Thinking back to the time in life when I was closeted now seems so weird! Who was I back then? The only person people knew me as was the image I had created for them. That person wasn’t me though. When you think of it like that, you realize that if you stay closeted, no one really gets to know the REAL you, they only get to know the part you created to hide the REAL you.
Step back a couple years and that is when my coming out happened. After an afternoon of driving north to Salt Lake to go shopping, my mom, sister, and I were on our way home and we were listening to Dan Savage’s podcast, “Savage Love.” In this particular podcast episode, he was discussing Leelah Alcorn and her devastating and unnecessary suicide. I remember so clearly, my mom turning the radio off and saying to my sister and I, “If you ever feel like you are transgender, or lesbian, or purple—or that you need to come out to your dad and I for any reason, I just want you to know that I will completely support you and accept you!”
I immediately said, “Cool, because I am asexual!”
I didn’t plan on coming out. I hadn’t prepared to come out and that moment in the car wasn’t an obligation, but an opportunity to let my family get to know more of me.
During the rest of the drive we talked about what it means to be asexual and why we are on the LGBTQ spectrum. For those that are unaware (similar to my Mom) here is a quick run-down:
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. It has been considered a sexual orientation and also categorized more widely to include a broad spectrum of asexual sub-identities.
Asexuality is distinct from abstention from sexual activity and from celibacy, which are behavioral and generally motivated by factors such as an individual’s personal, social, or religious beliefs. Sexual orientation, unlike sexual behavior, is believed to be “enduring”. Some asexual people engage in sexual activity despite having a sexual attraction (or a desire for sex), due to a variety of reasons, such as a desire for self pleasure, romantic partnership, or a desire to have children.
We don’t hear too many stories of asexuals, but we exist. There are some cool and helpful groups out there that help us asexuals create happy and fulfilling relationships. I am really happy to have come out and it has given my family a better perspective in supporting my needs.
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Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult; while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Coming out is rarely easy—but your story will help others draw inspiration from your own experience.
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