancing) in April and June of 2017

What inspires you?

Well, mostly it’s other people. I love the way we are all different and my definition of beauty is the opposite of perfect. Every mark, every scar, wrinkles or freckles- that’s what makes people so amazing and extraordinary. And I love stories. They inspire me a lot, and by stories I mean books and movies of course, but also biographies and little facts from everybody’s past. For example every time when I discover a new artist or author or a band or anything like that – I try to find information about their past because it’s the past that makes us the way we are, and we think, and we create.

I am also very inspired by other people’s art. That includes music, drawings, literature and stuff like that.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

As I said I was really young when I started drawing. Into dance and acrobatics I got mostly because of my mom who’s a dancer and owner of the dance school where my adventure started. I think that a lot of motivation to become an acrobat came from that one time when I saw Circue di Solei live, it’s an experience that I will hopefully never forget.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

My signature is always visible on my visual art, I also always wanted my symbol to be a simple drawing of moth but I am still working on the project, do that’s something more for future.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am only a beginner and don’t know much about life yet but my best advice is – practice a lot. Nothing makes you improve your skills more than practicing. Also don’t give up easily. Even if you lose a big opportunity or miss some chance. There will be another one – I promise.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as heteroromantic and asexual (or at least on the asexual spectrum because I am really young and I know some things can change but I don’t think they will to be honest)

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Well, I haven’t come out to my parents because they don’t even seem to believe in such thing as asexuality. I am sure I will come out to them someday but by now I prefer the save option. Honestly most people in my country probably doesn’t know much about whole LGBTQIA community which is sad and it’s caused by an incredibly small amount of representation in media. I wouldn’t call it homophobia, it’s more like overwhelming ignorance. It isn’t that bad after all, I don’t think most people hate LGBTQIA community – especially younger ones.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The fact that we don’t actually exist is surprisingly common. I also saw people calling it a disease once or twice.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

I don’t think I’m ready to give any advice. I discovered my own sexuality quite recently. I started identifying as asexual only about 6 months ago. From my experience I know that it really helps when you come out to someone. Just make sure it’s a person that you really trust.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

My Tumblr: https://verysassywitch.tumblr.com/

My Pinterest (a lot of inspirations and some of my art as well): https://pl.pinterest.com/verysassywitch/

My DeviantArt: http://verrysassywitch.deviantart.com/

Thank you, Barbara, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.

Interview: Bridgett Cains

Today we’re joined by Bridgett Cains and she’s the 500th artist interviewed by Asexual Artist (YAY!). Bridgett is a phenomenal dancer from Australia who dances in a variety of styles. She has been all over the world, dancing with various troupes and in a variety of venues. She also teaches dance and choreographs too. Bridgett loves to share her passion for dance and I could not be happier to feature her on this blog. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

danceismyboyfriend

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher working in a range of styles, but generally fusing contemporary dance, belly dance, and contortion. I’ve been performing and teaching for the past fifteen years without any real plan other than to take chances and make opportunities wherever I can, which has taken me on some unexpected adventures. I’ve worked in Australia, the US, and Europe in a range of contexts including performing in dance projects, arts festivals, outdoor events, music videos, belly dance troupes, circus cabarets, experimental theatre shows, burlesque shows, body art competitions, fashion shows, and corporate events.

Although I’ve pushed myself to become confident in improvisation, I’m a choreography geek at heart, and as a teacher I love nothing more than to give my students the skills to create their own original choreography.

bridgettcains01

What inspires you?

I find inspiration in people who haven’t followed straight paths, or who put their own spin on their genre. People like Garry Stewart, Marion Motin, Cera Byer, April Rose, Henry Rollins, Mike Patton, Amanda Palmer, Tim Minchin, Rachel Brice, Noel Fielding, Martin Martini, Diana Vishneva, Tom Waits, Tanja Liedtke, Philippe Petit, Aya & Bambi, Heston Blumenthal… (I keep a running list here). When I’m looking for inspiration for a specific project, I try to look outside of dance so as not to accidentally steal anything, and instead turn to circus, sideshow, music, theatre, books, stand up comedy, film, visual art, and whatever else I’m surrounded by at the time.

bridgettcains02

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I took my first ballet lesson when I was three and continued in regular classes well into my twenties, but never dreamt of being a professional ballerina, instead alternating between wanting to be a librarian, a scientist, a teacher, and an author. When I was fifteen I saw a contemporary dance performance that permanently shifted my focus to dance, and I started taking my training much more seriously. A few years later while I was recovering from a hamstring injury during full-time training, I took up belly dance and contortion which have taken my work in directions I’d never dreamt of, and introduced me to some of the most incredible people.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

