Asexuals on Coming Out: Experiences

[This post is the result of the Asexuality Questionnaire project.  The quotations used within are gathered from anonymous responses to questions asked as part of that project.]

Coming out is an important part of the asexual experience.  Most asexuals consider coming out at some point.  Often, they’ll confide in a close friends, other times, they’ll dive in with a running leap and announce their orientation to the entire world.  Some decide to remain in the closet until another time.

Many people are only out to a few of their friends or only part of their family.  The phrase “I’m out to the people who matter” came up repeatedly in the responses.  It seems to be uncommon for an asexual to be out to everyone they know.  The two most common reasons for not coming out to a particular person are fear of how they’ll react and not considering it important that they know.  Quite a few people just viewed their asexuality as a component of who they are, and held a “Yeah?  So what?” view of it, that is, they don’t hide it, but they don’t feel a need to broadcast it to the world, and they’ll talk about it if it ever comes up.

When it comes to family, more people said that they were out to a sibling than to a parent, and more were out to parents than grandparents. Sometimes they would be out to only one parent, but not want to tell the other.  Often, different members of the family would react differently.  A brother might be wholly accepting, while the mother could be dismissive.  Awkwardness discussing sexual matters (or lack thereof) with family and fear of rejection were some of the primary reasons for not coming out to family.

Most people who came out reported at least one positive experience.  Positive or neutral experiences seemed to outnumber negative experiences.  In fact, many of the people who responded did not report any reactions that they classified as negative.

Quite a few people stressed that coming out was a personal decision to make.  No one should feel as though they have to come out.  In the end, it’s nobody’s business but your own, so if you don’t want to tell anyone else, that’s perfectly fine.

The responses:

Many reactions are positive.

“The first time I came out, it was to a bunch of my long-time online friends, and I had a very positive response. After that, it was my parents, who were mostly okay with it, and then my more liberal friends, and now it’s pretty much any time it comes up. Most of the responses have been indifferent or positive.”

“They were both incredibly accepting and awesome.”

“Yes, my parents especially were accepting of me. They had never put any pressure on me before, so their reaction was mostly, “So that’s why. That’s cool.” ”

“People have repeatedly supported me by reiterating the fact that I am who I am and it’s okay.”

“Most people accepted the information like they’d have accepted information about my favourite food: mostly they just said something like ‘Ah, okay’ or just continued the conversation like it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.”

“I got high-fived once! That was pretty great.”

“I’ve been lucky. Everyone has been really great about it, once they knew what it was.”

“Almost everyone single person I have told has been very supportive and respectful, and the ones who weren’t didn’t care enough to stop talking to me.”

Some are not.

“My mother was furious. I explained what asexuality was, but she was adamant it didn’t exist. “There’s only heterosexuality and homosexuality!” she shouted. I didn’t make matters better when I confessed to being bi-romantic. After threatening to hit me, she stormed out of my room. (I should not that she did not hit me, only threatened to.) Later when my dad came upstairs to wish me goodnight I came out to him too. He didn’t care so much about the bi-romantic part. But when I told him I was asexual- I’ve never seen him look so disappointed. He wasn’t angry, just sad almost. Like I’d failed him. He told me that I was still young, and not to make such a big decision just yet. Both my parents act like that night never happened.”

“Denial was sharp and one of the worst pains.”

“I have only come out to my husband, who immediately regarded it as a failure of his sexual skills.”

“My one friend made bacteria jokes and told me I was broken.”

“I’ve been prayed over. I’ve had a therapist fixate on my asexuality to the point of ignoring everything else, claiming to accept me but going on about it in session after session. I’ve lost someone who was, at that time, my best friend; he just drifted away from me, and that was the start. I’ve been told, repeatedly, that I was broken, damaged, ugly. My mom once, after accepting me for a long time, suggested that I should get my hormones checked. I’ve had doctors treat it as a symptom, or with suspicion. I have one friend who, no matter how many times I tell, never seems to absorb the information.”

“My cousin said some very hurtful things to me and I was very depressed, even suicidal for a while. I had to cut him out of my life. If people can’t accept you for who you are, then they don’t deserve your time of day.”

“I lost one friend when I discovered he harasses asexuals on Tumblr for “appropriating queerness.” We were friends before I realised I was asexual and he realised there was such a thing. We both discovered the community separately, and apparently both had very different reactions to it.”

