Interview: Caroline Elisabeth Cull
Caroline, 27, is a filmmaker, Asexual activist and has her own little online vintage shop to help fund her projects. She told us that she first found the term Asexual after a horrible date and drunkenly googling “why sex bad”.
Queer Perth spoke to Caroline for International Asexual Day on April 6, about what it means to be Asexual, the importance of community and being seen.
When you first heard the term ‘Asexual’ how did you feel it related to your own feelings and experience?
I first officially found the term Asexual after coming home from a horrible date. After a few too many drinks to drown my sorrows, I got drunk googled “why sex bad” and after a few weird articles and photos I stumbled upon Asexuality.
For the first 25 years of my life I literally thought my vagina was broken. Sex education growing up was basically “abstinence or nothing.” As I also grew up in the church from age 6, I pretty much thought that it was normal until I left and realised just how sheltered I was. Finally finding a label that explained how I was feeling and connected me to others was really amazing.
I do, however, believe that there’s an insane pressure for this generation to know and label everything, most of it rooted in young LGBTQIA+ people I’ve seen first hand – people struggling because as they grew, their gender identity or sexual orientation changed and they felt a sense of dysmorphia.
How open to others are you about being Asexual?
I find that so many people are different with their desire for being open. I find it personally important as a representational activist to declare my label. For me it sheds light on Asexuality and spreads awareness. Some others prefer their privacy though and that’s totally ok! You don’t owe anybody anything.
How do you connect with other Asexual people in the Queer community?
When I first joined the Ace Army™ I found so many resources and content creators. Instagram was super beneficial because all I had to do was search hashtags and there was multitudes of graphics and pictures that explained things like the attraction model, statistics, and a whole bunch of micro-labels. If not for that, I wouldn’t have realised I was Demisexual and also Aromantic!
Are there any regular meet-ups or events where people can catch up IRL with like-minded folks?
It depends where you are in the world. For WA, there’s a few Facebook groups for WA or Perth. You can not only organise meet ups but ask questions, share memes and make new friends! There’s a bunch of discord groups online that chat and game together too. I found this beneficial when I was stuck inside because of Covid.
You're also an Asexual activist - can you tell me about what that involves?
As an Asexual activist, it basically means I’m working my little butt off to make it easier for the community and those who may not know they’re ace just yet. Whether it’s talking to senators and education curriculum advisors about sexual health education in schools, or just making sure that pride organisations are making space and representing Asexuality when they’re holding panels or events.
We’re very excited to hear about the worlds first feature film with Asexual representation that you’re working on - can you please tell us more?
In June 2021, I found myself becoming the marketing producer of an amazing US feature film called Dear Luke, Love, Me. This film is directed by Guillermo Díaz, of Scandal, Weeds, CSI fame. It will be the world’s first feature film with canonical Asexual representation. I managed to help curate a Kickstarter campaign and we ended up raising about US$140,000 (which is just under AU$200,000) all from the ace community and film industry.
I was planning on being there on set but Covid got in the way. I’m hoping once the film is finished with post-production, I’ll be able to make it for the premiere and bring the film over to the Australian festival circuit.
Here are the standard questions we ask all of our guests:
What LGBTQIA+ Events in Perth should we look out for?
If you love nostalgia, and history, there’s a really cool exhibit on the 10th of April called Heritage Perth: Closeted Stories of Long Ago where you can hear stories of older gay men of their coming out in WA, and socialising in the 70s and 80s. It’s always lovely to pay homage to the people that paved the way to our freedom.
Are you involved in any other LGBTQIA+ organisations or events in Perth?
I’m a member of Pride WA in which they hold regular meetings and discuss everything LGBTQIA+ related in the West Australian community. You can even volunteer and help out if you have the time, and I encourage it! Some of the best people in the world.
What do you think is great about the LGBTQIA+ Community in Perth?
I love how close knit we are. As Perth is very small, you get to know everyone really quickly and it feels like a second family. It’s kind of funny though. It’s the one thing a lot of the gay community complain about here because they already *know* 😉 everyone. I don’t have that problem, obviously.
And what improvements would you like to see for the community here?
I would love to see more inclusion of Asexuality in Pride events. There’s a lot of A-phobia that comes from the LGBTQIA+ community itself. So, if you have an event please consider how it might affect us. I once went to a Pride match-making event, and one of the pre-requisite questions was “Are you a top or a bottom” in which there absolutely no *none of the above* option.
What would you recommend for anyone new to Perth that they must see or do here?
Every time I have a friend visit, I take them to the following places:
- The Rainbow Shipping Containers in Freo. Great little picture for the gram!
- Connections Nightclub in Northbridge if you’re over 18. They have drag, disco, and theme nights. Just try to avoid A. Wednesday as it’s Lesbian mud wrestling night (unless you want to see boobs) and B. arriving late because it’s a $20 door charge.
- The Freedom Centre on Brisbane St. which is a great support centre for anyone under the age of 26. It’s a safe space to hang out, have fun and meet other LGBTQIA+ people.