Interview: Angela

Today we’re joined by Angela. Angela is a phenomenal artist who hasn’t met a medium she didn’t like. She does a fair amount of visual art, specializing in graphite and colored pencils. When she’s not drawing, Angela enjoys doing a variety of crafts: knitting, papercraft, making candles, etc. If all that weren’t enough, she also plays some musical instruments and works in theater tech. It’s very clear that Angela is a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m not sure where to begin. I create all sorts of art from drawing, to knitting, to music and more. In terms of drawing, my favorite mediums are graphite and colored pencil; those are about the only things I work in. I also love crafting; I knit, I bind books, I make candles, I do papercraft… you name it and I’ve probably given it a shot, or at least would like to.

When it comes to music, I mainly focus on clarinet and saxophone. I’m in my college’s pep band but in high school I played a lot of jazz and more traditional wind ensemble music. I’m not sure if theater tech counts as art, but if it does, I love building, painting, and running set pieces. I also love doing sound and lights for theater and other events, which isn’t typically seen as art, but I think there’s a certain degree of artistry to it.

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What inspires you?

I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who really has a lot of inspiration, but I guess my pure love of the arts inspires me. I love creating things for myself and others to enjoy.

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

I’m not sure what got me interested in each of my respective fields. Art is just a hobby of mine; I’m actually studying chemical engineering right now. I guess I’ve just always loved music, and everyone always told me I was good at drawing so I kept up with that too. I started building sets my freshman year of high school because I’ve always wanted to build things and the school play was my first opportunity to do so. When I turned seven, my grandma taught me how to knit so that got me started on fiber arts.

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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 actually have any sort of signature or symbol that I include in my work, but I absolutely love when people do.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I guess the advice that I would give young aspiring artists would be to never give up. If you find an art form that makes you happy, keep doing it. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or that it’s a waste of time. The more you work at it, the better you’ll get. And even if your work never reaches professional quality, the important part is that you enjoy it and it makes you feel good.

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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?

I haven’t really encountered any kind of ace prejudice in general. I tend to surround myself with good people, and I’ve been very lucky in that respect. The most I’ll get is people not knowing what asexuality is, but when people ask I just explain it and it’s all good.

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

I think the most common misconception about asexuality is that it’s the same as sex repulsion. I think a large part of the community is sex repulsed or sex averse, but that doesn’t mean that they’re inherently linked. Plenty of aces enjoy sex without experiencing the attraction.

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

It sounds pretty clichéd, but I would say to know that you’re not alone. It’s okay to question, and it’s okay to be unsure. There’s a great asexual community ready to welcome you home and help you through anything you need.

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

I’ve posted a bunch of my arts and crafts at angelas-arts-and-crafts.tumblr.com if anyone wants to check that out. If you want to speak to me about all the stuff that I do, feel free to message me there or I suppose you can e-mail me at emailjunkedyjunkjunk@gmail.com (yes that is my junk e-mail, I’m not kidding, Gmail didn’t accept the first five or six options I put in so I decided on something ridiculous) if you’re really that interested. I’d be happy to talk to you!

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

Interview: Kate Adams

Today we’re joined by Kate Adams. Kate is a wonderful young songwriter from Northern Ireland who has recently begun writing poetry as well. She posts singing videos to her Facebook page. Kate has such an admirable enthusiasm and is incredibly engaging, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve recently started writing poems and songs. I’ve always loved music so eventually I just started putting piano accompaniments with the words, the first poem I ever tried putting music to wasn’t my one, it was “Solar” by Philip Larkin.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by Philip Larkin, I really admire how honest his work is and how he was always true to his beliefs. I am also very inspired by my friends. They are also creatives who are LGBT+ and they encourage me so much. We always share work with each other and give feedback, they are very important to me and I write a lot about them.

