Author: Yasmin Benoit

Uber’s The Many Voices of Pride: Yasmin’s Stor…

The LGBT+ community is made of many different identities, all of which are as valid and important as the others, and every single one deserves to fly their flag with pride.

For Pride 2019, PinkNews has teamed with Uber to tell stories that show how important visibility is to a diverse rainbow of sexual and gender identities.

This is Yasmin’s story…

How do you identify?

I identify as asexual and aromantic. Asexual means you don’t experience sexual attraction or you experience a very low degree of sexual attraction.

It’s a spectrum, so some people do experience it a bit more than others. Aromantic means when you don’t experience romantic attraction either.

When did you first understand what it means to be asexual or aromantic?

I noticed it around the time everyone’s hormones kicked in and boys and girls started to fancy each other. I assumed this would kick in for me but it didn’t and people started to take notice.

It was only when people started questioning me about it, that I had to start working out what was different about me.

Did you know anyone else like you?

The only time I saw people sort of like me represented in the media was bad guys in movies — it’s usually the awkward ones with no social skills who don’t experience sexual attraction.

I couldn’t relate to those characters and the unfortunate thing is that it shaped other people’s views of what asexual and aromantic people must be like, and I had to battle against those stereotypes.

If you don’t experience sexual attraction or romantic attraction, society teaches you that there must be something severely lacking in your mind and in your life.

How important is it for representation at Pride?

There is definitely a lack of asexual representation at Pride. Unfortunately there’s still a debate within the wider queer community about whether we’re supposed to be included, whether the A is for us, and whether we should be at Pride.

So it’s something which needs to be improved.

I definitely still support Pride as it is today and I think in doing that I bring the representation for asexual people that I’ve always wanted to see at Pride.

What does the asexual flag mean to you?

For me, the flag is our unifying symbol. If I ever see that flag flying I know there is someone I can relate to.

It doesn’t matter how old they are, what ethnicity they are, what nationality they are, how long they’ve know they are asexual for or where they are on the spectrum, it’s just a big umbrella for everybody.

This one’s for every student who was mad…

This one’s for every student who was made to feel stupid by their teachers and peers, for every kid treated like a lost cause in education. This is a fuck you to everyone who thought I’d never achieve anything like this. 🖕🏽

Yesterday I graduated with an MSc degree with Merit in Crime Science from UCL, one of the most prestigious and most difficult universities in the world. I’d love to see teachers who kicked me out of class for asking for help, and the students who called me stupid on a daily basis, try that now.

After being bullied badly through many of my years in education, it destroyed my confidence and made me believe that I was an idiot. Not only have I proved them wrong, I’ve proved to myself that I’m capable of anything I put my mind to. 🎓

#ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike

I had the opportunity to bring some aromantic-…

I had the opportunity to bring some aromantic-asexual representation to Uber’s #PrideComesInAllColours campaign! I would have chosen a different quote from our 20 minute interview, but the written version is more informative.

Check out my full interview below:

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/07/11/uber-yasmin/

We have lost a member of our asexual communi…

We have lost a member of our asexual community under horrific and devastating circumstances. I knew of Bianca because she felt empowered enough to use the #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike hashtag and submit her photo to the @thisiswhatasexuallookslike page. It warmed my heart. Then, only a few days later, I learn that she was killed and that photos of her murder are going viral online. She was only 17. I’m sick of humans being so disgusting. She was a beautiful soul who did not deserve this. She should not be remembered because people are getting sick kicks out of watching her death and spreading hate about her. She should have lived a long and happy life. I’m so shaken. I’m so sorry. I wish there was something more I could do. 

If I see anyone using this hashtag to share the graphic material or saying anything negative about her in the comments I will block and report you. Please don’t circulate or even look for it. Have some respect. I believe the police are still investigating this. My thoughts are with her friends and family. #RIPBianca 

This is What Asexual Looks Like Part 3, Femme …

This is What Asexual Looks Like Part 3, Femme Edition:

‘#ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike – Part 3: Femme Edition’ is here!

When I was given the opportunity to write for @qwear, I decided to start the #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike series and hashtag to give the agency back to asexual people, so that we could represent ourselves. I wanted to give us a platform to show that there is no asexual way to look or dress.

In this edition of the series, I chose to focus on asexual femmes, to highlight our experiences navigating a world which sexualizes us and our self-presentation. I’m grateful for all of the femme-presenting asexual people who have participated in this new chapter of the series – @omgyoash, @aidennqueen, @valer_kimiko, @dexgenerate, Stephanie Zambrana from @aces_nyc, and  @twykad!

Check out the article here to see more of their style and to hear their stories!

I’m so proud to announce that I’ll…

I’m so proud to announce that I’ll be hosting the first ever asexual bar at #PrideInLondon this weekend! 😭

I’ve been working hard with our sponsor Budweiser to make this monumental project happen. We’ve corresponded a lot with AVEN and the ace community to make sure this is something by us, for us. There will be music, a documentary screening, panel discussion, food and drinks, karaoke, games, and of course – cake! 

♠️

Get your free tickets to the 2-day event in Soho now! They’re going fast! https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ace-of-clubs-tickets-63391670192

Next time someone says that ‘aphobia’ isn’t a …

Next time someone says that ‘aphobia’ isn’t a thing, show them this.

This is why it’s so important to educate people about asexuality. Through my work, I’ve encountered many people who aren’t just ignorant when it came to asexuality, they’re aggressively against it. There are asexual people who don’t want to come out just so that they don’t have to experience remarks like the ones I’m reading out there. 

#ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike

Model: Yasmin Benoit

Model: Yasmin Benoit

Photography: Tim Williams

Lingerie: Guerrilla Geisha

Model: Yasmin Benoit

Model: Yasmin Benoit

Photography: Tim Williams

Lingerie: Guerrilla Geisha

Model: Yasmin Benoit

Model: Yasmin Benoit

Photography: Richard “Busha” Bailey

MUA: April Storm

As seen in Femme Rebelle Magazine