So I know I’ve kept comparing this year to last year, to give a clearer idea as to what’s going on in the asexual community and how attitude shifts outside of it have affected the dynamics within, or maybe it’s the other way around. This last entry will be no different, except this time the topic is about me specifically.
When I first delved down this path, I was still struggling to get my head around it all. I had some idea I was asexual around 2007 thanks to that friend of a friend bringing it to my attention, but I never said anything. I kept the label tucked at the back of my mind. I found people aesthetically pleasing, I liked the idea of being in a relationship (as long as sex was not involved) but knew it was very unlikely that I’d be in one at that point, so there was no big reason to mention anything.
And even though I’d end up lurking on the AVEN forums every once in a blue moon, I knew what it meant for me and me only. I didn’t know the rest. I’d only really just started to learn all of that in early 2011 and even on my blog entries last year, I still had more to learn.
Well, a years gone on and I’m still no spokesperson, but I am more confident that I know what i’m talking about, especially when it comes to myself. I’m no longer afraid of being backed into a corner by someone asking questions and pointing out the variety, as if a different person’s answer to the question negates my own.
When I wrote the last entry, I’d only ever said to three people that I was asexual. As I’ve said before, it’s never a case of me coming out that’s important, it’s not the aim. Raising awareness so that other people know that Asexuality exists is the aim. Since my last entry, though, things have changed.
During the last Asexual Awareness Week, one of my friends saw my daily twitter posts about asexuality and without even addressing it, accepted that I was asexual. I wasn’t even aware he’d put two and two together, because I had used very impersonal language to raise asexual awareness. A few weeks later when he was talking about his relationship, he stopped talking and chastised himself for “making the asexual uncomfortable”.
Two months after Asexual Awareness Week, I redesigned the blog but I wanted opinions first before I finalised it. Despite me using a clone blog rather than redesigning and linking out the real one, my Good Friend remembered the Blogger address and checked up on that. He ended up reading all that I’d said about Asexual Awareness and about me being asexual. All in all, both very positive experiences with “coming out”, even though I didn’t really intend to.
This year I’ve mentioned a few times about being asexual in various corners of the internet, so more people do know that I am asexual. But these aren’t people in my “in person” life. I tend to keep groups of people separated, because I don’t have much experiences with worlds colliding like that, so although two very dear friends of mine particularly did know, the rest didn’t. Until yesterday.
I did the twitter/facebook posts again and again stuck to impersonal language, but my friends are apparently more intelligent than I give them credit for. It took just one person to comment on me being asexual for others to follow suit, including the friend whose friend it was that first introduced the concept of Asexuality to me.
I have effectively outed myself to all of my friends, and although it wasn’t intentional, although I felt very awkward and wanted to hide under my covers until they all went away… there was not one single negative comment.
There were questions. Of course there were. I was even geared up to answering these questions, in an impersonal way, but they were directed towards to me and my experiences. Nothing too personal, nothing to the degree I’ve seen. Just along the lines of “and what does that mean to you?” which was nice. It allowed me to talk of my own experiences and throw in how another asexual might answer that question without feeling attacked. A bit under scrutiny, but not attacked.
After seeing a year of the asexual community change, after witnessing more and more ignorant comments be thrown at the asexual community as visibility has increased, after being made to feel like we, on a whole, are making a bigger issue out of it than it needs to be, I needed a good positive experience like that. It did make it feel like a non-issue, but due to the fact that it was accepted, not because others were telling me that my experiences, my opinions, my own feelings on how I identify are incorrect due to their experiences being different.
So yes, I am asexual. It is not an orientation that negates your orientation. What asexuality means to me does not negate what another asexual might feel or do in regards to their relationship, and vice versa.
If somebody can’t accept that, then the problem lies within them.
This has been the last entry of The Unofficial Asexual Awareness Week 2012. Comments are welcome and encouraged!