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

I took English at a higher level at school and really fell in love with the poetry section. I went to a few poetry readings in local bookstores and it really inspired me to start writing. I have been singing from a very early age with my granda, my dad is also very musical and it kind of rubbed off on me. My brother and I took piano lessons for a few years and he really succeeded at it, but I stuck more to singing.

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, I haven’t really thought about a sign off or signature to be honest. I just tend to write my initials.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To any young aspiring artist reading this interview I would say: Even if you don’t like what you have created, it’s probably good you made it because it furthered your talent and ability. Everything you do is part of a creative journey you are on. Be proud of what you and always keep true to who you are and what you believe. Be respectful of others and their work and be you 😊

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a HetAce as of right now, but I might be BiAce.

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

I have had a few people who are part of the LGBT+ community tell me that I don’t belong in “their” community. I have dealt with it by saying stuff like “I mean, here is some material you could read that may sway you…” and then linking them to posts and articles on the topic. It’s infuriating to be oppressed by being excluded and demonised by a group of people who aim to fight oppression.

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

I had a conversation very recently with somebody who thought that all asexuals were repulsed and opposed to kissing, masturbation and sex, I explained that that isn’t always the case and that it varies from person to person.

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

I am still figuring out my own orientation, some people don’t figure it for a very long time, orientation and sexuality are very fluid things and labels can change as you grow as a person. Don’t feel that you should fall under one label either! It’s totally okay to just be you and like what you like. As long you are mindful and respectful of others you’ll go far.

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

I’ve recently started posting videos of me singing on my Facebook page, no original songs yet but you never know what the future holds! Most of the people who like it don’t know about my being asexual, I’m still trying to tell a few people aha.

The link to my page is: https://www.facebook.com/KateAdamsMusic

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

Interview: Mady

Today we’re joined by Mady. Mady is a phenomenally versatile young artist who hasn’t yet met a medium she didn’t like. She specializes in music, playing both the flute and the piccolo, though she does play other instruments as well. When she’s not making music, Mady enjoys drawing, photography, and baking. She clearly has an enormous amount of passion and enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

So I do participate in a few different artist outlets. Music is what I am most skilled in as I’ve been practicing and performing for about 10 years now. Flute and Piccolo are my main instruments, though I do occasionally mess around with others! My favorite pieces to perform are usually from a movie score or a stage musical. I love how easily the emotional flows from them since they are designed to illicit a specific emotional response from an audience while a composed piece on its own is more open to interpretation.

As for other things I do a lot whenever I have free time! I like to write, cosplay, bake, take photos, doodle, etc. Honestly most artistic outlets have become a hobby of mine even if I’m not that good at it!

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What inspires you?

Gosh I feel like there are so many things. Honestly, I tend to find most inspiration in the people around me. I’ve met so many people over the years that are so dedicated and passionate about their craft that I can’t help but also want to be the best I can. That sounds so cheesy to say, but it is how I feel!

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

Well for music I would almost be tempted to say it was in my blood. Kind of like a destiny thing! Everyone in my family is musically inclined. I mean literally everyone. To be honest at first I very strongly strayed away from anything musical. My dad is musician and plays in a band on his off days from work so for some reason when I was a younger that caused me to shy from it.

In fifth grade I joined Orff Orchestra to get out of sitting in the gym in the morning and that was kind of the end of that line of thinking. The middle school band teachers came and did a presentation on beginning band and the rest if kind of history!

Everything else was something I picked up along the way. There was no specific moment like with music. They were hobbies that I just came to enjoy.

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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 can’t think of anything that really that stands out to me. I think everything I do just kind of has a look or sound to it that relates back to me in a way? Which I do think is true of most artists. There isn’t something tangible for my art; it’s more of a feeling if that makes sense?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Try not to compare yourself to those around you and never give up! This is something I personally have a problem with and always need to remind myself. It’s okay not to be at the same level as someone else, no matter where they are in life. You’re allowed to go at your own pace and that isn’t a bad thing!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Panromantic Asexual! (Though I’ve found I tend to lean more towards ladies than fellas)

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

Mhm personally I haven’t dealt with too much as I’m not very vocal about my sexuality. It’s kind of on a need to know basis so I’d be willing to bet most people I know, excluding my friends, have no idea I’m ace. I did have a friend once brush me off and patronize me, but after talking with them they came to understand a bit better. I, of course, have also had the general stupid comments about being a plant or partaking in mitosis.

