Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, the youngest daughter of Kerry Kennedy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has revealed she’s demisexual.
After opening up about her queer identity last month, the 23-year-old offered more insight about her sexual orientation during a conversation last week on Instagram Live with activist and author Donato Tramuto.
During their chat, Michaela explained that identifies mostly as demisexual, which PFLAG describes as individuals who only feel sexually attracted to someone when they have an emotional bond with the person. A demisexual person can be gay, straight, bisexual, or pansexual, and can have any gender identity.
“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.’ ” Michaela recalled.
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“I’ve recently learned more about demisexuality and have believed that that identity resonates with me most,” she went on to say.
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Michaela added that she’s always evolving, despite being hesitant about speaking out due to those who assumed she was “seeking attention.”
Tramuto — who is the former CEO of Tivity Health and a donor to the Robert F. Kennedy Center, which employs Michaela’s mother —said he was proud of the way Michaela’s used her social media platform, calling her “inspiring” for speaking out for those who have been in similar situations as her.
“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,” Michaela said. “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.”
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During Pride Month, Michaela initially came out as queer in a lengthy Instagram post, encouraging LGBTQ allies to be vocal in their support “by speaking up against homophobia and by actively reaching out to the members of your community who’s sexual expression may be isolating.”
“Today, I stand in my queer identity with pride, and in memory of those who came before me,” she wrote to followers.
“I stand indebted to the activists who fought for my right to love and happiness,” Michaela continued. “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.”
In a statement at the time, Gov. Cuomo told PEOPLE: “I love, support and couldn’t have more pride in Michaela.”
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