During her sophomore year at Stockton, senior Gabby Bibus faced one of her toughest challenges to date: coming out as asexual. Although Stockton’s campus is generally seen as open and accepting of LGBTQ+ students, many of her peers did not understand her asexuality.
After receiving hurtful comments from other students, Gabby was inspired to start The ACE Space support group with the help of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Center.
Bibus still felt that Stockton was very open and accepting of LGBTQ+ students. She considers her professors to be open-minded, with many even asking their students for their preferred pronouns on the first days of class. However, she has encountered some “uncomfortable conversations” with other students in regards to her asexuality.
Bibus described one incident in her sophomore year when she came out as asexual. A classmate bombarded her with questions such as, “Doesn’t that make your life harder?”, telling her she just needed to “find the right person” and “have more confidence.” This student, who may have simply confused asexuality with celibacy, has haunted Bibus to this day with her words.
Although Bibus has struggled due to these experiences, she has also made great memories with other Queer students on campus. As a freshman, she got to work with her A Capella group and Pride Alliance to film a video for the song “The Village by Wrabel,” which is about a trans person. As a sophomore, Bibus served as the Secretary of Pride Alliance and attended the 2018 Northeast LGBT Conference, where she met LGBT students from other Universities.
Even in 2020, when the majority of schooling and socialization occurs online, Gabby is able to connect with other LGBTQ+ students in her Queer Autobiographies class. She says that Queer students always seem to find each other, and she treasures all of those connections.
Despite all of her highs at Stockton, Bibus’s acceptance of her own asexuality was difficult. Bibus said that she sometimes wishes she wasn’t asexual, but she knows sexuality cannot be changed. Because asexuality is so uncommon, the questions people ask make her feel “like an alien or a zoo animal.” Forming The ACE Space has helped her to overcome this.
“I’ve always felt so alone being asexual, but I’ve met at least five other ace Stockton students,” Bibus said.
The ACE Space is a support group for individuals who identify as asexual, aromantic, demisexual, grey-asexual, and more. It is free and open to Stockton students. The ACE Space meets weekly on Zoom, every Friday at 11 a.m. For any questions, please contact Laura.Shaw@Stockton.edu.
Categories: Campus Life