Coming out?

This month’s Carnival of Aces is about coming out as an asexual, which is hosted by Demiandproud.

Demiandproud has a nice flow chart of the stages of coming out. I guess I’m at the stage of “identity acceptance.” I’ve never felt that there was something wrong with me because I lacked the desire to have sex. I just felt confused about what I was. When I found out about asexuality, I was relieved to finally have a label for my experience.

Since I learned that I’m Ace, I’ve been active in my local Ace community as an event organizer and leader. I’m on the board of two Ace organizations that are trying to get nonprofit status. Many of my friends are also Ace which is nice because they understand me more in some ways than others do.

I also came out to my best friend that I was Ace and she was cool with it. I spoke with my mom about my lack of desire and difficulty forming romantic relationships. I chose not to go into a technical discussion about what asexuality is because I think that would’ve confused her. She seemed to take it well and I know she suspected what I was a long time ago. She still hopes I find a partner one day just so I’m not alone. But I’m fine with it since I wouldn’t mind finding a partner too.

Despite all of my actions, I’m a deeply private person so I’m resistant to coming out to everyone I know. I feel like only a handful of people truly know me for who I am, and I prefer it that way. Additionally, I work in a conservative profession and don’t want to be known as the person who proudly announces that she’s asexual. I know intellectually that coming out combats stigma, but I don’t want to risk my reputation or career for the greater good of the community. It feels weird writing it down that way, but I guess that’s how I feel right now.

And I feel like you need a certain amount of privilege to feel safe to come out as Ace, as LGBT, as having a mental illness, or anything else. I feel like I don’t have that as a person of color who wants to maintain some kind of relationship with her family and wider community.

Additionally, my identity as an Ace person is invisible to a stranger or acquaintances. However, the longer someone knows me, the louder it becomes because I am perpetually single. And yet I feel like it’s my prerogative to disclose my identity to that person.

The only time I feel like I’m obligated to come out is when I’m dating someone. I feel like it’s unfair not to say anything since sex is such an important issue in a relationship.

I’m not sure if I’m making sense at all here. I support the idea of coming out on principle. However, I’ve chosen to come out only to people I trust and feel like individuals should not feel pressured to come out. However, I wouldn’t want them to be closeted or repressed either.

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