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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

Always on the Outside: An Asexual Perspective

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Being asexual is hard sometimes. I know that this blog is a place where many young QUILTBAG people look for inspiration, for solidarity, and for hope, and so I want to apologize ahead of time for the more negative nature of this post. But I do feel it’s important for everyone to realize that no matter what your sexual orientation may be, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows (no pun intended!). We all struggle with various aspects of our identities at times, and I hope that by sharing my experience of that, I can at least reach someone out there who’s going through the same thing, and they will know that they are not alone. This is my hope, because I’ve never had anyone to do that for me, and so I often feel very, very alone.

One of the biggest issues I deal with regarding my asexuality is the lack of any sort of role model, or guidance. I don’t know any other asexuals (that I’m aware of) in person, and have only had very minimal contact with anyone asexual on the internet. I know this is stupid, but sometimes I’m jealous of my friends who are lesbian, gay, or even bisexual, because their sexuality has been so visible for so long that there are a huge number of people they can look to for understanding and guidance. Many of them have family members or at least friends who are also out, and the number of celebrities who are out has skyrocketed in recent years (not to say that celebrities are necessarily good role models, but at least they exist!). But the list of even celebrities who identify as asexual is achingly short, let alone family or friends in my life. So who am I supposed to turn to when I feel like nobody understands? Sure, people will listen and be supportive, but they don’t truly understand my perspective, because they haven’t experienced it. I do feel like it’s easier for sexual people, whether they are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or what have you, to relate to each other than to asexual people, because even though it’s focused in different directions, they all still have sexual desires and experiences. I feel like I (and other asexuals, I’m sure) am always on the outside, no matter what group of people I’m with.

Currently, the frustration I’m dealing with is my desire to have children. I’ve wanted to be a mom since I was old enough to know what a mom was. As early as preschool, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, “a mommy” was always part of my answer. I’m thankful that we live in an age where it’s possible to have kids without having sex. I try to stay positive and hopeful, knowing that these alternative methods have similar success rates to “the old-fashioned way” of getting pregnant. But there are days when I just feel completely hopeless, that it will never work, that I’ll never be able to have kids. It doesn’t help that I’m at an age where many of my friends already have kids, and it seems like every day there are new pregnancy announcements on facebook, in my circles of friends, even family. Everywhere I turn, everyone is having babies…everyone but me, and I want it SO badly. I know that I’m working on it, and I do hope that it will happen for me sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, it’s frustrating to watch everyone else’s lives move forward while mine stays still. It seems so easy, too, for most of them. They just have sex, and poof!, there’s a baby growing inside them. I know this isn’t true for all of them, I am very aware that many people I know have struggled with infertility and other obstacles to getting pregnant, but for the majority, it seems to come so easily. It drives me crazy, I hate that I feel so jealous. I’m happy for them, too, of course, especially for the others who’ve struggled to get there (whether because of infertility, sexual orientation, or other reasons). And they give me hope that I can get there too. But I am still so jealous, and I feel like a horrible person because of it.

And who can I talk to about this, who will actually understand? As I said earlier, I’m lucky to have wonderful friends in my life, who are incredibly supportive and willing to listen and offer encouragement. But because they are not asexual, they don’t fully understand where I’m coming from, and even with their best intentions, that sometimes comes through. And my family…no one in my family knows I’m asexual except for my sister (who’s younger than me and not in a place in her life where having kids is even on her radar anytime soon, if ever). My mom has some idea, she knows that I haven’t had sex, and that my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant via alternative methods, and she’s been surprisingly supportive in some ways, offering to help out financially if it comes to IVF or something like that. But the rest of my family has no idea, and I don’t want them to know, because they wouldn’t understand. So where do I turn for advice in situations like this? Where can I find someone who’s been there and done that, and maybe even come out on the other side?

Asexuality is still such a relatively new concept in society (compared to homosexuality and even bisexuality), there just isn’t the support community or even just one connection that I so desperately crave sometimes. Asexual visibility is increasing pretty quickly, but it’s still not where it needs to be for me and others like me to find the support and guidance we need to be able to navigate this with confidence. If anyone out there is reading this and nodding along vigorously (as I know I would be doing if someone else had written this!), please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help other young asexuals out there, so that hopefully they can pass it on, and eventually, no one will need to feel alone the way that I have. At any rate, writing this has been helpful. It’s nice to at least have an outlet for such things.
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