For the asexually curious and the curiously asexual

Once out

 

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.

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Comments on: "Once out" (4)

  1. This terrifies me. I didn’t even think it all through, but it’s like you pulled at the fears I had deep within me, and put it into words. It’s eerie.
    I’ve come out to my family, and some of my friends, as bisexual. How I came to terms with this identity is that I feel the same way about men as I do about women. This more or less made sense to me at the time. I didn’t know what else to call it.
    But now I’m worried that I might actually be asexual. But I’ve already come out as bi. And what if I’m wrong about my asexuality? It’s all so confusing.

    I just don’t know what to do.

    Sorry for the mini-heart spill. Your post just hit really close to home.

  2. Yes! Just found this post, but I agree.

    A number of years ago I decided I must be bisexual because I liked both boys and girls, and I didn’t really know what asexuality was at the time. Really glad I didn’t go around telling people, because I’ve worked out at this point that I’m actually a biromantic asexual, which is NOT the same thing! And it would have been very awkward to explain, particularly as people are skeptical enough about asexuality as it is.

    And I hesitate in ‘coming out’ as asexual, partly because it isn’t that much fo a big deal to me, but also because I’m grey-a, and a couple times in my life have felt some (although not much) level of sexual attraction towards someone, and what if at some point that happens more, and I end up in a sexual relationship involving sexual attraction and activity? People would decide that my previous identification as part of the asexual spectrum was invalid and wrong, even though it was perfectly valid at the time and may in fact still be valid (because there’s some vague possibility I could be demisexual but haven’t been in the right circumstances to find out). It’s not like you’re allowed to change your identity. It’s not like, you know, sexuality is a spectrum, or fluid. You’re born in this box or that box and you’re that way for life, and if you say any differently, well, obviously you’re lying or in denial or confused, poor dear.

    • Thanks for the reply.
      The phrase, “It’s just a phase” is so frustrating. Even if one doesn’t feel the same way later in life, does that mean that their experiences were invalid?

      Lately I’ve been thinking that I’m a biromantic demisexual as well, but I’ve got a new outlook on it. I’m learning these things so that I might properly understand how I work and how others work. This is going to be my own personal identity that I don’t need to share with anyone else.
      To my current partner, I just tell them that I’m not exactly sure where I stand. I’ve shown them the AVEN wikia, and we’ve compared my experiences to what definitions are there. I’m putting together my own sexuality definition, one that is simply “Alexa”. In this relationship, we have lots of communication. They’re being awfully sweet as I learn myself. I couldn’t be happier.

  3. bobthegirl said:

    As an Ace, I absolutely love this and agree. However, i was left a bit perplexed at the end, without some sort of “but it doesnt have to be this way!” sortof enthusiasm or encouragement.
    Thanks for posting though!
    bobthegirl

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