With over twenty years of ballet and ten years of belly dance in this body alongside all the other styles I’ve dabbled in, I’ve accidentally developed a signature style that’s mangled them all to the point where I definitely don’t look like a ballerina or a belly dancer. Whenever my work is reviewed or audience members comment on my performances, they always mention my hands, my flexibility, and my lines, so I guess they’ve unwittingly become a signature in my choreography.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Try to explore things that challenge you to question your understanding of your artform. For me, setting foot in a belly dance studio for the first time after only ever having trained in ballet, jazz, and contemporary taught me entirely new ways to approach my work. It was terrifying at first, but now I’m hooked on taking classes in styles I’m not familiar with, and going through the humbling experience of being a beginner over and over again.

Being open to new things has taken me on so many adventures, including volunteering at a circus school in the Hawaiian jungle, running the dance program at a summer school in the UK, teaching at a performing arts camp in New York, working with burlesque performers in London and San Francisco, learning flamenco in Seville, taking belly dance lessons in Albuquerque, and taking Butoh and Irish dance lessons in Dublin. None of these things would have happened if I’d followed the plan of my fifteen-year-old self; to get a degree in dance and perform with a local company for the rest of my life, and I’ve since developed an aversion to long-term plans.

bridgettsword

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic and asexual. I flirt subconsciously and regularly develop crushes, but I have no interest in sexual or romantic relationships.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I usually work alone, but it’s never come up when I’ve worked on collaborative projects.

The only issue I’ve faced is in marketing my work, because I’m uncomfortable with the idea of anyone finding me attractive, but simultaneously love the way I look and need to promote the idea of people watching what I do with my body. It’s definitely a struggle to present myself well and with confidence without people projecting sexual undertones.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I’ve had a few people insist I’m just going through a phase, or I’ve just not found the right person yet, and that they’re willing to wait for me to change my mind or grow out of it. I also find a lot of people assume that asexuality stems from some kind of fear or a traumatic experience, and that I must be an easily offended prude.

dublin

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Build yourself a network of supportive people you can trust. Talk to people, keep a journal, and even make art about what you’re feeling if you need to. It’s difficult to understand and process it all when you’re in the middle of it, but if you can get it out of your head it’s a lot easier to step back, start making connections, and understand what it is you’re experiencing. I’ve only recently (in my thirties) realised that asexuality and aromanticism explain so much of who I am and what I’ve experienced, and I came out to close friends and family who generally seemed to have figured it out before I did, even if they didn’t know that these things had names. Most importantly, know that you’re not alone, you’re definitely not broken or dysfunctional, and that working on being comfortable in yourself is a very important thing.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

BridgettCains.com
Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest (at) BridgettCains
bridgettelizabeth.tumblr.com

ghosttown

Thank you, Bridgett, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Hana Li

Today we’re joined by Hana Li. Hana is an exciting first for Asexual Artists: she’s a burlesque dancer. She specializes in nerdlesque and queerlesque, as you’ll soon read. Hana has written on her blog a couple times about how asexuality factors into her art. Aside from burlesque dancing, Hana also participates in drag performing. She has so much passion for her art and I learned quite a bit reading this interview, as I’m sure many will. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

black-glasses-hana-li-by-brandy-lynne-photography
Black Glasses Hana Li photographed by Brandy Lynne Photography

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am burlesque dancer. For those of you who don’t know what it is, burlesque is striptease for a broad audience rather than one individual tipping.  It often has elaborate costumes and a storytelling element.  My specialty is nerdlesque, a sub-genre that references pop culture and fandom, and queerlesque, burlesque from a queer POV.

I also perform drag as Tony Fo-Hawk.  He’s my failed self-cloning experience since my tagline is “lab teched my way through striptease school.”

What inspires you?

