COMING OUT AS ASEXUAL
How to Come Out As Asexual (for Teenagers)
Coming out is a big decision, so it should not be taken lightly. Whether you are telling your parents, or your friends. It is important not to rush into things, and to think things through before hand. It can be quite stressful, but just remember that the longer you hold it off, the more you will worry about it. Before you come out to anyone, it is important to make sure you are certain of your asexuality. Ask yourself, if you are certain about who you are, if you are not sure of your sexuality, then the people you are telling might be doubtful. If you are absolutely certain that you are asexual, then you can continue.
Research asexuality.You'll want to make sure that you understand your orientation before you are certain, or before you publicly talk about it. AVEN is an excellent resource for asexuals and people researching asexuality, both in its articles and its forums.
Read some basic signs of asexuality.Before coming out, you'll want to feel pretty sure about your identity. Research, and try taking a quiz or two.Here are some general signs of asexuality, and if you're ace, you may have some or all of these traits:
- You don't think much about sex.
- You might wonder how sex works, physically speaking it, but don't find it alluring or exciting. It's scientific curiosity, not romantic or erotic. Or you wonder why everyone thinks it's such a big deal.
- You don't have sexual urges, or have them not directed at anyone.
- You don't see the appeal of "sexy" clothes, "sexy" pictures, or pornography.
- Arousal annoys you (or never happens).
- If you see a picture of a naked person, your thought is "so that's how it looks," not excitement or arousal.
- You don't have sex dreams, or you find them uninteresting, or they are fueled by scientific curiosity.
- You don't like sex, find it disappointing or don't enjoy it as much. Perhaps you'll have it, but never initiate it.
- Conversations or book/movie scenes about sex bore you or seem out of place.
Consider your age.People may experience first crushes in elementary or middle school, and typically recognize their orientation by their preteen years.If you are in your mid teens and still have no sexual attraction, it is unlikely that you are a "late bloomer," and likely that you are asexual.
- Try reading expert articles on childhood sexual development.If you skipped some of the steps, or still never experienced some of the steps, you may be asexual. (Keep in mind that if you have a developmental disability, you may develop at a different pace, without necessarily being asexual.)
Prepare yourself for common misconceptions you may hear.Most people don't understand asexuality. Here are some misconceptions, and how to respond.
- Teenagers are too young to know.Straight teenagers aren't told they're too young for dating. And most people figure these things out around ages 9-12.
- You should try it first.You don't have to try something to know it's unappealing. You haven't tried eating garbage either, but you know you wouldn't like it.
- Humans can't reproduce asexually.The asexual identity is separate from animals that reproduce asexually (i.e., by cloning themselves). "Asexual" is a word with two meanings, like the word "straight," which is both an identity and an adjective meaning "not curved."
Consider preparing an explanation or analogy to describe what asexuality means to you.Asexuality can be hard for non-asexual people to imagine, so sometimes an analogy can make it easier.
- "Let's use a caffeine analogy. Let's say that men are like coffee, women are like tea, and nonbinary people are like other caffeinated drinks. I don't find any of the above interesting."
- "For me, sex is like anchovies. Other people can have as much as they want, but I personally think it's gross, and don't want any."
Figure out your romantic orientation.Your feelings about sex and your feelings about romance are two different things. Most (but not all) asexual people still want to date, cuddle, hold hands, and maybe even kiss. You may be...
- Aromantic—not experiencing romantic attraction
- Panromantic—attracted to people regardless of gender
- Homoromantic—attracted to the same gender
- Heteroromantic—attracted to different genders
- You'd put the terms together, such as "panromantic asexual," to describe yourself.
Coming Out to Your Parents
Drop hints if you aren't sure whether they'll be supportive.Ask them about LGBT+ topics, consume LGBT+ media, or wear rainbow colors, and notice how your parents react. Do they seem supportive or neutral? If so, this is a good sign.