“First boyfriend tried to fix me with his magical penis. I’m not sure how much worse than that you can get.”

Several people “tested the waters” beforehand, talking about asexuality with people before coming out to them.

“I have not come out to my parents. I’ve told them both *about* asexuality and their reactions were not promising. I think my dad would make a lot of well-meaning but annoying conjectures about where it came from, and my mom would flip out and tell me I had an illness and if I didn’t get treated I would be “missing a crucial part of life”.”

Some people are out because they didn’t feel right concealing it.

“I came out because I didn’t want to keep such an important secret from my friends, especially when it’s directly relevant to my identity and relationships.”

“I do like telling people the truth and not having their expectations shattered after a long time of knowing me.”

“I came out to my brother first because he is my best friend and not telling him was eating away at me. I felt like a liar every time I looked him in the eye.”

“I came out because it was something I wanted out in the open and I wanted to have friends I could talk to about it.”

“I came out to a small group of people (a mix of close family and friends) because I didn’t want to keep a part of myself I considered important completely to myself, and I think it’s important to be honest with those closest to you.”

“I told other people because I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer. I felt like the longer I kept it a secret, the more ashamed of it I would become, and I didn’t want to be ashamed of my sexuality.”

Some people are out because they’ve just discovered something about themselves and want to share it.

“When I found out that Asexuality was a thing, I first read everything on AVEN, then raced downstairs to my mom and showed her the site, all ‘mom, mom, I found my people! :D’”

“I’ve come out to a few friends, though not all of them. I did it because I was discovering this new thing in my life and I wanted to share it with someone.”

“I came out because I was excited to find out something new about myself that I’d never realized before, and I wanted to share it with everyone.”

“I was out within hours of discovering asexuality, simply because the closet is not a happy place.”

Others don’t tell people because they don’t feel other people need to know.

“If someone asks, I tell them. Otherwise I see no reason to tell them (unless they wish to engage in a sexual relationship with me).”

“I only come out if it is necessary and would not voluntarily do so to anyone I didn’t know well, as I don’t see how my orientation is most people’s business.”

“Also, it doesn’t really seem necessary for me to bring it up with most people. It wouldn’t really change anything, so why bother?”

“My asexuality is not something I make a big deal out of, and I don’t really feel the need to tell people unless they specifically ask whether I’m ace.”

Quite a few people remarked that others had already guessed that they were asexual.

“The best reactions came from my friends and ranged from “That explains a lot” to “I knew there was something different about you. Nice to know there’s a word for it.” ”

“The times that I’ve talked about it, it was to explain why I’ve been single all my life and plan to remain that way for the foreseeable future. That is, to explain what they’ve already noticed about me and found out of the ordinary.”

“One is my best friend, who is also asexual. That was easy… since she already suspected I was.”

“And my mom’s like “I guessed.””

“Almost all the conversations I’ve had about my asexuality with friends have been supportive. Notably, last year some article online spurred me to tell my housemates, “I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I am asexual.” They replied, “Yes, we figured.” That was lovely and reassuring.”

“When I came out to one of my best friends, her initial reaction was “Wait, is this something you just figured out?” Apparently she’s known since 8th grade and I figured it out summer before sophomore year of college. We spent several minutes then with her just saying “How did you not know?!” and me replying “How was I supposed to know?””

“People were probably pegging me as asexual before I even knew the term, or even if they didn’t have a term for it themselves.”

“My best friend simply said “I’m not surprised” and accepted me wholeheartedly.”

Sometimes the person they’re coming out to is asexual as well.

“I told my best friend about it, but that was easy because he is asexual too!”

“As it turns out, she is also asexual, and she came out to me at the same time I came out to her.”

“One of my friends that I came out to actually told me that she is asexual too and now we both have someone that understands us and we can be completely open with.”

“The second person I ever came out to was my partner, and I was so upset by the thought of him dumping me and hating me just because I didn’t want into his pants that I started crying all over his shirt, which is hilarious in hindsight, especially since 15 seconds later he came out as asexual to me (serendipity!).”

And sometimes the other person knows someone who might be asexual.

