Joe Parrish is running as a Democratic candidate for Granville County and Person County in the North Carolina House of Representatives, and he also happens to be asexual.
The 24-year-old decided to officially come out with the news that he feels no sexual attraction, and the announcement could help shine a spotlight on sexual minorities.
Gay Star News spoke with Parrish recently to discuss where he stands politically, and how his asexuality affects his life.
Parrish, who plans to vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary, says he never felt like he needed to run around telling everyone that he was asexual.
“I wanted to tell the asexual community that I’m asexual and I’m running for office and tell them, ’Hey, there’s someone like you running for office and it may interest you to know about it.’ There’s potentially some visibility here,” he said.
On what he’d like people to know about asexuality:
“I guess I’d like people to know it’s diverse phenomenon and there are different types of asexuals with different attitudes about sex and how comfortable they are with it or whether they’re disgusted by it or whether or not they’re willing to have children. The one common thing is we’re not sexually attracted to people. When we’re with people, we’re just looking at them. There’s no impulse to go and do it with that person.”
On what it would mean to be an openly asexual politician:
“It’s hard to say because I’m running for a relatively small office – the state house of representatives. It’s not the most widely followed or tracked thing. CNN isn’t going to talk about it. It’s hard to tell how well things are followed or tracked on the internet. Things can be ignored or it can go viral and it can go everywhere. I guess I’m interested to seeing how it plays out and seeing how my online campaign and my asexuality might be significant. I’m not an expert in media relations, I studied political science.”
On if he thinks he’ll help people by coming out:
“I can’t see what harm it can do. My campaign manager is always saying, ‘Never say anything that will mean people won’t vote for you.’ He doesn’t have a problem with asexuality, he’s worried people who are more elderly will be confused and get me off message to income equality, jobs and so on. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to go to a public forum and talk about my sexuality when I want to talk about pressing issues.
I’m not running as a gay man in North Carolina, I’m not going to lose votes because of that. While asexuality isn’t as well known as homosexuality, it’s not going to be considered a sin by Christians because you’re not doing anything! You’re just not attracted to people. In some way it goes in line with what they like because they’re in favor of celibacy and all that stuff. Sometimes I’ve been told by some fairly religious people is that they like that about asexuality.”
Visit Gay Star News to read more of Parrish’s interview.