Carnival of Aces: Staying in the Closet

Warning: brief mention of LGBTQ+ discrimination and violence. If this affects you, please proceed with caution. 

I want to make another attempt in writing a post for the “Carnival of Aces December – Staying in the Closet”. It’s still going on the premise of the pros and cons for both; with more emphasis on “coming out”. Hopefully, I better explain myself than what I did in the last post.

I want to start with a question: should asexuals (or anyone else) stay in the closet or come out? I think there are pros and cons for both. Before I get into that, I want to talk more in depth about the argument that it’s nobody’s business”.

Fair comment. It ISN’T anyone’s business who you sleep/ not sleep with. Or at least it shouldn’t be. It’s no surprise that many LGBTQ+ around the world  cop a lot of garbage because of who they are. It’s obvious that, in lots of these cases, it’d be safer for LGBTQ+ people to stay in the closet.

Here’s my point. I don’t believe that “coming out” means telling someone “I have sex with X” or, in the case of asexuals “I don’t have sex”. It goes deeper than that, if you want to come out. When you come out, I believe what you’re saying is “this is who I am. This is who I’m attracted to. Living a “married – with-children-and-house-with-white-picket-fence is most likely not going to happen”. I’m going to extend this point later in the post.

 

For people, especially young people, rejection can be a big factor in determining whether or not someone comes out. For asexuals, this can come as an “accusation” of being gay, which can be, to be quite honest, scary because of the possible implications that may have. To be quite honest, this fear affected me for a long time. To avoid this, I make sure if I do talk about asexuality, I’ve made it a habit to make sure I know that the other person knows what I’m talking about. I’m optimistic that this need for an explanation will become a thing of the past. Most young people I’ve talked to who are in their early 20’s know what I’m talking about when I mention asexuality. It’s often been in the context of this blog.

 

Back to the “married – with – children – with – kids – and -house-with-white-picket-fence”. Coming out as asexual (at least for me), has ended the assumption that I’m going to find a boyfriend and marry and so on and so forth. I know many asexual people do, but, for me personally, when the I knew I was asexual, that image of that life went out the window. So in my opinion, this is the biggest “pro” of coming out; to put to rest the assumption that you’re going to go down the common “married – with – children” path. That’s great for me. Finally, I don’t have to pretend that that’s going to happen to me, when, frankly, it’s likely not to; at least not in the most common way.

Romantic Orientation

I was only thinking about this yesterday, actually. I’m an avid participant in a few Asexuality groups on Facebook. I check out what’s been said almost every time I log on to the site. For some asexuals, stating your romantic orientation isn’t considered. However, I find it interesting those who state that their homo-romantic or bi – romantic. What I’ve noticed is that most people who come out as homo-romantic or bi – romantic have already identified and often come out as gay or bi before they realise they’re asexual. My question to that is, how do you bring up romantic orientation when it doesn’t match what people initially thought? How do you bring up the fact that you’re homo-romantic (or on the spectrum), when you’ve never come out as gay, bi or had no one close to you strongly suspect you are? What if it’s a late discovery, like you just realised your romantic orientation beyond, say, 21? Or 30? What do you do about same – gender partners when coming in contact with family or friends? It was just something floating through my mind. How do you deal when you love your own gender romantically or have a same – gender partner? How do you explain it to friends or family? Do you? What if you have a romantic/ emotional crush on someone of the same gender? Do you keep quiet about that?

Now, I know I’ve left out aromantics and hetero – romantics out of this post. To be quite honest, I don’t know what it’s like to be hetero – romantic, (especially since identifying as asexual) so that’s why I’ve left it out. Nothing against you guys, I promise.

What are your thoughts?

Carnival of Aces: December – Remaining in the Closets

This post is for the December Carnival of Aces.

Is it better for an asexual to come out or stay in the closet? Probably depends who you ask. Some would say that it’s good to come out to increase visibility. Yet, others argue that it’s no one’s business. I can see both sides.

I can understand (and agree to a degree), that someone’s sexuality is jo one’s business. In an ideal world, that would be true. Yet, (maybe this is just me), people are more open about sexuality. People talk to them friends on who has a crush on who, who’s going out with who, who’s getting married, etc. this is where the ‘con’ is.

 

Being asexual and not being open about it, especially if you’re being quiet out of fear of a backlash, can be lonely. And, quite frankly , I’ve realised being too afraid to open up can exacerbate self – loathing of low self – esteem. To be quiet honest, for example, the more I’ve opened up about this blog (which is a coming out of sorts, I guess), and knowing that my world hasn’t gone to hell in a hand basket, has given me more confidence in who I am and knowing that people accept me for who I am, not who I’ve tried to pretend to be in the past, has been a weight lifted off me. For those with higher self – esteem in the first place, this may not be such a big deal, but it has been to me.

In a perfect world, who you’re attracted to (or not attracted to) wouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, I still don’t think that’s the case, including for asexuals.