This is a guest submission for the February 2017 Carnival of Aces on “Resistance, Activism, & Self-Care” by Valkyrie. Valkyrie loves reading and drawing. You can reach her at (@indigosworkshop) on Instagram.
This month’s topic couldn’t come at a better time: during the Chinese New Year period, where one dreaded question from relatives is: “Do you have a boy/girlfriend?”
As an aromantic asexual, it is a time to, once again, ruminate on my identity. Why don’t I feel “that kind” of attraction? Why am I like this – is it because of some mental illnesses I am running away from? Or, perhaps, have I just not met the “correct” one?
These thoughts are also a timely reflection of what is happening in the U.S. Although I live far, far away from the epicentre, I feel uncertain whenever I watched the news. Just like my identity – what is going to happen tomorrow and will I find myself suddenly stranded?
Asexuality is still an alien concept here, but the effects may be observable, such as my still-single status. My mum has recently asked if I am a homosexual because I am “weird” (of course I am not!), but I gave up explaining asexuality to her because she already has a bad understanding of (and experiences with) homosexuality. I hope that traditional beliefs about relationships and identities/orientations will change but for now, I am an alien.
I know that there will always be support online. Indeed I always come back to read posts on asexuality whenever I feel bad about myself. In real life, if people never ask, I will never tell. For now I will just wear my favourite colour on bad days. It is purple, the same shade as our asexuality flag.
I recently booked a trip to Japan, my favourite country, for a tour of its peaceful rural areas. Thinking of the trip and looking at my photos of previous Japan trips makes me feel centered. If that doesn’t work, then there are classical and jazz pieces.