“During the talk with both my parents we discussed a number of older relatives on both sides of the family who never married. My dad’s brother has never married and in all the time I’ve known him (going on 40 years) I’ve never seen him to have any romantic or sexual relationships. I don’t know if he is asexual or not, it’s not the kind of thing he would ever talk about. But my parents could understand me in the context of other people they knew who were similar.”

Some people expressed fears or doubts about coming out.

“I don’t know if I will ever tell my family as I’m pretty sure they won’t understand and will only hurt me by trying to be understanding.”

“I haven’t really thought about why I’m not out to most people, for the most part I think it’s none of their business, but there might be a slight fear in that as well, fear of not being accepted or that they don’t believe me or think I’m a freak.”

“I worry about what some people think, as I know they will tell me that it’s just a phase I’m going through.”

“I get more disbelief and confusion. I worry about being seen as attention seeking, especially with my own regular confusion about my own sexuality.”

“I’m not out to family yet though. I just don’t know how they will react, and I want to wait untill I have somewhere else I can go if they react poorly.”

Sometimes people are skeptical.

“One friend tried to convince me that I was simply straight and haven’t found the right guy.”

“Most people disbelived me and even asked numerous questions to try and find the reason behing my unwillingness to fuck. A lot of them sugested therapy and treated me as a labrat that is now open to scrutiny and can be used to prove or refute their own personal theories.”

“He preached to me for a good five minutes about how I couldn’t be sure I was asexual because I hadn’t had sex. And, he explained, he hadn’t enjoyed sex the first time either, so if I didn’t then I should try it again just in case. He’s flat out told me that I will have sex eventually, and that I was never a teenager because being a teenager is defined by having sex.”

“When I first came out to my mother, she dismissed it as me choosing to be celibate for we are Catholic.”

“My parents didn’t really understand what I was saying at all, and probably still don’t. My dad still thinks I’m gay but repressed, whereas my mum still wants grandchildren that I have no intention of giving.”

“I have come out to two people: my mom and my therapist. Both times were less than ideal. They didn’t really get it/ don’t seem to fully believe it. I haven’t come out to others because I am afraid they will not believe me.”

“One of my friends told me that I can’t be asexual because all adults want to have sex and I was just being immature and trying to sound like a special snow flake. I also tried to tell my parents but they told me I was too young to know what I am.”

Being out makes a difference in how other people feel about asexuality.

“But the more time passes and the more quietly and resolutely I stick to what I have said all along, the more acceptance I gain. My family are usually the first to fall in line.”

“The second person I told said that if I had just told him *about* asexuality without saying *I* was asexual, he would have been skeptical about its existence.”

“She insisted at first that I was just making stuff up to avoid social contact, but she’s come around since then and is now a great ally.”

“I got a lot of the “we’re worried you’ll be lonely” and “maybe you should try it” stuff from my parents, but once I’d explained that it was an orientation, they completely took me seriously and accepted me.”

“My parents’ response also wasn’t too bad, but it was still a long, five year process to get them to the point where we’re all really comfortable with their knowledge level. Now they’re proud, running around their rural community educating people on asexuality and all sorts of stuff.”

One person cited the “Just One Person” theory, where it only takes one out and visible person to make a difference in someone’s life.

“But more important than that, I want young aces to know they’re not alone. I felt so isolated through much of my adolescence, and I think that if I had known of one other ace, I wouldn’t have felt as confused and alone as I did. So I want to be that one other ace for young people.”

Occasionally, coming out can be very cathartic.

“It was extremely liberating. I felt ecstatic for days.”

“All around it was a really great experience. I cried from happiness because it felt like a weight had lifted off my chest.”

One person says they came out because their friends were playing matchmaker.

“I came out to my friends because they kept trying to set me up on dates with people and it was getting annoying.”

Sometimes aces come out non-chalantly.

“I have come out to a few people I only know online. But not in any grand statement, just a passing comment that fit the topic.”

“It has always been incidental to a conversation, rather than something I set out to do.”

“I’m out to my mother and all my close friends. Some various people from my high school knew, and so do some various people at Uni. I never had a huge “coming out” so to speak.”

Others will write a letter.

“I sent her an email with a link to AVEN and she overall took it really well.”

“I did it through letters, so I didn’t have to say anything.”

Or a text message.

