How did you realize you were asexual? What made you realize you felt differently from others?
I didn’t realize I was asexual until I was 25 because I didn’t realize asexuality was a thing before that. I realized I felt differently because I was 25 and I had never dated ever. Before that I always thought the reason I had never dated was because I was busy with work, school, and family drama, but when I turned 25 (like literally three months after my birthday) I realized that if I had really wanted to date somebody, anybody, I would have found a way. The urge just never came.
I had just comeback to Texas after spending two years in California for work. Those two years were filled with new experiences that taught me how to at least look outside my box. One of the features of my job was traveling and working with people from all over the country. We all got really excited when a couple paired off because there was the whole “came out here and found your one” quasi-myth that was told every year to the new recruits. I still follow two of the couples on Instagram and they’re still together four years later so there’s at least something to feed the story. I tried not to be disappointed that I didn’t meet anyone because the work and traveling demands also broke-up several engagements, too, as people figured out who they were and what they wanted in life so I guess the scales were balanced in the end.
It wasn’t my lack of romantic attachments that puzzled me; it was my lack of trying. As they say, “you can’t win the lottery if you don’t play” so I had to wonder why I never bothered to pick up a metaphorical “ticket”. Finally I just typed into Google “25 and never dated” and after skipping over the blatantly sexist articles of “Don’t worry, your prince will come!” I found a personal blog by an asexual man.
That blog is what lead to my light bulb moment (and what inspired me to make my own blog). The phrase that resonated with me the most was he said he had thought he was “straight by default” before learning about asexuality. The reason this phrase was so powerful was I had said almost the exact thing to my mom a couple weeks before; I’m not gay, so I must be straight, right? After figuring out I was asexual I spent about a week freaking out because it meant I was a queer living in a small town in Texas and I was working a seasonal job for the Salvation Army at the time. I kept sneaking glances at my boss going “Do they know? Can they tell?” because paranoia.
Because of my freak out I didn’t think to save the blog post or save a link to the blog and I was never able to find it again. Not being able to thank the blogger for helping me figure out key part of my own identity is something I regret so I decided to make my own and be open, at the very least in an online setting, about my experience as an asexual as well as figuring out about being aromantic and figuring out my gender identity.
I think my story just shows how dangerous heteronormativy is. It should not have taken me as long as it did to realize I was asexual, aromantic, or agender. Once I realized asexuality was an option it allowed me to examine my romantic orientation and gender identity. Having access to the ace community gave me a place to ask questions of actual people who had gone or were going through a similar experience. Talking to transgender aces is what helped me figure out my gender identity was pretty much “none-of-the-above” and that that was a viable option. Hopefully, my blog and others like it continue to keep the topic alive so the next batch of aces have to deal with a little less confusion, a little less doubt, and hopefully one day even if folks are still questioning and exploring they can do so with out worrying.