As a burlesque dancer, I’m inspired by my fellow Asian performers, past and present.  We are often out of control of our bodies and sexuality with our culture wanting us to be modest and reserved while Western media depicts us a exotic flowers and dragon ladies.  Learning about the dancers in Chinatown’s Forbidden City and about my contemporaries gave me the courage to start performing.  I’m also inspired by good stories, characters I connect with, music that makes me want to move, and action sports.  I’m an X Games fanatic and the “go big or go home” attitude that the athletes live by push me to always give 110% and take risks.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

In my adolescent years, I was drawn to sensual forms of dance.  I was actually a belly dancer first, but when I got my own place, there weren’t any classes near me.   Before my partner moved in, I took classes at a studio near his apartment, and that was where I decided to try burlesque.  At that time, I had seen performances at a show and was really inspired by the confidence of the dancers.  The teacher, Ginger Valentine, later moved to the Ruby Room, a burlesque studio that I could get to.  By then I had seen some shows sand was getting interested in the history of burlesque so I signed up.  I never intended to be a performer, but the community was so welcoming and the teachers at the Ruby Room were so encouraging that I got sucked in.

hana-li-by-jd-morgan1
Hana Li photographed by JD Morgan

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I don’t really have something in all my acts, but I have what I call “ace pride” socks that have made a couple of appearances.   I wore one in my solo debut act since that performance was supposed to embody me.  Then I decided to add them into my gender-bending Tuxedo Mask number for the Texas Queerlesque Festival as a statement that we do belong in the queer community.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Stay true to yourself while remaining open to change.  It’s easy to get caught up in doing what sells best, but you have to believe in what you do.  Although I studied classic burlesque, inspiration pointed me in the direction of nerdlesque.  I fought that label since nerdlesque wasn’t too popular, but I figured out how to incorporate my classic bump and grind skills with nerdy themes.  The same happened with drag.  I figured doing queerlesque was enough, but one day it wasn’t, and I decided to hand over some routine ideas to my drag self.

o-ren-ishii-hana-li-by-miracle-bennett
O-Ren Ishii Hana Li photographed by Miracle Bennett

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m grey-asexual.  I’m heteroromantic, but my aesthetic attractions are primarily towards women and androgynous individuals.   Aesthetic attraction plays an equally important role in my identity, as I feel that’s what shifts me from being strictly ace to somewhere in the grey area near ace.   It’s hard to explain so I tend to tell people I’m a “genderqueer grey-a”.  I do wish there was more conversations about all the forms of attraction, not just sexual and romantic.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

People don’t think that I can be ace and a burlesque dancer because in their minds, burlesque is sexual. Depending on the situation, I’ll either wave them off or educate them about the difference between “sexy” and “sexual”.  An on-line conversation, plus some encouragement in a burlesque social justice forum, led to me writing my thoughts out in this blog post: http://hanaliburlesque.blogspot.com/2016/02/burlesque-for-me-is-not-about-sex.html

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The number one is that aces don’t have a libido or engage in intercourse.  For a while, I bought into the idea that I was “too horny” to be asexual.

I do have to bring up another misconception I frequently encounter: that my grey-asexuality is the result of either my day job or my culture.  Both make me go WTF?! because they lump me into a stereotype, and it’s actually kind of offensive.  I did have a conservative upbringing, and I suspect that at least one of my parents is ace (unfortunately I don’t have the vocab in Mandarin to talk to them), but that doesn’t mean Asians are asexual.  Likewise, working in science doesn’t make me ace, just like doing burlesque doesn’t make me sexual.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Know that there isn’t a simple definition.  Yes we say “lack of sexual attraction” to make the conversation easier, but there’s an entire spectrum and sometimes exceptions happen. I’ve known lesbians who became attracted to a man and pansexuals who don’t love all orientations.  You don’t have to have a check list to fit into an orientation, and you shouldn’t let people try to make you feel like you don’t belong.  Sometimes I still wonder if I’m “queer” enough even though I perform and produce queerlesque shows.  It’s important to recognize your privilege, but not at the cost of denying your identity.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I blog about my shows and experiences here: http://hanaliburlesque.blogspot.com/

You can learn about upcoming appearances and see performance (and cosplay) photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr:

https://www.facebook.com/hanaliburlesque
https://www.instagram.com/hanaliburlesque/
http://hanaliburlesque.tumblr.com/

txqf16-fri11

Thank you, Hana, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Andromeda

Today we’re joined by Andromeda. Andromeda is a phenomenal dancer who specializes in partnered social dance with a passion for the Lindy Hop in particular. She has been dancing for two years now. Andromeda is a female lead, which is always cool since dance traditionally has a male lead and female follow. Andromeda is incredibly enthusiastic about her art, as you’ll soon see, and the pictures she sent along are absolutely stunning. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image7

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a swing dancer! Swing dance is a partnered social dance, typically performed to big band or jazz music from the first half of the twentieth century. Lindy Hop, the style that I primarily dance, was developed by 1940s African American dancers in the dance halls of Harlem, most notably the Savoy Ballroom. Along with traditional 8-count Lindy Hop, I enjoy incorporating elements of 6-count Lindy Hop, Charleston, blues, and solo jazz into my dancing.

