Just under a month after declaring on Instagram that she was queer, Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo, daughter of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has explained in more detail what she means, saying she's actually "demisexual."
Kennedy-Cuomo, 23, said in a conversation on Instagram Live with activist and author Donato Tramuto, "When I was in elementary school, I feared that I was lesbian. 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.'"
Demisexual individuals can be gay or straight, bisexual or pansexual, and be of any gender — but the defining element, she told Tramuto, is that they can only have a sexual attraction to a person if it also comes with an emotional bond.
"I've recently learned more about demisexuality and have believed that that identity resonates with me most," she added.
According to GLAAD, demisexuality is part of the asexual spectrum and "works off of the idea of primary attraction and secondary attraction. Primary attraction is attraction to people based on first impressions, such as appearance or how they smell. Secondary attraction is attraction to people that develops over time, and forms out of the relationship one has with a person, and their emotional connection."
Tramuto is the former CEO of Tivity Health and donated to the Robert F. Kennedy Center, where Michaela's mother, Kerry Kennedy, works.
She noted during the June 30 discussion, "I've definitely always dreamed of a world in which nobody will have to come out, 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."