Conference Informs Audience About Different Sexualities

By: Cristian J. Arvelo

On March 5, 2014, during the V Coloquio del Otro La’o event at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, a conference was held to educate students about sexualities that aren’t normally talked about in public, such as asexuality, pansexuality, and polygamy.

The conference was called Queer Sexualities: Asexuality, Pansexuality, Monogamy and Poligamy (Sexualidades Queer: Asexualidad, Pansexualidad, El Poliamor y la Monogamía)and was held in Room 008 of the Celis building at 3:30 p.m. Approximately 30 people attended. Three panelists, all members of the UPRM’s Gay-Straight Alliance, headed the event: Vashti Tacoronte, Denisse Echevarría, and Roberto Rivera.


The three panelists allowed the crowd to participate in the discussion

The conference started with each panelist introducing him or herself. Before they started the discussion, they made it clear they wanted the audience to participate as much as possible and consider the as a dialogue. The audience seemed to enjoy the collegial atmosphere.

The first topic they discussed was asexuality. Most of the audience members were confused and asked questions pertaining to what asexuality actually is. Many admitted not knowing that asexuality was considered a sexuality at all. The panelists defined asexuality as “someone that is not sexually attracted to another person, no matter the gender.” The panelists stressed that asexuality is not something a person chooses, as with all sexualities.

The next topic on the table was that of pansexuality, which they defined as “someone who is attracted to all genders, not just male and female.” There was some initial confusion in the crowd on the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality but after the panelists described each sexuality and what they entailed, the audience seemed to understand what exactly pansexualism was.

The final topic discussed in the event was polygamy and whether or not it was possible for such a relationship to be successful. Although all the panelists seemed to agree it was possible, the crowd’s opinions were divided. Audience participation rose during this discussion as many people voiced their opinions and concerns about how a polygamist relationship could work.

The event ended at about 4:55 p.m. Audience members congratulated the panelists for the success of the event. José Jiménez, said he attended the session because it was a requirement for a psychology class he’s taking. He added that he enjoyed the event. “I initially did not think I would’ve liked it but I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed learning about sexualities I did not know existed.”

The Coloquio is an event held every two years at the UPRM dedicated to the rights of the LGBT community. The event’s official Facebook page describes the event as follows: “The colloquium is conceptualized as an international forum that serves as a platform for dialog and debate of topics related to non heteronormative sexualities, commonly represented by the acronym LGBTTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transexual, and Queer)”.



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