“On the day I had decided was my coming out day I texted my mother from the light rail station with, “So I’m a homoromatic asexual. I’ll still prolly identify as a lesbian in most situations however, because my sex life is not that many people’s business.” She responded with, “Okay. You know I love and support you. :)” ”

Sometimes they’ll use various forms of social media to broadcast it.

“Yes, I’ve come out individually and en-masse via youtube.”

“I came out on my Tumblr blog first, because I have very good and open-minded friends there. I then came out on Facebook to all of my friends and family and got mostly positive responses.”

“I made a limited visibility post about it on Facebook. The response was underwhelming, but at least there was nothing negative. I got one supportive comment from my mom and one like from a friend.”

“I made a post about asexuality, in which I mentioned at the end that I was aro/ace, and I linked to it on Facebook, and so it’s entirely possible that many people I haven’t come out to know. That was kind of scary, and I’m not sure I would have done it again, but there were a lot of useless news stories about asexuality coming out, and one of my college friends came out to our group as aromantic and clearly had only just heard of it, and I wanted to do my part to increase awareness.”

And a couple of people were drunk when it happened.

“I told some others when we were discussing relationships, boys, who was attractive at the party, etc. while drunk.”

“I came out once – to three of my closest friends. We were at a party and VERY drunk. My three friends were talking about sex, my drunk mind decided now was a good time to tell them that I was asexual, so I did. They slurred “we love ya”, hugged me and continued talking about sex.”

One person came out in two languages while having ice cream in a foreign country.

“I think my ultimate positive coming out experience was when I was in Japan, and I went to lunch with an American friend, a couple of Dutch friends, and their Japanese friends (who spoke limited English), and, due to a series of slightly hilarious circumstances involving Sherlock, I wound up outing myself first in English and then in Japanese (because the Japanese girls wanted to know why the conversation on our end of the table had suddenly gotten so intense). Not only was it an incredibly validating experience for me in terms of language proficiency (I think that once you are able to explain human sexuality in a foreign language, you are probably getting close to fluency), everyone was very supportive and took it well. And that was how I wound up explaining human sexuality in two languages over parfaits.”

And finally, one person even used my book to come out. (Available on Amazon and Kindle!)

“My parents know. I sent them an email with a link to your book one night. The next morning, when I woke up, my mom took me out to breakfast and talked about it with me. Both of my parents were very supportive.”

 

(Also take a look at the companion post about advice for coming out.)

32 thoughts on “Asexuals on Coming Out: Experiences

  1. I wish I knew your book even existed before coming out to my two sisters and my best friend. They laughed, told me I made it up, that I was afraid, that I havent met the right person yet, that I cant know anything if I never had sex… and I did not know hoy to properly reply to all those *hurtful* things so thank you very much for writing this book and running this website! Maybe I’ll get the courage to come out to them again!

    • My family made jokes about asexual bacteria and they wanted to know if I was gonna “spit out” an identical copy of myself. But my friends (most of them) were all super supportive and I’m actually happy with that turn of events so just know. It does get a helluva lot better!

  2. The only person that I’ve come out to so far as being asexual (and aromantic) was my best friend who was writing a story with me in it. She was talking about the next chapter and how she had given me a boyfriend in it and I burst out laughing. She was confused and demanded to know what was so funny, and when I told her the only thing she said was, “Well f***, now you’re ooc because I am NOT rewriting that chapter.”

  3. I haven’t came out to my parents about being asexual. I have told a couple of friends though and the majority of them were really accepting. The other half… not so much. I remember I was walking with a group of them back in my 2nd year of high school and they were talking about asexuality. I was not part of the conversation, only because I had not came out yet, and one of them was explaining what asexual was. He had said, “Asexuals don’t like ‘like’ people. They don’t like having sex with people.” I wanted to retaliate and tell him that he was completely wrong but before I could even open my mouth, another friend replied. She said, “Haha, so what? Do they like animals? That’s stupid.” I closed my mouth and quickly made sure to cut her from my life. I don’t know if she ever found out I was asexual from others afterwards but, yea.. never bothered to talk to her again. Thankfully, the friend who had explained it wrong educated himself about it after finding out that I was asexual and he’s completely okay with it. I also have another friend who comes to visit every once in a while (he lives in Florida) and constantly asks me if I’m still ‘that asexual shit.’ It’s really painful when people completely push you away or reject you. It is. But I’m glad for the friends who have accepted me for who I am. I’m hoping to come out to my parents soon. Hopefully they’ll understand.

