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Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

How I Came to Understand Asexuality - A Sexual's Account

Freedom Requires Wings | by on




Dear Asexual friends,

I know not what Dan Savage has said about you and I don't really care, as long as you know that any mildly anti-ace comments aren't a gay thing.

I'm gay, and in the Summer of 2011, my best friend came out to me as asexual. You could say, in a way, I outed her to myself.

After a conversation we had online one evening, it struck me that she wasn't interested in sex. At this point, as I later discovered, she had only just discovered the meaning of the term 'asexual'. I knew at the time that she was questioning something, so I decided to do my homework on what it could possibly be.

Around this time, I had only just started to accept my sexual orientation after having struggled with it and denied it for over 6 years. After accepting my being gay, I soon realised that I had many misconceptions about gay men and the wider QUILTBAG community. I was therefore curious to learn more about other orientations and gender identities, as I still am to this day, although I don't think I've left a lot untouched.

It troubled me then, to wonder how someone could not be interested in having sex, but I was not ignorant about it. I have an ethos: If we want to learn, we must keep an open mind and fight the prejudice we may have with new-found facts to see if they withstand them. In the case of asexuality, I had very little prejudice (unlike with homosexuality, where I had been fed a bunch of misconceptions), I purely just didn't understand it. So before making things up, I decided to go in hunt of some asexuals to see what this orientation was actually all about.

It didn't take long for me to find AVEN and read more about it. I then had this conversation with myself and understood within the space of 30 seconds.

- "So asexuals don't want to have sex. Why not?"
- "Well, Patrick, why don't you want to be with a girl?"
- "I just don't... Okay, got it!"

See. Simple (and a little schizophrenic), but beautiful.

So now I was prepared for her coming out. It wasn't long after our conversation that she said she wanted to talk to me about something. I read between the lines, for it was obvious. We sat on a log by a lake and it was then that we had a Twilight "- I know what you are. - Go on. Say it. - You're a vampire" moment.

Except I was Bella, she was Edward, and we weren't in that position...
and she was the nervous one, not me.
She made her little speech, her little pretext, and then I shot my two top guesses at her. I had guessed that she wasn't all-that-into men, so my first guess was "lesbian?", but that was a "not really". So no sex, my second guess seemed clear to me, "asexual?". It was beautiful to see a bit of weight lifted from my friend's shoulders, to see that open-mindedness does have a positive effect on people's lives.

Since then, I have discovered all these different degrees of sexuality, from a full-blown sexual, to asexual and everything in-between. I've also looked more into asexuality, where romantic orientations are the parallel with preferences of the sexual world. I've discovered cake too, which was confusing at first, but I soon came to understand. And that's how this week, we ended up having an Asexual Awareness Week, to raise awareness of asexuality, so that 1 person in 100 may suddenly discover the answer to their questions, because 1 in 100 is not an insignificant number, not in a world with over 7 billion people. And that is how the Aceinator (which you can see at work at the top of the page) was born. It will remain there for the rest of the week, until midnight on Monday, when it will magically disappear, packed away for another occasion.

In the meantime, eat cake, chat, and enjoy the rest of the week here on Freedom Requires Wings.
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