I announced at some point last year that I was asexual. But, as I was still coming to understand it for myself, I wasn’t really ready to say much else about it.
It’s now been some time since I came out as being asexual (which was essentially immediately after I realized I was). Now, that I’ve had some time to sit with this, I feel more comfortable sharing openly.
Technically individuals who are asexual are apart of the LGBTQ+ community, represented by the + or by an A that is sometimes added. The A was originally meant to represent allies, but is often co-opted by the asexual community.
It was strange to me to be considered a part of this community when I first realized it.
I went from being someone who had been raised in the church, believing that homosexuality was morally wrong, but that the government should ultimately stay out of people’s business. Meaning that I didn’t believe we needed a law stating marriage was between a man and a woman, to someone who considering myself to be an ally, to a member of the community.
This was a long progression that took place over many years. Almost as soon as I realized I believed homosexuality was a sin, I began rethinking that position.
My Move to California
To really understand where I was coming from, you have to understand where I came from. I grew up in a household where my mother compared homosexuality to bestality. Even even then, I found this to be offensive. Just because someone is different from me does not make them an animal. I’ve always believed that, even when entrenched in the conservative hatred I was raised in.
I moved to California when I was about 30, and all of my friends told me I was being planted here to do God’s work. They believed I was here to convert others to my way of thinking. I believe I was brought here to learn about other people’s thinking.
How Asexuality Formed My Thought Process
When I was in eighth grade and preparing for confirmation, I had to choose a patron saint. The purpose of this was to model our lives after our chosen saint. I chose Saint Maria Goretti for two reasons. And, I wanted my confirmation name to be Maria. This was because Maria Goretti died protecting her virginity. I thought that would be easy to emulate, not really understanding why it was supposed to be considered challenging. There was also this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that thought I was maybe taking the easy way out.
I also always thought everyone else (and so much of society) was highly sexualized. I still believe that. But, understanding my own sexuality explained so much to me about why I felt that way.
Asexuality & LGBTQ+
I know that I covering LGBTQ+ already, but I’m circling back around to it. Now that you understand how I grew up, I can explain the differences between individuals who are asexual and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community.
Individuals who identify as asexual are not persecuted in the same ways as the rest of the community. This is not to say that we have everything easy. We deviate from the norm. So, we still have to deal with judgment, and others telling us that they know better than we do. I don’t know how many times I have been told that I need to have kids or have been asked what my husband thinks about things, as if my thoughts are unimportant.
Being Asexual is Being Misunderstood
Some people don’t believe that asexuality exists. Others think it’s Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. I don’t find Sheldon to be that bad of a representation. Others say he’s not representative, but individuals who identify as asexual still might want or choose to have sex or even get married. I personally am not repulsed by sex under the right circumstances. For me, this means with someone I have a deep emotional connection to.
Asexality is a spectrum, from those who repulsed by sex to those who are sex positive, but don’t think about sex or only sexually attracted to others under specific circumstances. This is in the instance of demi or grey sexual individuals. I identify with both terms because I feel sexual attraction when I have a deep emotional connection (demi sexuality) and because there have been a handful of other times in my life I have felt sexual attraction (grey sexuality). For me specifically, it was in reading a reverse harem romance, which is weird, but that’s not something I am interested in.
As someone who is more interested in a deep emotional connection and sees sex as a part of that, everything with Sheldon made sense to me. It was subtle, and he was still somewhat adverse to sexual activity as in he didn’t think about it. But, he knew it was important to Amy, who he loved. He enjoyed sex, but didn’t think about it.
The problem is that, as I said above, asexuality is a spectrum, and one character cannot possibly represent everyone on that spectrum. We need more of a variety of characters on that spectrum, so there is more representation. So everyone can see themselves in film and on tv.