  4. I’m pretty sure my mother is ragingly asexual so coming out to her would be fairly easy. The only problem is I’m rather confused about my sexuality and want to be completely sure when I do come out.

    • I want to come out to my family in the most epic way possible; therefore I want to make an amazing, delicious Coming Out cake. I want to frost atop of it my message of honor:
      “I’M ACE. Nailing my roof, NOT my partner since 2016”
      it’s great right? Hopefully I won’t be bombarded with Mitosis jokes for the rest of my life.

  5. I have not told my family, mostly because they will think I’m confused and not take me seriously. Most of my friends know even though I never directly said anything to them. They just asked and I confirmed their suspicions. They were nice about it. There were only two people who I flat out told, both were guys. One was a jerk about it and told me I needed to get laid. The other laughed, dismissed it, and said I was just afraid of change.

  6. I haven’t come out to anyone yet, but i might soon… I don’t know how anyone would react though because mostly everyone i know seems to be extremely sexual.

  7. I only just kind of figured out that I’m asexual, and I haven’t told my parents yet, but they support gays and lesbians, etc, so I hope that they’ll understand

  8. I never knew asexuality was a thing until I was talking to a friend about how I felt awkward not wanting to have sex with my husband, and she told me about asexuality. Since then I’ve realized that I am asexual, but coming out to my husband was very difficult. He still has trouble understanding, but he’s been very supportive.

    I’m a bit scared to come out to anyone else, since I’m already married and I feel they would just be confused.

  9. I came out as asexual to my close friends and family, today actually. I have always known about asexuality and have always thought that I could be, but never gave much thought to it. My parents have always supported my decisions in life regardless of their opinion on the matter. But for some reason, I was scared to come out to them. Then, I just did. I felt this huge urge to lift this weight off my shoulders and let people know I don’t think traditionally. They were extremely supportive and understanding. My mother even hinted that she thought I was asexual for a while now. Unlike most asexuals, I do not have the ability to have relationships with a perceived “sexual partner.” I am perfectly capable of having close, trusting friendships with either males or females, but I do not find either sex attractive and therefore, sex is out of the question. I identify more as a asexual than an aromantic. I have also came out to some close friends of mine, who as my parents were, not surprised at all and completely supportive. And I thought for the longest time something was wrong with me. Turns out I’m just wired a different way and am considered a minority among the sexual people. Coming out took a lot of internal struggle for me. I felt like I was trying to figure out who I really was, and I was scared that my family wouldn’t accept me. Boy was I wrong and I am so glad I came out to them. I feel like I can truly live me life and move on now that I have figured out who I am.

  10. My little sister guessed I was asexual after I explained to her what it meant to be gay (she heard me mention that one of my friends was gay) and continued to explain that besides being straight and gay some people were bi, she understood that pretty quickly but it took me some time to explain to her whar asexual meant, once she understood what it was she said “so people like you?” apparently my indeference to relationships made her think that, no one else seems to make the connection thus far.

  11. I’m generally pretty open in terms of who I tell about my sexual orientation (or lack thereof) but I’ve yet to tell my parents. I’ve mentioned asexuality to my mum once before but she dismissed the idea quite quickly. I told my older sister that I’m asexual and she, too dismissed it, asking me if I “even knew what asexual meant” and that I needed to find the right person. I was determined to get through to her, and I had a lengthy discussion with her (in which I ended up using an ice cream analogy to explain everything to her) and now I finally think she’s accepted it. To be perfectly honest, it was more important that my sister understood than my parents. My dad? Well, I’m not that bothered. We’re close, but I don’t think it’s something that particularly affects our relationship so I don’t think he’d be that bothered even if I did tell him. As for my mum, she’s finally accepted that she won’t be getting grandkids from me, so I reckon that’s a start

  12. I discovered asexuality/gray-asexuality/demisexuality maybe a year or so before college. I’ve been with my fiancé for seven and a half years, but to this day I’m still not 100% sure whether I feel sexual attraction towards him, as I’ve nothing to compare it to. However, I came out to him soon after I found out what it was (so about… four-ish years ago?), and he was very accepting. It made no difference to him! Since then, I’ve been out and open about my asexuality/demisexuality to everyone except my family. Originally, I just figured “they know I’m marrying a man, that’s all they need to know.” But I doubt I’d get any good reactions from any family members not in my generation. My paternal grandparents have both passed away, and my maternal grandparents are both VERY Christian and conservative. I’m not sure what my father’s reaction would be, but my mother doesn’t even believe bisexuals exist (*facepalm*). Maybe one day I’ll come out to my younger brother or my little cousins. We’ll see.

