Question of the Week: February 28th, 2017.

What is the best reaction you’ve had to coming out as ace? How would you want someone to react? 

I don’t have any great coming out stories myself but I’d like to think someone out there has a story where they felt understood and supported when they shared who they are. In the past I’ve disclosed to potential dates that I’m not going to feel sexually attracted to them and it’ll take a while to figure out if I even like them. That’s just my normal. Everyone I’ve said this to has accepted my asexuality with polite confusion or pleasant disinterest (my asexuality didn’t impact their thoughts of me), which are all relatively good responses I think. My asexuality is respected as important but not a huge deal.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is
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7 Responses to Question of the Week: February 28th, 2017.

  1. Jo says:

    I came out to two people in my team at work separately, but in close succession. Turns out one had already completely figured it out. The other had no idea I wasn’t even straight. Not sure that’s the most spectacular coming out story, but it was pretty amusing!

  2. Rivers says:

    I’ve had several good coming out experiences. The second time I came out, I was with most of my close friends just socializing when two of them started having this friendly debate about something romance/attraction related. One of them asked my opinion (or validation of one of their points), and I told them I couldn’t really input anything to their conversation as an asexual (no explanation given, just threw it out there), and they just nodded and was like ‘That’s true’ and continued on with the conversation without so much as a pause as just a genuine conversation point. Even though this is technically not much of a reaction, they didn’t know I was asexual until that point, so the whole thing was very accepting in like the most casual cool way and they already knew what asexuality was (they were able to ask intelligent questions about romantic orientation vs. platonic attraction later so I know they didn’t blow me off or simply not understand). I have had to clarify a few things since, but coming out wasn’t a vocab lesson with them, so it was a very positive experience.

  3. TheOriginalPhoenix says:

    “You’re ace? Join the club!” (My two best friends that I’m blessed to have.)

  4. luvtheheaven says:

    Hmm… kind of like Rivers said, I think the best reaction so far that I’ve had has been basically “oh, that’s cool to learn”, not a big deal kind of reaction but THEN, rather than the person not caring at all and not thinking it matters, (before too much time has passed, whether right away or the next time we meet or whenever) they ask a question that shows they’re interested in either understanding asexuality or me – gosh especially if they’re interested in understanding me – better. I love that reaction, I crave that reaction, and it’s such a good payoff to coming out. They say something such as, “So I know you’re asexual, but are you aromantic too?” or even just the honest but kind comments like “I don’t really get it, but I want to”… I’ve had it recently, it’s happened with… straight guys I’ve come out to in atheist contexts, and maybe one straight woman at a Socrates Café meetup (which is a context where people’s personalities are overwhelmingly curious yet respectful, so exactly what I’m looking for).

    The other best reactions I’ve gotten have been from nonbinary or pansexual people I didn’t even know were queer until I came out as ace, and they come out to me back, and they already know about asexuality and think it’s great to find a fellow queer person, essentially.

    And honorary mention: The fandom friends who are like “Wait a minute. What’s this asexuality thing. Tell me everything. I had no idea this existed but it totally might help explain my own life.” It isn’t exactly the coming out reaction I want because it still requires a huge Asexuality 101 Education thing and I don’t feel understood right away etc, but it’s… it makes me feel like it was definitely worth it to be super out and it makes me frustrated that visibility is so low and so many aces don’t know the words to help describe who they are, and it is a positive thing for sure.

    The people I know best, my family members, etc, all kind of didn’t have quite as good of reactions… but also I think I needed to get over some of my internalized anti-ace feelings before I could come out unapologetically and be able to feel good about people knowing this about me. The first people I came out to… I almost was looking for their validation, for them to tell me it was okay that I was ace, that they believed I was different than them and this was indeed possible even in their minds…

  5. Megan says:

    When I came out:
    My mother accepted it immediately. For all her flaws, her children’s happiness is her top priority.
    I had to explain to my father was being asexual was.
    My step father… I don’t really think he cares. I’m pretty sure to him it’s just like if I told him my favorite color.
    My step mother questioned it. She thought that I just didn’t want to form relationships because my parents divorced. She tried to explain that she needs a emotional bond with a person to feel attraction. But jokes on her that’s just another part of the ace spectrum: demisexual. She accepts me being ace now.

  6. Quinoa says:

    The very first person I came out to reacted with a very happy and enthusiastic “Oh, cool!” I was terrified of how people would react, so that was just the reaction I needed.

  7. Blue Ice-Tea says:

    For me, “coming out” is more about revealing my interest in asexuality and involvement with the community than identifying my personal sexual orientation. My best experience so far came near the beginning of my last degree, when I first “outed” myself to my schoolmates. We were a small, close-knit cohort, so I was nervous about how they’d react, but I also knew I’d have to tell them sooner or later. One day, one of them asked me what area of research I planned on pursuing. I told him I was writing about literature from an asexual perspective. His face lit up.

    “How INTERESTING!” he exclaimed, with complete sincerity.

    That was the moment when I knew things were going to be okay, that I was in a community where I’d find acceptance for myself and my asexual affiliation. In a way, it was emblematic of the whole year. My teachers encouraged me to pursue my research interests. My schoolmates were open-minded and supportive. And the proposal I wrote not only got me into my programme of choice but earned me a solid scholarship in the bargain!

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