Question of the Week: May 17th 2016

Do you have many queer and/or ace friends?

I’ve heard several stories about queer/ace people being friends with each other before any of them realize that they’re ace/queer.  It seems that sometimes people who feel outside the norm attract each other, labels or not.

But that’s not my experience.  A few childhood friends have come out as queer or trans, but not that many.  I have many queer friends, but it’s by design, not by accident.  Many years of hanging out in queer and ace spaces has had quite an impact on the demographics of my friends.

About Siggy

Siggy is a physics grad student in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and makes amateur attempts at asexual activism. His interests include godlessness, scientific skepticism, and math. While not working or blogging, he plays video and board games with his boyfriend, and folds colored squares.
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18 Responses to Question of the Week: May 17th 2016

  1. Kasey Weird says:

    I’m like you I think. Pretty much none of my childhood or adolescent friends were or are queer or ace. I have only formed my queer ace family through deliberate effort.

  2. halfthoughts says:

    Interesting. I hadn’t heard of that phenomenon, but I’d been wondering if it was a thing because I have one group of queer friends from one specific point in life who I gravitated to before I knew I was queer. One of them is also ace, but we aren’t super close. Aside from that not many of my friends are queer and of those not any that I know of are ace. I’m trying to make an effort to make more queer friends by spending more time in queer spaces.

  3. Coyote says:

    Two counts of high school friends turning out to be bi and one count of a high school friend turning out to be a lesbian. Also one high school acquaintance sorta in the same friend group turning out to be trans.

  4. PizzaTeaCake says:

    One of my friends is I believe attracted to their own gender but we don’t talk about it, it’s just the preference given on their tumblr. I have an old friend from school who is gay and two friends that I thought were both lesbians, but I guess one of them is actually bi. We all became friends because we share some interests like TV shows and at that point manga/ anime. Some friends in uni are gay but we don’t have a lot in common except study the same subjects and we never do anything together.
    I have also read some stories about people finding out most of their friends aren’t straight and I don’t really know if that really works out that way that bird of the same flock flock together because other people sexuality or romantic life is not something that interests me really because I don’t feel and understand those emotions. No idea what my friends think my sexuality is, it’s not something I discuss irl. Sadly I have never even met another ace person irl or at least none that I know of.

  5. My friends have always tended to be a bit of loners, or weird, or kind of outcasts like me. But most of them are not queer and none of them are ace.

  6. Sciatrix says:

    I mean, since about midway through college I deliberately sought out other queer or queer-friendly people to befriend. Aside from that, no, this wasn’t something that has ever happened to me.

  7. Sennkestra says:

    I have sort of had this happen. In terms of high school friends, I sort of had two main friends groups – my AP classes friends and my anime/game club friends. My friends from AP classes turned out fairly straight, about what one would demographically expect. On the other hand, my anime/gaming friends definitely did turn out disproportionately queer (like…at least 2/3 of us) – including a few who are some form of ace/questioning asexuality, though most of that didn’t come out until long after we all graduated.

    There may have been some causation there though – while we probably did become friends at least in part because we were less interested in boys/girls and more interested in being huge geeks, none of the ace ones came out after I did*, well after hs graduation, and I know that for at least some that was partially as a result of finding out about the term after I started talking about it. So in that case maybe it was more about the label spreading through the group. (*It’s a bit hard to tell the timing, though, since one of the things we shared was a lack of interest in talking about attraction and relationships, so I don’t really know what they might have been thinking/feeling at the time).

    Most of the queer/ace friends I’ve made since then have been through specific queer/ace social groups though – I haven’t really experienced the “accidentally surrounding myself with queer/ace people” thing in any other spaces since high school, so maybe that was just a bit of a unique situation.

  8. Hibernia says:

    I didn’t have very many friends in high school, but yes, they were disproportionately queer, and no, I didn’t know they were queer until years after becoming friends (and I didn’t realize *I* was asexual or queer until years after *that*). Then I came to college, had a difficult time making friends, and when I did make friends they were basically 100% cis and straight. This was not what I wanted or expected, especially because as universities go, mine is thought of as very queer-friendly. Some of them have come out since then, mostly as bi, but I don’t think they’re disproportionately queer, if our priors are “young liberal American” or something.