What inspires you?

Because swing dancing is a social activity, I constantly dance with other great dancers who inspire me to polish my swingout (the Lindy Hop basic step) and make my dancing as clean and energetic as I can. Along with my dance partners, one of my most consistent sources of inspiration is taking Lindy Hop classes. I have a theory that because we rarely feel inspired in school, many artists hesitate to look for inspiration in classes about their art, but it can be a great way to both improve your technique and be inspired by the instructors. It always makes my day when an instructor tells me, after struggling to nail a move for an hour, “That was perfect!”

image1

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I first became interested in swing dancing when I went to college and joined a swing dance club. Once I discovered the swing community’s world of opportunities for personal, social, and artistic growth, I was hooked!

I have never had artistic aspirations – I actually don’t think of myself as a very “creative” or “artistic” person – but swing dance is always challenging me to step outside my comfort zone and create new ways to express myself while dancing. I guess I just kind of fell in love with it – which, in all honesty, is probably the best way to become an artist.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I am a lead, which is unique because I am also a female. (Traditionally, male swing dancers lead and females follow.) Because I followed for a while before I realized that I preferred dancing as a lead, I have a special understanding of what the dance is like for my follows, and I do my best to make sure that they are comfortable and have plenty of room for their own styling while dancing with me.

Although there are many swing dancers, both male and female, who are “ambidancestrous” (can both lead and follow), I am one of the only female dancers I know of who leads exclusively – which is to say, I will always lead unless my partner specifically says that they would like to lead. To help visually communicate this idea, I usually dress androgynously (jeans and a button down or t-shirt) when I dance – not to look like a man, but to separate myself from women who exclusively follow, who typically wear skirts.

image2

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never be afraid of hard work. I won’t lie – it can be extremely difficult to invest your time, money, and effort into learning new styles and honing your technique. But the truth is, if you’re dedicated to your art, hard work is just passion put into motion – and for dancers, the moment you get out on the dance floor and feel new confidence in yourself and your abilities, everything becomes worth it.

Also, as a side note – don’t buy any special equipment until you feel like you’re being held back by inadequate supplies. I danced for two years in oxfords or sneakers before the rubber soles became a problem, and then I dropped the big bucks on real swing dance shoes with suede soles (the industry standard). You CAN start to become a great artist using whatever you have available, as long as you dedicate your focus and effort!

image3

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

No, I’ve actually been very lucky – the president of the swing dance club at my school is also ace! We like to laugh together about how so often people think that dancing together is an expression of romantic interest or sexual tension, when for both of us (and most swing dancers, regardless of sexuality) it’s just a fun activity that we love.

When I have encountered prejudice or an unwelcoming attitude, it’s because I’m a female lead. If a follow turns me down when I ask them to dance, I just shrug my shoulders and find someone else. Sure, there may be some follows who won’t dance with me, or who think I’ll never be as good as a male lead, but it’s not my job to make them change their minds. It’s my job to become an amazing swing dancer – for myself, not anyone else – and let them think whatever they want as they watch me fly around the dance floor.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

There are two. The first is that I can’t appreciate how lovely people are. I’m a dancer – I have enormous amounts of appreciation for how people can move their bodies in beautiful and artistic ways. Being asexual is in no way a detriment to my ability to appreciate good dancing in others, and I think that’s really important to understand.

The second is that I can’t enjoy dancing a more sensual style, such as blues, where the follow’s torso is pressed against (or “connected with”) mine, and we’re moving together in very close sync, typically swaying (or “pulsing”) to a slow beat. I actually enjoy blues very much – not because it feels sensual or because I’m attracted to my follow, but because it’s fun to invent ways to make slow dancing interesting, and I like the sensation of having a strong physical connection with my follow. I think that allows for better dancing, which is always my goal.

image4

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

If you’re struggling with asexuality – and especially if you’re scared for the future – please know that being asexual isn’t the end of the world. It may be the end of your expectations, but that means new opportunities to grow. I spent a lot of time a while back telling myself I wasn’t ace, because I was terrified of what it would mean if I was. I wish I had spent that time honestly exploring my identity, rather than being afraid of it. The most important thing you can do is accept who you are now and grow from there.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Bobby White, one of the best swing dancers out there, writes at https://swungover.wordpress.com. If you’d like to know more about Lindy Hop, I definitely recommend reading his articles.

