Publish date: 7 June 2024


At DHU we pride ourselves on talking about the uniqueness and individuality of our colleagues and encourage our people to share their stories.

The work we did in marking LGBTQ+ History Month in February and Pride inspired Marysia Walczak, who is a Patient Navigator based at our Leicester HQ, to talk to us about how she came to identify herself as Demi-Ace, also known as Grey Ace or Semi-Asexual.

Marysia explains: “It isn’t a well-known identifier. Many people will know that Asexuality is when a person feels no sexual attraction but does experience a romantic attraction to another person. Well, a Demi-Ace person can feel sexual attraction but very rarely and only after having experienced a strong emotional relationship, for me for example it has only happened twice.

“If you were to put an analogy to it, it’s like never feeling hungry, not needing or wanting to eat but only being drawn to or enjoying a specific food. It is very difficult to explain and I’m fortunate to have a wonderful, loving partner who is bisexual and completely understands.

“I never understood my own reaction to certain situations and then I stumbled across an article about a person who identified as Demi-Ace. What they described feeling was exactly what I felt and, though I never regarded my experiences as being anything ‘wrong’, seeing something in print that confirmed my feelings was liberating and a watershed moment. A friend of mine also told me they were ‘Ace’ and it resonated further; I suddenly understood myself more, like I’d found a missing piece.

“Both me and my partner are an active part of the LGBTQ+ community. As a term it has become an umbrella and it’s fascinating to see how it’s developed. It came together as a group of ‘differences’ which is why they are so accepting, how it keeps evolving and is so inclusive. I have a lot of ‘straight’ friends who embrace and are embraced by LGBTQ+ as it really is for and about everyone, to accept and celebrate differences.

“For me, asexuality isn’t spoken about as widely which is why it took me so long to understand my own sexual orientation. My hope is that by sharing my story, it will help others to understand a part of themselves that perhaps they’re not familiar with and that, if you do question anything, there are people there, like me, who can say ‘hello’ with open arms.”

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