Question of the Week: May 16th, 2017

What interactions have you had with your parents about being aro/ace?

Mother’s Day reminds us all to be grateful for our mothers, although some people have had enough conflict with their mothers that perhaps the holiday falls flat for them.

I had positive interactions with my parents when I first told them.  There were a few heart to heart moments.  But that was a long time ago, and for the most part we don’t talk about it now.  After all, we live apart and I have my own life.  Nonetheless, I am grateful for that initial support.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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8 Responses to Question of the Week: May 16th, 2017

  1. luvtheheaven says:

    I am 27 and live with my father. I help organize ace meetups once every month or two, and I’m in an ace/ace queerplatonic relationship, so it… comes up, occasionally. Probably way more often than for most people but still not as often as you might think considering how big a part of my life asexuality is. I talked about it more at first, when I was 23 and figuring it out for the first time, and wanted to explain it all, and since then conversations have died down a bit…

    Really I’ve had more open conversations with my dad than any of my offline heterosexual friends about the nature of romantic attraction and how someone could think they were bisexual before realizing they were asexual and if kissing is inherently sexual and what I think when I see a sex scene on tv. That’s kinda just the nature of our relationship anyway, where we have always been very close and also very interested in philosophical conversations and understanding as much as possible about the world and human nature.

    This past weekend I talked to my dad about having to be closeted around this one straight woman I was hanging out with for hours and how he might not think it would be relevant but indeed she did bring up her attraction to men repeatedly as an attempt to bond with me and how it made me frustrated and unsure of how to respond because I don’t want to lie but I also didn’t want to out myself to her right then. My father seems largely amazingly understanding and every time he’s surprised by something asexuality related he ultimately seems like he learns and shifts his perspective, and engages in the conversation with me until he “gets it”, which I’m ultimately very grateful for.

    The conversation this past weekend probably wouldn’t have been something I felt that compelled to talk with him about had it not been for the timing of when I happened to be alone in his presence, but it worked out that way, it was on my mind, and so it was what it was.

    I haven’t had a relationship with my mother for almost a decade. So we’ve had no explicit interactions about asexuality, unless you count the handful of memories I have of being a teenager and her implying I A) need to be sexier, B) might be a lesbian, or C) of course would one day get married. Which I don’t really count because I didn’t know I was asexual back then and she didn’t know that about me either (and still doesn’t).

    • Rivers says:

      I’m really glad you can be so open with your dad, it gives me hope to see other aces be able to be as out as you are. It’s always nice when family members or just allo people in general are understanding and supportive.

  2. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    My conversations about asexuality with my parents are usually less philosophical and more practical, given how much time I spend offline with visibility work. Stuff about timing visits to my dad and his wife around pride events, squees about requests for interviews, etc. My dad has been always laid back about the issue, my mother got used to it after a few tries to sound out whether it wasn’t just a phase and is now actively supportive.

  3. Rivers says:

    Holidays are usually really tough for me because my parents are pretty much the last people in the world I would want to be out too, and I’m still dependent on them … they wouldn’t throw me out of the house, but our relationship would probably crash and burn and they could send me off to some kind of therapy or something … I prefer not to think about it.

    That being said, I’ve never really approached them with the idea of being aro/ace, but any time I’ve suggested that I might want to be single permanently, they’ve shot it down. Ironically, even though they’re pretty conservative, they are actually very chill with me dating (as long as it’s someone of the opposite sex), which a lot of my straight friends would probably appreciate.

    Luckily, I have very supportive friends, and my QPP is always there, even though we can’t be out with our relationship because we wouldn’t pass as straight (didn’t stop me from taking them to prom:).

    • luvtheheaven says:

      I’m sorry things are so difficult between you & your parents when it comes to this stuff. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And at least you could take your qpp to prom; that’s great!

      • Rivers says:

        Yeah, prom was a lot of fun, and I was able to be pretty open there because I’m out to most of my friends, who are all pretty supportive. Even as some of them have gotten into relationships, it really hasn’t changed the dynamics of our friendship group, and going to prom still felt like a very platonic thing. I think it’s sad that so many people romance/couple-code prom because it can be just a really fun time to hang out with your friends and qpp/s. There can be room and space for all variety of relationships at prom if people in general would be more open about this kind of thing.

        • luvtheheaven says:

          I had no idea about asexuality or aromanticism existing when I went without a date to prom with a group of friends and their dates and yeah it was a great time with friends, hanging out, saying goodbye for one of the final times to my high school graduating class. 😛

          • Rivers says:

            I’m glad you had a good time! I think some of people’s preconceptions about prom are not ace/aro friendly, along with some/most of the music (some of the stuff at my first prom was pretty bad), but prom does have a lot of potential to be an honest good time no matter where you are on the spectrum.

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