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.