- If your parents are strongly anti-LGBT, and you are still financially dependent upon them, do not come out to them. Only revisit this decision once you are completely on your own. Do not risk your physical safety or finances (e.g. college fund). They are not entitled to private information about you.
- If your parents are prejudiced against other LGBT+ people, then they are probably prejudiced against asexuals too.
Choose the right time.You'll want a relaxed time of day, when no one is rushing or particularly stressed. Look for a quiet time such as when doing chores together, driving in a long car ride, or cleaning up after supper.
- If you tend to stammer a bit when you are nervous, practise repeating what you are going to say, slowly and carefully.
- If you aren't sure if it's a good time, say "Is now a good time to talk to you about something that's been on my mind for a while?"
Expect different possible reactions.Maybe your parents will be shocked upon hearing this, or maybe they will take it in their stride; it all depends on who they are and how they comprehend asexuality. Just remember to give them space to think things over if they need it.
- Some might be proud of you for coming out.
- Others might have suspected for a while, or consider it not to be a big deal.
- A few might be confused and need you to teach them about asexuality.
- Some may not understand asexuality, and think that it is a medical condition or a problem. They may react negatively or think they caused it. Tell them that this isn't a sign of bad parenting, and that you're happier this way.
Be ready to answer any questions they might have.Asexuality isn't as well-known as other orientations (like being gay), so your family may not have ever heard of it. Here are some common questions that parents may have, and how you could respond:
- What's asexuality?"It means I don't feel sexual attraction. Every asexual person is different. For me, I... (describe your own experiences)."
- Is that a real thing?"Yeah, it's real. Having a word for my feelings helps me feel a lot better about myself and my life. I get it if you don't understand right away. Please know that this is important to me, and it helps me feel good about myself."
- Did I/we do something to cause this?"No, asexuality is totally healthy and natural. I'm pretty sure I was born this way, and I'm okay with that."
- Are you okay?"Yes. Being happy means being myself, and so living my best life means accepting myself as asexual."
- Will this make dating harder for you?"It might lead to some problems if my partner wants different things than I do. I hope I can count on you to be there for me if I am having trouble and need help." OR "I'm not interested in dating. This makes my life so much simpler and easier, don't you think? For me, happiness looks like a dog/a job making movies/a good friend group/etc."
- What if people try to hurt/bully you over this?"I'll be careful about who I come out to, and work on being a good judge of character just like you taught me. I also hope I can come to you if I'm ever having a problem."
- I don't understand this."It's okay if you don't get everything yet. All I'm really asking for is your acceptance and support. And if you want, I can show you a few websites that could teach you a little about asexuality and what that means for me."
Coming Out to Your Friends
Decide how many people to come out to, and whether to do it all at once or one at a time.Depending on how much of a private person you are, you may only want to tell your closest friends, or you may want everyone to know. You may find it's easier to tell your most trusted friend(s) first, and have them be there when you come out to others. It's up to your preferences and comfort level.
- If the idea of coming out makes you nervous, you don't have to. You're allowed to keep it private if you're more comfortable that way.
Recognize that coming out doesn't have to be a big deal if you don't want it to be.There's nothing wrong with saying, "Oh, I'm asexual, by the way," or coming out by making an ace pun when you get the urge. Coming out can be as casual or as formal as you want it to be.
Choose a time when you are together, without too many distractions.It can be easier to do this as well as you only have to explain it to one person. If you are unsure or worried of how they will react, remember that if they are your friend, they will support you.
- Noisy or crowded places, such as malls or busy restaurants, can make it harder to have a detailed conversation.
- Avoid springing the news at an event for someone else, such as a birthday party. This day should stay focused on them; you can bring it up on a different day. Your own party is fine, though.
Build up to telling them.When your friends arrive, don't suddenly spring it on them. Briefly say hello to them or ask how they are doing, this can help to break the tension. Once you have done this, begin by telling them you have something really important to tell them. Say that this is something really big that you feel is important for them to know. Then proceed to tell them that you are coming out.
