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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

A Closet of One's Own

Freedom Requires Wings | by on




I have not come out to a lot of people. While I have assumed I am not straight for many years, and jumped from STRAIGHT to GAY to BISEXUAL to REALLY CONFUSED, I did not land on the correct answer (ASEXUAL) until March of this year. It's a new feeling for me, to know what I am and to have a term to identify with; it's nice. But, being new to my orientation, and seeing a lot of the ways people on social media, in the news, and in daily life are skeptical of asexuality (kindly put), I am not currently willing to put my orientation out for the entire world to know. I am not ready to defend myself.

Aside from my mother, no one in my family knows about my true sexuality. A few of my close friends know. The people who read my blogs know. But out of the dozens of people I interact with on a daily basis, only a handful know my true identity. Of course that does not get people from assuming. People are always assuming, judging me for my gender expression. Because if a girl has a shaved head and wears collared shirts and bow ties she can't be straight--can she really even be a girl?

I am well aware that people have assumptions about my sexuality. I am well aware that people judge me. In fact, I have been forcefully thrown out of the closet by six family members in the past three months. They have been nothing but supportive. But not of my asexuality, which they know nothing of. They are supportive of my so-called homosexuality.

Being called a lesbian is not the problem for me. I like women. In the eyes of many, I am gay. But that is not how I identify. I am asexual. I am not gay or a lesbian. Not because I don't want to be gay or a lesbian, but because it does not describe my identity properly. 

So here in lies the problem: in an attempt to show their support, six family members in the past three months have felt it their prerogative to inform me that they support my homosexuality. My homosexuality that does not exist.

I'm happy for two reasons:
  1. My family is not as homophobic as I assumed. (In fact, my 23-year-old brother, who has often said pretty heterosexist remarks, texted me on the night of the election to inform me he voted for Obama (who he hates) to protect my rights. Wont lie, I cried a little bit.)
  2. My family loves me and support me. (I know I can bring a girlfriend or partner home and they will not flip out and throw a lamp at me. Or something.)
But the problem for me is this: I am currently out to my family as the wrong thing. I feel like I am lying. But I never said a thing. I NEVER LIED. I refrained from coming out because I am unsure how I want to phrase my sexuality. And, above all, I am simply not ready. So while I appreciate their attempt to show support, I have been evicted from the wrong closet and locked out of my own. As a result, I am in this limbo where I'm sort of out, but not really, and never had a chance to declare how I personally identify.

I really feel like it's a personal choice when an individual chooses to come out and reveal their identity. It's their own choice. No one should pressure a person into action, no one should accuse them of being gay or bi or asexual or anything. Everyone should be supported and assured that, regardless of orientation, they will be loved. But never should someone be told, "I know you're gay," "Are you sure you're not a lesbian?" or "I want to talk about your sexual orientation." (My dad used that last one. And then proceeded to force me into a 45 minute conversation in a locked car. Awkward.) You don't "know" what I am. And I don't care if you want to talk about my sexual orientation. It is MY sexual orientation, and I have the right to reveal it when I wish, to hide it when I wish, and to declare it as I wish. 

On the plus side, I now have the "I like girls" part of my coming out experience taken care of. I guess I must now just wait for the right time to let the other part--the big part--be known.
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