Has asexuality or aromanticism ever helped you identify with something else?
This question was inspired by a recent tumblr discussion, in which people said that asexuality helped them come to terms with same-gender attraction.
That happened to me too. I first identified as asexual, and that’s what finally allowed me to identify as gay. There are a lot of stories in the media about men realizing for the first time that they are gay, but every single story involves them being smitten with some other guy, or perhaps the character realizes that what they thought was friendship was actually attraction. That could never happen to me. I have never experienced anything so obvious.
What it actually took was realizing that I felt no attraction to women. I needed to realize that people with no apparent attraction to men could also feel no attraction to women. Once I was there, once I was already identifying as queer, I finally had the space to consider whether my attraction to men was really zero or not.
People may deride stepping stone identities, but having used a stepping stone myself, I think they’re great. Stepping stones are better than walls.