Thanks for reading!

image6

Thank you, Andromeda, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Sandie

Today we’re joined by Sandie. Sandie is an incredibly exciting first for Asexual Artists: she’s a professional dancer. Words cannot describe how excited I was to be contacted by a dancer (dance is one of my absolute favorite arts). Sandie has an amazing love for her art, as you’ll see from the interview. She definitely has a dancer’s soul and an incredible love for her art. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

000000111

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a professional dancer. I feel as though I come alive when I’m on the stage and using only movements and dance to portray stories and emotions. Dancing helps me express myself so much better than I ever can with words. I’ve trained for years in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, commercial, pilates, as well as acting, singing, and the clarsach (Scottish harp).  My main focus is jazz or contemporary dance though. I’ve done a few dance jobs since graduating last year, everything from emotional contemporary duets to ensemble and featured dancer in a pitched musical to street performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Every job I do is completely different, some last an evening, others last weeks. It takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to be a dancer; but it is all worth it when I step on stage.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by lots of different things. I love to watch other dancers to see how the move and interpret the music, I have learn so much from watching others. When I choreograph I try to take inspiration from many sources; music, emotions, other art, stories. Although it may sound a bit self-centred but I do find I’m inspired by just how far I’ve come, and what I’ve been through to get to this point in my life.

00000001122

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’ve always wanted to dance. I went to my first ballet class when I was about 2 ½ years old because I kept walking around on my tip toes and I haven’t stopped dancing since. I started doing more and more classes and performances as I got older but it was only when I got to high school that I realised there was nothing else I would rather do, and I could actually make a career out of dancing. I had a lot of people (teachers and family member mostly) tell me that I should focus on getting a “real job”. Instead of listening to them I spent 2 years in full time training with a semiprofessional ballet company touring ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Swan Lake’ around Scotland and China. I realised I was never going to be a ballerina so I moved to London to study dance and musical theatre. I have no idea what I would be doing if I wasn’t dancing, it’s all I know and it’s what I love.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

A lot of the time dancers don’t get much (any) say in what you perform, you get told what movements to do and how to perform them. It does mean that every dance that I get to do is completely different so every job is a new experience, and also get to bring other people’s ideas to life.

However the few times I have been able to choreograph my own dances they end up either very cute and cheesy, or strangely dark. I became slightly infamous in my time at college for creating contemporary dance solos about dark and creepy ideas. My favourite solo was a dance based on the personification of Death, it was so much fun to go to complete extremes with both movement and performance (as well as getting to scare the audience). I will always have a soft spot for Charleston-esque jazz dances though!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it! My parents always told me “if you do a job you love, then you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think it’s better to try your best. Even if it doesn’t work out in the end you’ll be able to look back and say that you gave it your all and have no regrets and no ‘what ifs’. Don’t let opportunities pass you by, the worst that can happen is they say no.

2011_05070142

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Panromanic Asexual

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I’ve found not many people in the performance industry have even heard of asexuality, let alone know what it is. So most people just react by saying “that’s not a thing” and “how can you not want sex?!” It is difficult sometimes being an ace in such a hyper-sexualised field. Because so much of the dance industry does revolve around sex, it can be quite tedious. Quite a lot of them time the only direction you are given as a dancer is to “be sexy”, you are expected to wear skimpy and revealing outfits, so it’s not exactly the easiest environment for an ace. It was quite liberating once I had figured out that I was asexual, and that was the reason why I always found directions like that to be awkward and pointless. I tend to just ignore most of the sexualised comments and try to do my own thing; fake it until you make it. So far I’ve never met any other asexual dancers (or not any who were open to talk about it) but I hope I’ve been able to at least raise awareness of asexuality and show that we are all individual.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The idea that just because I don’t feel the need to sleep with a partner means that I don’t love/care for them. This response came from a close friend when I was confiding my feelings in her about the possibility of my asexuality. She made it sounds like I was being extremely selfish and it hurt because she was one of the first people I came out to. Also I’ve had a few people seem to think that I have a problem with people touching me in general, which is not the case. I had one person aggressively tell a guy that he should never touch me after he gave me a hug goodbye, which embarrassed both me and the poor guy; I have no problem with personal contact.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You are the only person who can define you. It is no one else’s business but yours. If right now, you feel like your orientation is different from a few months/years before, that’s okay. You are constantly changing and learning about yourself.

You and all your feelings are valid. You are not broken and you aren’t alone. You are you, and you are wonderful!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I don’t have an official website but I do have my personal Tumblr account (I occasionally post stuff about work).

http://jealousyballet.tumblr.com/

So feel free to message me on there if you have questions or anything.

0000000112223

Thank you, Sandie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.