Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, the youngest daughter of Kerry Kennedy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has opened up about her sexuality.
During a conversation with activist, author and CEO of Tivity Health, Donato Tramuto, the 23-year-old said she identifies as demisexual, a term used to describe individuals who can only feel sexual attraction to another person once they have formed an emotional bond.
A demisexual person can be gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, and can identify with any gender identity.
“When I was in elementary school, I feared that I was lesbian,” recalled Kennedy-Cuomo. When I was in middle school, I came out to my family and close friends as bisexual. When I was in high school, I discovered pansexuality and thought, ‘That’s the flag for me.’
“I’ve recently learned more about demisexuality and have believed that that identity resonates with me most.”
Kennedy-Cuomo said she has “always dreamed” of a world in which nobody will have to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, “because everybody’s sexuality will be assumed fluid and none of our business.”
“But in a world that force-feeds cisgender heterosexuality, coming out of the closet is a lifelong process of unpacking internalized social constructions and stigmas,” she added.
Tramuto, who is also a donor to the Robert F. Kennedy Center, said he was proud of how Kennedy-Cuomo has used her social media platform to ignite important conversations and enact change.
Cuomo went on to say that she’s always evolving, and was hesitant to speak out in the past due to those assuming she was “seeking attention”.
During Pride Month, Kennedy-Cuomo came out as queer in a powerful statement posted to her Instagram page. “Today, I stand in my queer identity with pride, and in memory of those who came before me,” she wrote.
“I stand indebted to the activists who fought for my right to love and happiness. I stand with a helping hand outreached to those finding their way from under socially constructed boxes to emerge from the closet. I’m standing with you.”
She also asked allies to be mindful towards their LGBTQ+ loved ones, saying “we don’t know around us is questioning or struggling to embrace their sexual identity,” and that being pro gay marriage is “not enough to assure queer folks that we will not be ostracised for our sexuality.”
Kennedy-Cuomo continued: “Support your friends by speaking up against homophobia and by actively reaching out to the members of your community who’s sexual expression may be isolating.”
You can read her post in full here or below.
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