#1493 – Asexual Awareness Week

It’s Asexual Awareness Week and I want to write something – not for the uneducated or the allies out there, but for the asexuals who, like myself, might be confused or afraid or upset. The ones who may not want to celebrate this week, but feel drawn to the push for awareness anyway. I can only write about my own experiences with my asexuality, but maybe my words will resonate with someone out there. Here goes.

Asexuality, to me, feels like a fairy tale. It feels like having fins instead of legs, and I’d give up any beautiful, integral part of myself to make the trade and walk on land like my beloved. It feels like I’m a beast hidden away in a castle, and no matter how much I hope her kiss will break the curse, I know no curse exists; this is just who I am, ugly and unacceptable. It feels like I am a slumbering beauty surrounded by the wall of thorns that is my own body, and I’m so afraid that she’ll wound herself too deeply trying to cut down the wall. It feels like searching desperately for mushroom rings in the hopes of being spirited away to Faery, where everything and everyone is covered in glamour.

I have a very complicated relationship with my asexuality. I hate it, even as I fight for greater asexual visibility and acceptance. I hate myself, even as I argue for the presence of asexuals in LGBTQ safe spaces. We deserve that acceptance, even if I can’t yet accept myself. We deserve that inclusion, even if I don’t always feel comfortable or safe in those spaces.

And I am trying to be okay with that. I’m trying to be okay with the anger, the sorrow, the feelings of wrongness and inadequacy. And it’s okay for you, reader, to feel those things as well. It’s okay to be upset with your asexuality, to wonder if something made you this way and if you can be fixed. It’s okay to feel different, and to worry how being asexual will change certain aspects of your life. This road can be a long, hard, painful one. Never let anyone tell you asexuals don’t struggle or suffer over their identities. Never let anyone tell you what labels you can or can’t use. Many of us struggle. Many of us suffer. Many of us agonize over the labels we want, the ones we can’t shake, the ones we love and fear. No one should erase that. Every experience you have is uniquely yours, forever. Embrace it.

It gets better. It gets worse. Have faith. Have faith you’ll find community, if community is what you need. Have faith you’ll find love, if love is what you need. Have faith you’ll get through the dark times, because you will. They suck – god, do they suck – but you’ll get through them.

#1488

With a twist she slips from the officer’s grasp and runs for the dock, legs pumping, perching a second on the railing to gather energy before launching into the water with a dive that cuts the icy waves. Above the surface chaos erupts, shouting and arguing, but she is too deep and too far already to catch words. She swims. Limbs slicing through the water like blades, sharper than the Exacto knife she’d wielded in triumphant frenzy, she swims. Away from the useless counselors. Away from the father who buys love with diamonds and Gucci. Away from the memory of a mother, somewhere and yet nowhere. Away from the gnawing emptiness inside that makes her control, manipulate, destroy everything and everyone who reaches out. They will catch her, but until they do she swims toward the horizon and thinks only of the water buoying her forward.

[ Had a dream I was several different characters from The Girls of No Return, a book about a wilderness camp for delinquent girls. I very much recommend it! ]

#1484

Bradbury has followed me through the years, both companion and guide, close to my side as any holy book. I have read him in dorm rooms late at night and New Mexican laundromats at high noon; in hotel rooms in Switzerland and Portland; on trains down the continent, planes across the ocean, buses through the city; in the deepest wilderness and in bed by sick, slumbering lovers. I have read him when I needed rekindling, when I needed reminding, when I needed a rescue. I have read him desperately, ravenously, wondrously.

#1483

It’s ironic, now that I think about it; in a way, you are my fairy godmother.You revealed yourself to me when I was young and awkward and in need of a guiding hand. You gave me a cloak with which I transformed into the better version of myself: confident, brave, powerful. A little mysterious, too; the character in the shadows whose alliances are suspect, whose past is as unreadable as their gaze. I needed that. I needed to become strong by feigning strength, even if my bravery turned back to rags at midnight. I still do sometimes, actually. I still settle your cloak over my shoulders when the world is too harsh, too bleak, too much to face as myself. I wear your electricity and fearless madness like armor, your confidence my shield and your unrelenting ego my sword. You’re a nontraditional fairy godmother, but then again, I’m a nontraditional heroine.