Question of the Week: November 14th, 2017.

What does a positive response to coming out as asexual look like to you?

We hear about all the horrible things that people get asked when they come out as ace, but less about the good stories, or suggestions for how people should react when someone comes out to them.

As much as I don’t think Every Heart A Doorway is amazingly revolutionary for it’s ace rep, I really appreciate it for having a ‘yeah cool of course that’s normal’ absolutely no drama coming out scene.  I would like to see that modelled in more places.

Personally, I’d like people to be positive and curious when I come out to them.  I’d like to explain to them what being ace looks like for me, and how it affects the relationships I have in my life.

How would you like people to react when you come out to them?  Are their questions you would like them to ask or things you would like them to say?  Or would you prefer to not talk about it further and have them do their own homework?

About astarlia

Astarlia is proud of herself for only having volunteered for..... okay if you have to stop and count it's probably too many things isn't it? She is passionate about nerd culture, disability and mental health, alternative relationships, sexuality, and young adult fiction.
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5 Responses to Question of the Week: November 14th, 2017.

  1. abonnace says:

    I feel weird sometimes admitting this but I’ve strangely has very positive responses or weirdly “non” responses to coming out. I came out to a friend recently via messenger and he just sent me a thumbs up gif and said “um cool?” he didn’t ask me any questions or anything it was kind of like he didn’t know what to say to that?
    I’ve also had people ask me questions which i don’t mind answering, since usually they’ve been honestly curious about this thing they’ve never heard about before.
    To me a positive coming out experience would be a combination of the two, to have someone just be cool with it and maybe want to know more in a respectful way, because they want to understand you better. Ideally i hope to come to a point where i don’t have to explain anything and i can just say hey I’m asexual and they will know what that means and it wont be a big deal.

  2. DasTenna says:

    The best coming out I ever experienced – and I experienced mostly positive reactions – was with a friend who has some opinions on gay people that are worth being critizised (which I do – permanently). When I came out to him, he listened, let me do the explaining, and asked curious and polite questions. And when I finished, he said: “It´s difficult for me to imagine people not feeling sexually attracted, but that doesn´t mean they don´t exist.” I like him for his honesty.

  3. Rivers says:

    I have come out to relatively few people, so when I do, it’s usually pretty calculated on my part. I’ve only had one of those really blow up in my face (and it was because she had apparently missed the memo despite me being out as ace for three months).

    I have a couple of positive stories though, and coming out to these people made me feel really free and happy and loved. The reaction I want often comes from how well I know the person. I personally prefer a supportive reaction as opposed to a non-reaction. Supportive reactions don’t have to be particularly drawn out or long either.

    Story One:

    The second time I ever came out to anybody, I decided to do it to my entire core friend group. I was asked to give input on something, I think it was the attractiveness of some actor or other in an argument (there was a little more to it, but I can’t remember), and so I told them that I didn’t really have an opinion on that because I was asexual. And with no further explanation they were just like “true that” and continued on with the debate. They didn’t even ask me what that meant because they already knew. Later on, they did end up asking a few things which included my romantic orientation (THEY KNEW TO ASK FOR/IF I HAD A ROMANTIC ORIENTATION), and they got really excited when I introduced the concept of a squish. This was pretty big considering how little most people know about this kind of thing, and even more so seeing as my friends and I mostly come from a very conservative homeschool community (I love being homeschooled and it saved my life, but it somewhat restricts the kind of people you are around).

    Story two:

    (Note: My best friend and I have always had a long distance relationship, which is why she was not part of my coming out to my core friend group)

    When I came out to my best friend, who is currently my squish, she hugged me and then kind of just held me for several minutes and just made sure I understood that she supported and loved me. And that was one of the best things ever coming from her. She didn’t know so much as some of my other friends did, but she’s always been 100% there for me and being my squish and all she knows a bit more about it then most people.

  4. Cracticus says:

    The sorts of responses I prefer are along the lines of “we thought so” or “that makes sense”. I’ve had some positive seeming responses that made me uncomfortable. Back when I thought I was demi I had one friend who keep telling me how sweet she thought it was. I didn’t know how to tell her I didn’t like her response.

  5. luvtheheaven says:

    I could’ve sworn this exact question of the week was already a topic on The Asexual Agenda, but looking through this blog’s Coming Out tag I don’t think it’s been covered. Maybe I’m just thinking of the Carnival of Aces stuff around this? Anyway yeah it’s a good question and as multiple people who’ve answered so far have already touched upon, for me too it can depend on my relationship with the person, or context. There’s also reactions over time that can make what at first I thought was good seem worse after all or vice versa. Honestly, a couple of the more ignorant, “hurtful” sentiments expressed, in my experience surrounded by people who do love me saying them, ultimately are kind of a backwards proof that these people at least care and are thinking that being asexual is a significant thing and often with time I appreciate their… Relationship to my asexuality, for lack of a better way to frame it. As they accept they were wrong or as they learn, they often are people who from the beginning they weren’t trying to be rude or dismissive, even if they said “the wrong thing”, and who gave me an easier opportunity to really explain, and that was something that ultimately I feel great to have dinner with them.

    There are exceptions. There are bad reactions that are just so bad and don’t get to a place of feeling good, for a variety of reasons. But the fact that the other way it can work does happen for me complicates everything. Because even some imperfect reactions, ones that take me aback or are borderline offensive in the moment, or are pretty darn personal, are still… Good enough to me. And that’s mainly what I want, anything within the good enough range of reactions.

    I come out pretty often. I want people to… Know more about me, understand me, see me as something other than straight like them.

    The best reactions I’ve gotten… Hmm well Rivers reminded me of the fact that one person asking if I was “…aromantic too, or…?” kinda made me really happy as a coming out reaction, because that meant he really got a lot of the basics about asexuality already and this kinda proved it. Saying (or implying), “Yeah I know what that is” leaves me not nearly as confident they actually do know what it is, especially considering examples like the most recent guy I came out as asexual to – a physical therapy assistant I talked to only a bit during my PT sessions, a guy in his young twenties (younger than me) who said his brother introduced him to this so he knows what it is, then proceeded to imply he thought it was… Essentially the definition for nonbinary. He had confused nonbinary with asexual and that means he is quite far from understanding me better, when actually I’m cis female and ace. Understandably, I’m not trying to make him think I don’t identify as a woman, so without much time to clarify it’s a frustrating reaction. I want to express that it’s great he’s supportive of people with nonbinary genders and I am a huge ally of those folks, I’m just not one myself. That level of fairly in depth honesty about what he thinks I mean, acting still supportive and like it’s cool that he’s learned about things like this and people having these different identities, though… That’s a pretty good reaction. Even when he’s so confused. If I had a closer friendship with this guy ultimately he might’ve been one of my biggest allies and actually truly interested in understanding me better, he might’ve proven to me that my explanation(s) worked (I would’ve had more than one chance to explain if I saw the guy more often), that he had learned, etc. His reaction is not ideal because the ignorance of the general public is not ideal but he himself didn’t really do much wrong, you know. Given the state of what he understood I really like his reaction.

    The best reactions I’ve gotten on average tend to be from either fandom friends, even all the straight vidders who like my fanvideos and whose vids I also watch and appreciate, or from atheists I hang out with in atheist themed spaces either online or in person. I curate who I hang out with among these spaces and they tend to be more accepting and open minded and interested. I really appreciate a reaction where people ask questions and are genuinely curious and yet still, even before fully understanding, they believe me, and believe I know who I am.

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