  13. Actually I truly came out only to my mother and my therapist. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a good decision, but over time, I started to be sure that this is true. My mother’s reaction was “All right. That will save us a lot of potential problems. If you have any doubts, just ask.” I didn’t talk about it too much yet on my therapy, just in context of falling in love and relationships (once fallen in love, no relationships to date). I didn’t tell my friends… I just suggested. They are quite suspicious, however, since the situations when I was dodgin girls trying to hug and/or kiss me. They laugh that that I’m a “Chick Magnet Who Rejects Every One Of Them”. Well I’m still not sure about my romantic attraction, is it heteroromantic, biromantic or aromantic.
    Two more persons know that I’m asexual, my father and my younger sister. I told them in anger, and It wasn’t the best of ideas. My father is, what you would describe as ‘hypersexual”. He kept asking me about the girls in my school, at the university, why I haven’t a girlfriend, why I didn’t have sex yet (I’m 22 by the way). He tried a couple of times to arrange for me some kind of meeting, he even asked his friends to help him find a woman for me, these sort of things. Once, half a year ago, when I was in his appartment on the balcony, he was yelling at me and kept shouting “Why the fuck, can’t you be normal, like everybody else?” So I told him, that I think that I’m asexual. That was his berserk button, for a moment he wanted to push me from the balcony. Now his calmer but he keeps calling me dirty liar, or telling me that when I will find the right person, I will know…
    I don’t want to talk about my sister, apart from the fact that she is like a tape recorder – when she knows something, expect that all her friends would also know. And call you a freak 9before they thought that I am maintaning a secret harem).

    But the worst is myself. I simply can’t accept what, who, how , why I am. It hurts. I know how I feel, or more precisely, what i don’t feel, and that’s about it. It is really hard to write all this, but I feel relief and I’m happy to share my experiences and find that I’m not alone.

  14. I want to come out to my brothers, both are accepting people. One of them I’m sure is fine with most everything and the other’s best friend gay I have no idea if either of them know of asexuality. They’re both in college so I don’t get to see them a lot but they’re such big parts of my life I want to tell them that I’m a aro/ace, and I think this has helped in a reasuring way.

  15. I’m suspecting that I’m asexual heteroromantic but I’m still not quite sure yet. But I don’t think I will ever come out if I am, because my parents are just so unaccepting of anything other than heterosexuality. They think people become gay because of the way they were brought up, and that it’s not good, and that they have to be “cured” by having sex with the opposite gender and stuff. I don’t want to put a label on myself, because there’s so much more to me than just my sexuality.

  16. I told my friends and they were all really supportive of me. I tried talking about it with my sister and se said it was fake, made up, that it was just celibacy, that asexual people can’t date, and that she hoped I wasn’t asexual. This bothered me becaus I thought out off all of my family she would be the most accepting. I can’t tell my dad though because he is constantly talking about how wrong the LGBTQ+ community is and my mom would probably find me a therapist.

  17. I was fortunate, iv always been a loner and never had many friends. I found out about 6 months ago that I’m ace but known my whole life that I’d never get married. I first told my mom and she was cool with it, then I told 3 of my friends who iv been friends with for long. I have two other friends who are very Christian minded. When I brought up the one day that I don’t find women or men attractive in a joking way she spoke to my mom and said ma SHE wants a lighter, this kinda showed me she’s closed minded calling me she and has often times put people of the LGBTQ community down, guess il come out one day to my two friends. It was cool that my mom supports me, she thought I was guy cuz of zero interest in women, so fully accepts me being ace.

