I’ve never really been one for ‘coming out.’ For example, rather than telling people that I am a lesbian, I just pretend like they already know and act shocked when they ask. When I finally decided to be ‘out’ as a lesbian, I just talked about girls and referred to future partners as ‘she.’ Then, when anyone was like, ‘Wait, what? I didn’t know you were a lesbian!’, I pretend as if they should have known all along and how dare they presume that I am straight and how rude it was overall. As you may have guessed, this isn’t the best way of coming out. However, I’m not very good at direct confrontation about these sorts of things, so it works pretty well for me, thought it might not be the most positive experience for the other person involved.
However, this is not the case with my asexuality. It’s very difficult to take the same approach. What could I even say that would point towards my asexuality? People don’t often come up to me and ask, ‘Do you feel sexual attraction at all?’, and it’s a bit difficult to sort of drop in every day conversation.
“Oh, the weather outside is quite lovely, and so are you, but I don’t have sexual attraction towards you or anyone else!”
The fact that most people I am around are not very familiar with asexuality makes this even more difficult. If I say things like, “I don’t really think I’m ever going to have sex. I’m just not into it!”, they are not really associated with asexuality, but fear or discomfort with sex.
Most of my friends, before I came out, didn’t really know much about asexuality. Being aware of this, I made sure to come out in a way that would educate them at the same time. Around the same time that I was becoming comfortable with my asexual identity, a House episode that had asexual representation premiered. While the episode didn’t present asexual identities very well at all, it opened discussion up between us about asexuality. Many of them had a lot of questions, so I ended up doing a ‘workshop’ about asexuality. Using a wipeboard in our dorm’s common room, I drew the spectrum of sexuality and explained asexual identities.
This ended up being a good decision, because it gave me control over the correct time for them to ask questions, as well as educated them about my identity and some common myths. In doing so, I not only came out, but I also educated them and made it so that they were better allies for me and other aces. Had I gone my normal route, I may have been asked some invasive questions (of the usual sort that come up with asexuality) in an uncomfortable situation, or been forced to educate when I wasn’t really in the mood. By choosing this workshop method, I was able to educate when I felt comfortable and explain why they shouldn’t ask certain questions before they were even asked. It gave me more control over the coming out situation, which in turn made me more comfortable during the entire ordeal.
Now, I don’t have to worry about my friends asking invasive questions or making assumptions about my sexuality and what it entails. I’ve actually had friends who I’ve educated come to my defense when other people pry about my sexuality. However, I know this method isn’t the best for everyone. For those who aren’t keen on educating or whose friends are not the sort to listen to such an education, coming out as asexual can be much more difficult, but if you have the time and the drive to educate those you plan on coming out to, the entire situation can go much smoother. However, I’d like to hear your coming out methods. How do you come out to others as asexual? (If at all!) How does it go?