Most queer people have had strange and uncomfortable coming-out experiences. I know I have had plenty.
Recently, I was accidentally outed to one of my grandparents. Having this conversation with grandparents is an awkward thing to do. However, being panromantic and asexual adds a strange set of complications to this process. Generally, people do not understand what asexuality is. Common responses are that it means that someone is scared of commitment, that they haven’t found the right person yet, or everyone’s favorite, that they are a plant. In order to avoid these discussions, asexual people often only come out as their romantic identity just to make things easier.
This is also something that people of other queer identities do. For example, pansexual people are often confused for being bisexual. While some people stand their ground and openly identify as pansexual, others may choose to come out as bisexual and get into the details later if necessary. Others may just use the term “gay” as an umbrella term, as it implies that they are not straight. In this experience of mine, I did the same.
Then came the part that all queer people dread: their response. Once again, my experience was strange. My grandparent told me that she still loved me, and I am extremely grateful. However, she also told my parents about how my coming out had made her cry and that she thought through that being gay was a “glitch” in one’s genetics. This was painful for me to deal with for some time. I couldn’t help but worry that this was all she would see when she looks at me. This feeling was especially strong because I didn’t choose to come out.
Being forced out of the closet is a stressful experience, and this is even more awkward as an asexual person. No one should have to come out unless they are ready. It is your choice when to come out. If or when you are ready, you can take that step.
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