I’ve been thinking about the way asexuals are pressured not to identify as asexual. They’re pressured not to be out, not to put words to it, not to ask people to respect their identity and use their words.
And something about it suddenly makes sense.
Everyone is allowed a free coming out once in their lifetime.
You’re allowed to id as straight/cis until you’ve figured the whole thing out entirely, and then you’re allowed, just once, to set yourself a new identity. And if you misuse it, you’re really going to have to fight for the next identity.
Our society cannot see sexuality or gender as a growing thing, as a complex enigma which doesn’t always relate to the simple words we demand it to be expressed in. We have an idea that if you cut someone in half, ‘gay’ or ‘boy’ or whatever is written across their heart. Culturally, problems in identifying become problems of social pressure. ‘How do I create a new identity within heteronormative society?’ is the acceptable question. ‘What identity suits me best?’ is read as a proxy for this question, finding out who you are is equated utterly with overthrowing repression. ‘Finding out’ is a euphemism for ‘admitting’.
Because everyone is secretly one thing, and everyone gets one chance to say what that thing is.
And so when someone comes out as asexual, a definition based on ‘I haven’t yet, so probably won’t’ more than ‘I definately have’, they are literally losing something. They’re losing the chance to be something else. They’re taking up their one chance to define themselves as Not Straight.
And you don’t get that back.