  18. I have identified as asexual for about 3 years now, questioning another 4 years before that and had the ‘symptoms’ for it as long as I could remember. It was and is frightening…I come from a community that is anti gender and sexuality really…any thing that is not cis /and/ straight was considered to be against the word of God. Therefore; immoral, wrong, disgusting and downright not allowed. It was all I ever knew before I realized that there was something different about me.

    Recently my parents have set me up with a man. In the religion and culture, dating is heavily formal…marriage is brought on to the table and should be considered from the start. I knew a day like this would come, where I would be pressured to get married and have sex despite me not wanting to, inorder to please him and have kids. I hoped that perhaps I would finish my university degree,have enough balls and money to move out and live my aro ace life with my adopted children.

    He is a good man…fits all the criteria. Everything would work fine – it has worked for many girls in the community as well. Moreover I was given privileges that allowed me to go out alone with the guy without supervision. Everything should have worked out…except my sexuality. I couldn’t come out, not with everyone, including him, declaring that homosexuality and ‘others’ were unforgivable.

    But I did. I have depression and GAD and for the past while, suicidal. Still am really. With pressures of school (grades not so well, go me), lack of self worth and others, the idea that I will likely have to get married to a person that I cannot love, be pressured to have sex and more just sent me more into a tail spin.

    So I decided to come out. With a lot to my mother. The last thing being my sexuality.

    The mention of the word sent her to mutter for forgiveness to God due to the fact that people like us fill the planet. She told me that because I never told her when I first learned about it (had to learn it by myself when I was trying to figure out why I was so different), she wasn’t able to put a stop to it.

    She tells me to train myself to like it, men, marriage and sex. That I will just have to get use to the sex and more to eventually want it. That I myself brainwashed this idea in my head and caused me to believe it. My dad, still unaware, tells me that I must get married and that adoption is impossible – God created a man and woman to get married to prevent sin. Meaning that I must pleasure my husband and bear children. My mother makes me read prayers, telling me read a few over 40 times for God to fix me. She prays over me and constantly reminds me of the fact that it is all in my head.

    and I just came out a little over a week ago.

    My parents have cried over me saying that they regret sending me away for University and not to one close to home. That I will destroy the family with my different ways of thinking. That my depression and asexuality is from my lack of faith, that I am not strong or smart for not coming out from it. That they plan of sending me to a mental health specialist to get rid of my asexuality. I have to limit outside friends because they have no faith and will influence me, if they haven’t already. They are my only support I have.

    In the end, I don’t really blame anyone but myself. They give me a lot, but I cannot deliver what I was told to do.

    Suicide is always said that it is permanent solution to a temporary problem

    But with no money, little to no support (an entire community that I grew up in is against anything like me) and no finished degree, I wouldn’t have enough for a future. And when family means the world to me, I cannot live with the fact that I disappointing everyone and ruined their lives.

    Why should I continue?

    I was told that if I do anything like deviating from the religion or culture, then I am a mistake and that they failed in raising me. I was threatened to be disown despite them loving me with every fibre of their being. I saw my father cry and breakdown for the first time because he thought he went wrong with me. He wants whats best for me. He wants to know that he did not fail as a parent.

    He didn’t. Again, I just blame myself. Nothing was anyones fault – I am just different when I shouldn’t be.

    I don’t see things changing unless I do what they say. But I’ll be depressed with the lifestyle I have to stick with until I die.

    So is there really any point of sticking around…?

    • People will miss you, in this life and the next. God made you this way for a reason. You are meant to do something great with yourself. He gave you a challenge because he knows you can take it. You can be hope for others who are in similar situations. You’re not broken, you’re not mislead, you’re special just the way God made you. You have to hold on and persevere because you can make it. If you’re a little over half way to the finish line, why give up? Ask God to help you know what to do and ask him to help you’re family to understand. At times like these, it’s easy to make a wrong decision, so you have to ask for help from the only one who knows the right solution. You can do it. I hope do. I hope you did.