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

Probably that it doesn’t exist in the real world and that it’s only a “Tumblr Thing” It’s frustrating to hear because for me personally without Tumblr and the internet as a whole making information about sexuality so accessible, I wouldn’t have realized I was ace. I spent a long time confused and unsure of what was wrong with me. I never really had physical crushes and was never able to relate when my friends would point out someone and gush about how ‘hot’ they were. Tumblr helped me start looking further into terms and information and has led me to where I am today. It’s not a perfect site and definitely has its faults, but I really do think it has the potential to be a wonderful place for spreading information.

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

It’s okay to be unsure and afraid. You don’t have to have all the answers. Even just recently I had to make some adjustments to how I see and refer to myself. Life is constantly a learning experience and that’s okay! Have fun being yourself!! No one else can do it better!

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

I post anything I create that I’m proud of on Tumblr at venasven. Any and all of my cosplays and photography can be found on Instagram at the same name! Venasven!

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

Interview: Brian

Today we’re joined by Brian, who also goes by Adipsia. Brian is a phenomenal musician who plays with multiple bands. He also makes ambient music on his own. He uses synths and field recordings to create slow meditational music. It’s very clear that he has an enormous amount of passion, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I compose experimental ambient music under the Moniker Adipsia! It’s slow, meditational music made with synths and field recordings, and occasionally percussion and other random instruments. I explore themes a lot with my music, and most of my releases have been concept albums that tell a larger story. But it’s mostly instrumental, so you can glean whatever meaning you want from it.

What inspires you?

Almost everything! I manage to find inspiration just about everywhere; sitting in a restaurant listening to silverware and the din of the other people, taking a walk and hearing the sounds of the city mixing with the birds in the trees, or just watching an interesting movie or reading a book. Since the art I make is very nebulous and open, ideas can spring forth out of just about anywhere. Listening to other really talented musicians also gets my mind working, it’s fun to dismantle the elements of their music and guess their creative process.

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

It was probably my parents; neither of them are very musical, but they got me involved in music since I was 6 years old. I’ve always been very creative, and my parents, even though I grew up poor, really tried to provide good outlets for my creativity. I don’t think as a child I ever really thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, other than an X-Wing pilot, haha. But music has been a large part of my life for so long, it just feels natural to be doing it.

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 guess there is a very echo-y delayed electric piano patch that I throw in quite a few songs. It’s usually in the background, and it fills up a lot of space in a delicate fun way, so I end up utilizing it a lot. Other than that, I don’t really think there’s any kind of signature to my music, other than it all being pretty chill music.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

My recommendation is to ingest as much art as you can. Find artists you enjoy, and just take in their work and really listen/look closely. Find out what you enjoy about their work, what you don’t like, and what you’d do differently. Then go do it!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Heteroromantic Asexual. I’m married, and there was some rocky patches to get over during our relationship, but she’s very accepting of my sexuality.

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

Not too much, I don’t really talk that much about sex outside of close relationships, so it doesn’t come up that often. If I ever do mention it, I either get approval and understanding, or I have to explain what it is.

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

That it’s just low libido, and that it can be fixed with testosterone treatment. I do have a low libido, but I can recognize it as something separate from sexual attraction.

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

I would say ‘own it!’ There’s no reason to be ashamed of who you are. Your sexuality is a small part of your whole being, and it’s part of what makes you a unique individual.

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

If you want to check out my work, you can find it on Bandcamp, (adipsia.bandcamp.com) where I release my full albums, and on my Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/adipsiasa) where I usually post little demos, meditations, and things I’ve been working on recently. Of course there’s Facebook too, but I am really bad at social media, so I end up not posting for weeks at a time.

