Realizing that you are asexual is a strange experience, especially as the world is incredibly hypersexualized.
I was 18 when I discovered asexuality. I had just graduated from a small, religious school in my hometown, and I had decided that I was going to use my newly obtained freedom to learn about myself. At the time, it was Pride Month and there were many people posting on social media about the LGBTQ+ community and their sexualities, and I was curious, so I read what people had to say. As I saw the posts and the memes about asexuality, my thoughts went from “Wow, this is really cool!” to “Oh… that makes perfect sense, and I have no idea why.”
It was an odd realization for me because I was taught that everybody experienced these feelings. In school, teachers told us about how everybody needed to abstain from sex and preached about how sinful these desires were. Even during those sermons, it had never occurred to me that abstinence was difficult for people. I had gone through life assuming that what I was feeling was sexual attraction, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Much later, I found the image above. It was the first time that I had heard that there were different kinds of attraction. Reading this also helped me understand that I have trouble telling the difference between platonic and romantic attraction. In my mind, they seem very similar because neither will ever involve sex for me. At the end of the day, I just want people in my life that I am close to, and that can be either kind of attraction.
I have been out for two years, and I can’t say that it has gotten easier. The world is still extremely sexualized, and society continues to believe that this is an accurate representation of all people. The LGBTQ+ community also struggles to accept those who identify as asexual and question whether or not it is a valid identity. While there are people who are supportive, there are also people who ask if it’s just a phase or tell me that I only feel this way because I haven’t met the right person yet, just like any other queer identity.
We want acceptance and support, just like the rest of you. We don’t want to live in the shadows and hide who we are, just like the rest of you.
We are no different.
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