  9. queenieofaces says:

    Almost all of my friends from my teens have turned out to be some flavor of queer and/or ace. I’m not in touch with most of my friends before then, but as far as I can tell, most of them are straight. Like Sci, since college I’ve been seeking out queer/queer-friendly folks.

  10. Silvermoon says:

    Yeah, actually! Not including queer friends I made at Uni knowing they were queer, I had a small group of friends in high school, and almost all of them turned out some flavour of queer and/or ace. And I don’t really know how it happened, because the reason they ended up being my friends was because I recognised /one/ of them as having gone to my primary school, and stuck with that person. The rest of them sort of… happened.

  11. It’s really funny that this is what happened to me looking back at my middle school friend group. At the time we were too young to really be thinking about labels too much, but by college it had become clear that of the five of us, I was ace, one was gay, two were bi, and one was a lesbian.

    High school was a little different as, like Sennkestra, I was in mostly AP classes, which are almost entirely straight/cis/white in my school. Those who were queer in those classes often winded up being my friends by chance anyways though. For college I pretty much floated around the art/theatre/music majors (who are almost always synonymous with the gamers) and the majority of them are some flavor of queer.

    An interesting observation I’ve made is that often my queer friends are also neurodivergent (like me). Not sure what, if anything, can be concluded from this but I think it’s noteworthy.

  12. luvtheheaven says:

    All of my friends that I consider “Friends” that I made in school, high school or even college (although I didn’t really make true friends in college, I was such a loner) were straight. Never really made friends at work, at the place I’ve been volunteering at one of my closest friends there is bisexual and the rest are straight. XD I have a disproportionately queer number of fandom friends, including three of my closest fandom friends revealing to me after I came out as asexual that they too were ace-spectrum, two asexual and one demisexual. Two of those people only started realizing asexuality existed thanks to me. I have quite a few friends in the femslash side of the fandom who are lesbians or bisexual as well but that kind of makes sense. What makes less sense is why *I* ever gravitated there… XD But we also have tons of straight fandom friends.

    I also have most of my closest current real life friends as aces, but only because I made those friends via the local asexual meetup group. XD I recently started befriending a few more people at a new atheist meetup group and everyone I’ve met there, so far, is not LGBTQ as far as I know.

    Mainly, only in fandom is where I’ve noticed quite a few queer people happen to be around me. Otherwise I generally am friends with typical straight/cis folks. XD

  13. Hollis says:

    The group of people I’m still close with from attending daycare together wound up mega queer–we have a trans man, a bisexual woman, me (a queer nonbinary ace), and our Token Straight Person.

    But all of the rest of my friend groups are PAINFULLY straight. I have quite a few online friends that are queer and a lot of college acquaintances that were queer, but my close friends were straight.

    And my closest friends are all 100% straight and cis and it’s sometimes very disappointing and frustrating. But I know all them from a sports activity that is 90% straight dudes, 8-9% straight women, maybe 1% queer women, and like .5% everyone else (maybe? maybe less). Because I do know two queer women in the community…just one lives several thousand miles away and the other has three kids, including a baby so she’s not particularly active in the community anymore. I did find a fellow nonbinary person who does this activity on Tinder but we never did anything more than exchange a few words, but it was really nice to know I’m not the only nonbinary person in this community.

  14. Writer Ace says:

    Of my main friends, none of whom meet through queer-related stuff, only one is totally straight. The weirdest thing was that my randomly assigned American suitemate when I was studying in Japan is also ace (and also kinky, though more so than me). My best friend whom I’ve known since we were three recently figured out she’s biromantic and sex-indifferent, though she is heterosexual. Most of my non best friends (of which I have three or four) are straight, though I think that’s in part a function of me only kind of being out publicly.

  15. Lara Landis says:

    Queer — yes.
    Asexual — Not that I know of, unless you’ve count the people I’ve met online.

  16. teenbutch says:

    Almost all my friends are bisexual cis men that once had a crush on me! And being out as queer definitely attracts other queer people because then they feel like they have someone to talk to about their feelings- which usually means I have to sit and listen to all these guys talk about sex which is a bit weird. People still don’t get what asexual is where I’m from, so I haven’t met any other aces.

  17. Tarragon says:

    As far as I know, none of the friends I made later turned out to be trans, ace, queer etc later on (2 of them were anyway, though, but not like, in a later reveal). However, rather amazingly many of them turned out to be autistic later on.

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