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

Interview: Fran

Today we’re joined by Fran. Fran is a phenomenal musician who plays a variety of instruments and also participates in her school’s marching band. When she’s not playing music, Fran enjoys doodling and is currently writing a novel, which sounds like a fun adventure (a superhero rom-com, how can you not love that). She has also written some poetry and short stories. It’s very clear that Fran is a dedicated and versatile artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I just graduated high school and plan to attend university as a double major in music education and music performance. My primary instrument is flute, but I also play saxophone and a little bit of piano, ukulele, and clarinet. I really enjoy playing classical music, but a lot of my passion lies in jazz, and I am a member of my high school marching band and a future member of my college marching band. I also doodle a little bit, and I am writing a rom com superhero novel about a meteorite that wishes that she can become human and the stars grant her wish. It is a wlw romance, but mostly it consists of humor and superhero action. I also write poetry and short stories.

What inspires you?

My hero is Michael Giacchino and other movie soundtrack writers like him. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved getting inspiration for my music from soundtracks. Because of this wonderful music guiding my life, I plan on inspiring others to pursue music by teaching, and maybe even continue my talents into the professional field. For my visual art, I mostly get inspiration from my friends. We all draw together as a hobby so we get inspired by each other often. For my writing I am inspired by my favorite authors, J.K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, David Leviathan, and Rick Riordan. I love writing books with positive outlooks and messages about love and peace.

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

I have loved music and art ever since I was a child. I started playing flute in 4th grade and I have been obsessed with band ever since. I loved watching movies and playing games almost solely for the excellent musical track. It was only a matter of time until I decided it would be my career. I’ve drawn and written for just as long. I wrote many short stories when I was young, and drew in that stereotypical 6th grade anime style that all artists cringe at later in life. My writing and drawing styles are a little bit better now, though I look back at my childhood doodles and stories with fondness.

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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?

Not really. My signature is just my name in cursive.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you want to be a musician, do it! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a “phony career” and that you won’t be able to make a living with it. With hard work and a little thinking outside of the box, you can make a good career out of any art form. Follow your dream and don’t let the downers destroy your passion!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an Asexual Lesbian. I experience no sexual attraction, but I am romantically attracted to girls exclusively.

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

I’ve had people tell me that you can’t have a romantic relationship without sex and that I’ll “change my mind”. It used to bother me, but now I just let the words wash over me. I know that I’ll find someone who will understand and love that part about me. I can’t help it that their concept of relationships is so small-minded. I don’t experience that often, though. Most people in my field are very accepting.

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

That I can’t experience a romantic relationship. Many people lump asexual and aromantic together without realizing that they are both different. You can be both, or just one or the other. There are also people who think I’m just innocent. It’s true that I’m a bit innocent in some areas, I don’t like to cuss, I don’t have a dirty mind, I would rather watch Disney movies than anything with too much sex or violence, but that has nothing to do with my orientation. I know how sex works. I just don’t want to have it.

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

Don’t feel like you have to rush into a label. And your label can be fluid and change over time. I know that I may change my label in the future. Just like your favorite color changes over time, so can your label. Also, I know it’s hard living in a world where sex can be prioritized over a healthy and understanding relationship. Be who you are. Because “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind”. Your identity is a beautiful thing!

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

I don’t really have a website or anything. Most of my work is just in my ensembles or in my community.

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

Interview: Ashlyn

Today we’re joined by Ashlyn. Ashlyn is a wonderful and versatile artist who does a bit of everything. She does quite a bit of writing but also digital art and she dabbles in music. It’s very apparent that Ashlyn is incredibly enthusiastic about art, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I like to create in a variety of ways. For this project, writing and digital art are my main focus. I also make music.

What inspires you?

My struggles inspire me. The fact that I am still alive and breathing after going through them motivates me to defeat my demons throughout my life.

