On Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 11 a.m., there was an open discussion called Coffee Talks in the lower level of the Memorial Union in the Union Underground. The event was hosted by coordinator Becky Bolte. Coffee Talks is an extremely helpful platform for students, especially for those who are experiencing the issues related to the topics first-hand. This week, the discussion was over asexuality.
There are several students at Washburn who identify as asexual, and they might feel as though they can’t talk about their lives with others because they will be judged.
The purpose of the open discussion is to let them know that people are here to listen to them and to their problems, and to be with them if and when they talk about their problems so that they aren’t alone.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many people that feel comfortable talking about asexuality, which is problematic for those that identify this way. It seems as though most people misinterpret asexuality as just another letter in the LGBTQ+ community. This misconception can be a problem. Asexual people encounter just as many cultural barriers and stigmas as those that identify within the LGBTQ+ community, yet these individuals are just as misunderstood.
It is unfair to compare the two, and it is also unfair to ignore or value one’s sexuality over another’s. In many ways, both fall on two sides of the same coin, along with the other LGBTQ+ members.
These talks provide a safe space, where anyone can talk about their issues and give their opinions about the topic at hand.
Coffee Talks are meant to establish a dialogue about sensitive topics. Being able to have a discussion and comfort someone while they are vulnerable can be therapeutic, and can be constructive for those that are in the audience.
The only thing that truly matters is the community, and getting people informed and educated about the situations and circumstances of those involved.
Finding common ground is important, since understanding is the key to establishing good relationships. Giving someone something they need, even if it is just a person to vent to or a cup of coffee as they talk about their daily life could perhaps be the best thing someone could do for another person. It would make the world a better place and give those in need a chance to express their feelings and get whatever they need to off of their chests and into the open, making others understand these things about them that make them who they are.
All students are encouraged to attend future events and participate in a judgment-free discussion.