QuestionI think I'm aromantic, does God hate me or is it okay?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIsn't God said to love everyone? There is nothing wrong with you. Everyone is different.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 12 and I'm 100 percent sure I'm asexual. I also have depression, my parents say its fake, and hate dealing with my "shenannigans."Should I come out to them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerProbably not. Waiting until you're in a safer situation might help. Whatever happens, don't allow yourself to be disheartened by their lack of support.Thanks!
QuestionI am 10 and I am pretty sure I am lesbian. I feel my parents won't believe me. I want to wait to tell them, but a few friends know and I don't want my parents finding out from them. What do I do?Skylarr_Community AnswerThat sounds like a stressful situation. Have you explained to your friends that you don't want them to tell your parents, and that you want to do it yourself? If they truly care, they will take that into consideration, and hopefully realize that you need to tell your parents when you are ready.Thanks!
QuestionI think that I am straight and asexual, but I'm not sure I want to come out to people because they may change their opinions of me, especially guys I like. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't be afraid of what people think of you. If someone won't accept you for being who you are then they are not worth your time or your heart.Thanks!
QuestionI'm an asexual guy and there is a girl that I love, but she found out about me being an ace and said she won't be able to be with someone who doesn't want sex. Should I try it and regret it, or stay alone?Rochelle WilliamsCommunity AnswerIf the girl you love doesn't accept what you are, you should look elsewhere. It's her loss.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 14 and I have never liked anyone; does that mean I'm asexual?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's ok if you continue without being attracted to anyone, but as you are still young things could change. You could be asexual, but you don't have to label yourself until you have explored different kinds of relationships and you feel ready.Thanks!
QuestionCan you be heterosexual but aromantic? Is that possible?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes! Heterosexuality is your sexual orientation, while being aromantic is your romantic orientation. Feeling like you have very little or no romantic attraction to anyone doesn't relate to your sexual attraction. Heterosexual aromantic people are everywhere, and it doesn't make you any less a part of the LGBTQA+ community, due to your sexual orientation.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best way to learn my parents' opinions on LGBTQA+ and asexuality without asking them directly?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try asking what they think about celebrities who identify as LGBTQA+, or shows that focus or touch on the subject matter. Their reactions to those topics might give you a few clues about their general opinions on the LGBTQA+ community.Thanks!
QuestionI'm a straight demisexual/grey asexual and proud of it. I want to let people know of my sexual orientation, but I'm worried I might get bullied or shunned. How should I come out?Community AnswerWhen coming out, try to do it face to face if you are confidant enough. Make sure that it is at a time and place where you can sit down and talk to the person(s). Be prepared to explain what your sexuality means and answer any questions the other person may have.Thanks!
QuestionI'm 12 and really nervous to come out. I don't know what to do about coming out as asexual, and I'm not sure how they will take it.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
- It is important not to just blurt everything out at once. If you tell your parents or friends this way, they will find it even harder to cope.
- If you are the sort of person that tends to worry about a lot of things, then try not to put it off for so long. If you do this, you will end up getting more worried the longer you wait.
- If you find yourself worrying excessively about this, take some time to relax and focus on something else.
- If you want to come out to your friends with humor, play hide and go seek. You should hide in the closet, and when they find you say, "It feels so great to finally be able to come out of the closet!" Proceed to tell them your sexual orientation.
- Don’t come out in the car or another place where you can’t walk away if things get too uncomfortable. Aim for a neutral ground where you can both leave if things get stressful or you feel too uncomfortable.
- You may lose some friends due to them not being able to accept your sexuality. Though additionally, you may gain friends in the LGBTQIA community.
- Some members of the LGBT community reject asexual people, which can be extremely alienating.Stay away from people who treat you badly, whether they are straight and cis, or from the LGBT community.
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