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

Since kindergarten I’ve had ambitions of being an artist for life. It has changed over the years but creativity is what has kept me going when I don’t feel like continuing. I find self expression in multiple forms of creativity very important.

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’m not exactly sure what this question is asking but one unique thing about my art is that mental health is another thing I am passionate about and it will show in my art.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Your work is more valuable than the world will tell you. Creative students will be whisked away from their passions and handed textbooks and told that things like your math grade is more important than your creativity, simply because of jobs and money. But without art this world would not be sane.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I have never had a sexual attraction to anyone so I identify loosely as completely asexual and possibly pan romantic.

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

Many people (even ones in the LGBT spectrum) are not aware and educated on asexuality. I have met a number of people who don’t believe that asexuality is an actual and valid orientation.

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

Many people feel bad for me and tell me that “one day you’ll find someone eventually” when I am indifferent and content with not having sexual attractions to people. The few people I have opened up to about my sexuality (or lack of sexuality) have interpreted it as me being lonely or desperate and in denial about finding a partner.

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

Asexuality is a difficult thing to identify as simply because it is defined by the lack of something which is much more difficult to prove than the presence of something. Asexuality is a wide spectrum with many variations on where you can identify. If your identity is not solid or definite that doesn’t mean you can’t take pride and confidence in it.

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

I have not released much of my art on many platforms since producing art consistently has been a difficulty for me.  I do, however, have a Wattpad account that I just started with the handle at swercz.

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

Interview: Baylee Morris

Today we’re joined by Baylee Morris. Baylee is a phenomenal musician who has been playing the clarinet for almost ten years. When she’s not playing, Baylee teaches younger musicians. It’s very obvious that she’s an incredibly talented and dedicated musician, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve been playing the clarinet for about 10 years now and I still love it. I mostly played in school, but after I graduated high school, I still continue to play at church and teach up comers at my alma maters. I also teach children at my church how to read sheet music and piano basics. After I graduated, I didn’t think I would be able to continue music, but luckily, I found small, but meaningful ways to keep going.

What inspires you?

Mostly music. I can’t handle silence, and music feels empty space like no other substance. I’ve always felt this way. Plus, as a sufferer from ADHD, fidgeting was a problem I had in my younger days in school, so being able to use my own body to make music… it’s just fantastic.

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

My older brother was in band two years before I was and all his stories from marching band and the concerts that I witnessed myself pretty much made up my mind. I got my clarinet two years before I joined in 6th grade, and love every bit of it.

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 was the youngest person in my band’s history to be section leader in marching band and also the first person in years to take on the section leader role, as well as another head role in the band- mine being Uniform Chief. I’m really proud of this and was incredibly happy to help younger students reach their own potentials.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Stick with what you love, and things will fall into place. In a group of 70+ people, you are going to encounter people that don’t appreciate it as much as you, or the work that you put into it. Keep going though. Keep doing what you love.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual/Biromantic

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

Since band kids are sometimes labeled as “sexually active” (LOL mean girls), being not sexually active surprises some people. I’ve heard it all; “Why are you sooooo prude?”, “You just haven’t found the right guy!”, and “Maybe you could find someone if you’d just lighten up.” These were from people in band and out of band.

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

The most common (and most hurtful) thing that I’ve encountered were from past significant others is “You just don’t love me enough.” or “What’s wrong with me?” This can hurt your feels, but remember, you are not obligated to do anything, no matter how much you love the person or how guilty the try to make you feel.

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

Accept yourself the way you are! There are so many people out there that share your same views. Why focus on the negative people when you can befriend the amazing people who are willing to talk to you like an actual human being?

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

If you want to see my specific band, you can YouTube search Jackson County Bands NC. But if you want to see some wicked cool stuff, try look for BOA (Bands of America) bands, Drum Corps (Cadets are a personal favorite of mine), or head to your own school’s concert. Those band kids will appreciate it. Believe me, they will.

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