Recently I decided to identify as agender and I started to wonder; are the “A” communities (asexual, aromantic, agender) accidentally alienating themselves?
First of all spellcheckdoesn’t even acknowledge aromantic and agender as words so how the hell am I supposed to explain the term to a “normal” person? And do I even want to? I tried telling my parents I was asexual and they didn’t believe me. I just “haven’t met the right one”. Which, yes, I have. I’m it. Yup, I definitely think I’m “the one” for me. But if I said that out loud I’d be labeled narcissist.
It’s just so hard explaining that I’m a ‘not’.
Step one, “I’m not like you.” like that’s a great way to start off any conversation.
“Hi! I’m not-normal!” “No, that’s not the same thing as abnormal.” “No, I don’t think that dude/chick is ‘hot’.” “No, I don’t want a girl/boyfriend.” “No, I’m not going to dress like that.” “No, no, no.” “Just, no.”
Sounds super positive, doesn’t it?
I am grateful for the “A” communities for helping me realize I was whole and healthy, but if I were gay/lesbian I wouldn’t call myself just “not straight”. It feels like I’m trying to describe a picture of myself by explaining the white space. It would be so much easier if I could say “I am” instead of “I’m not”.
The aromantic and agender part is the hardest. Romance is so firmly footed in societal ideals that saying “nah, I’m good” is like saying I missed my calling to be a Disney villain. And non-binary gender identities? At best people just don’t get it. At worst I’m terrified people will hate me just because I’m different.
I don’t want to go back to being ignorant about who I am. I feel better about myself knowing that I’m this way for a reason and that there are others who feel the same. I just wish I had better words, positive words, because when I tell people I’m Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, I want them to see me as a person not aperson.