I originally posted on my tumblr (which I deleted a looong time ago now) the December 2015 Carnival of Aces topic “Staying the the Closet”. The Asexuality Blog mentioned that while there were a ton of resources for Coming Out there were fewer resources for staying in. For the Carnival I wanted to give some affirmation for those folks who haven’t come out and/or don’t plan to come out any time soon.
And for perfectly a good reason! It’s private.
My main reason for staying in the asexual closet (or “deck” as some aces have coined) is something that seems to have diminished in the technological age; privacy.
If privacy weren’t important websites like Facebook and Pandora wouldn’t have pages of pages of policy agreements (that nobody reads anyway) on the subject. There are laws written to protect privacy largely because of the consequences of having privacy violated. The effects of which are often harmful and debilitating or possibly even dehumanizing. Maintaining a level of privacy allows people to remain autonomous. That freedom is something we, as people, treasure dearly.
All the best “coming out” advice pages I’ve found have said one thing- If you’re not ready to come out, then DON’T. My own coming out experiences can attest to that. And if you’re never ready, that’s okay too.
I think the image of a closet is a suitable metaphor when you’re young and living at home. When you live with your parents or guardians usually you have a closet where you keep your clothes and things that you assemble to make ready for the day. That space is yours and it is private. Your parents might glance in occasionally to make sure that it’s clean and there’s no secret drug stash, but the space is still pretty much yours.
When you grow up, however, and move out you don’t have a closet anymore. You have a house or an apartment. You can paint the walls any color you like. You can hang up those ugly vacation souvenirs you only bought on a dare. You can pick all the furniture. You can do anything. It’s your home. You can invite people inside as you choose.
Coming out is about letting people in and I’m not ready. I’m still deciding on what color I want the walls. I haven’t picked out the right furniture and I’m not even sure there’s enough food in the fridge for company right now. The only thing I’m ready to do night now is lay around in my pajamas and catch up on Netflix. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be up for company. Maybe in ten years or maybe even never and that’d be okay too.