  19. I’m fairly certain that my mother thinks I’m lesbian. I occasionally read up on/ bingewatch stuff within different theme. Last summer I had suddenly gotten five new friend of whom three were bi, and two were lesbian, so I found it appropriate to be educated on the matter. (FYI, I think I may have very light autism, so I may have some weird ways of rationalising, or seing stuff, but bear with me) My mom walked in on me watching a video of some random person coming out, and with maybe five tabs of “different pride flags” and “all the sexualities” type themes. She being the Ignorant bastard she is, she looked at the computer, looked at me, and backed out of my room. She didn’t look me in the eye for about a month.
    I am both aro, and ace, and I’ve come out to all my best friends, more in a “do you have a crush on anyone?” “nope, never had one, I’m ace, well, ace AND aro” and then being over that. I don’t think anyone really cared, the only response was from the chillest of them, who went “huh, makes sense” and moved on. (I have had ONE crush in my entire life, and that was on Harry Potter, from I was five, till thirteen years old. Harry Potter, NOT Daniel Radcliffe.)
    I’m not sure if I will come out to my parents, or just let them think that I’m lesbian. I will probably do it at some point, but as I don’t see any reason for coming out to them, and it’s not a big deal to me, so I think I’ll let their narrow-minded asses get used to the idea of homosexuality, before I boggle their minds with Asexuality, AND Aromanticism.
    Oh, and all my queer friends are referred to by my mother as “those ‘special’ friends of yours” so I think it serves her right
    It might be rude, but I really don’t care

  20. I just came out a second time to my mom. The first time I told that a friend described me as asexual and I ‘jokingly’ asked my mom what she thought (hoping she would get the hint.) She started laughing mainly because she considered the friend (who used the term asexual) a “crunchy sock”. Someone who didn’t have a great personality and could potentially ruin another person’s personality (just like a crunchy/dirty sock would make other socks dirty). The second time she thought I was joking because I’m fairly young but growing up fast. She still accepted me and said that no matter what I was, she loved me. I think she was relieved that I’m asexual and not anything else because a lot of other things are against our religion, though she would still love me. I plan on coming out to my favorite aunt soon. Some of my friends know. But, I feel like I won’t feel relieved for as long as my dad doesn’t know. He’s very traditional and I asked him what he thought about lesbians (he said it’s wrong) then I asked him about asexuals and he flipped. Then I explained and he admitted that he didn’t know what it meant. If I admitted it to him, he wouldn’t understand and he would be upset and probably unwilling to listen. I will tell him one day, but it won’t be soon. Until then, gosh… the suspense!

  21. First of all, thanks for this post. It feels nice to read other people’s experiences and suggestions, it’s nice to know we’re not alone :)
    I’ve been thinking of coming out for a while now… I feel like I have to come out to my brother (we are only two and I’m the eldest so I’m pretty much a model for him (I don’t mean this in a conceited way, just that I entered school before him, had the homework before him, etc. so I’m sort of like a draft of a map he can look at if he needs guidance)), and our family doesn’t really talk about sex/sexuality (it’s not a taboo exactly, but it isn’t talked about if there’s no need to). I don’t want my brother to think he’s weird because he feels things that I don’t, and I don’t want him to think he isn’t normal if he does feel those things. (He’s thirteen and has a crush while I’ve never even had a crush) I don’t doubt my being asexual, nor do I regret it (it fits so much better than “heterosexual who just isn’t interested in sex”!), but when I think of my brother I feel a bit guilty. I know it’s not my fault, that he has to live his own experiences, but still. I would like to tell him (I feel like I owe it to him).
    I would also like to tell my parents, because I don’t like it being a huge secret. I want to browse asexual content (like this site!) without having to keep checking over my shoulder and clearing the search history every time… I want to be out to them, to stop having to hide anything I do related to being ace, but I don’t know how to come out. We read about bisexuality and being trans* in the newspaper, and I had to explain that it happens, it’s normal, etc. I know they would be supportive (eventually), but I know that I would have to explain asexuality in depth. I don’t know where to start, and I I’m debating letter vs face to face.
    Any ideas on how to bring it up (with an adult and/or with a 13 year old), come out, or anything else?

    • Finally! After hours of writing and rewriting. Here is a plan I have created to help you so you feel less nervous than I did when I came out to my mom. You don’t have to follow these steps, but I really do suggest them. Let me know if you have any questions. If you try this and is does work, please let me know. It would mean a great deal if I could help someone the way I wished someone helped me. Also, I’m sorry if there are typos and stuff, it’ super late… or should I say early?

      STEP 1- Be confident. I know that it’s easier said than done, but to make it seem more achievable, let’s say “Be yourself”. Of all the things you can be, just be yourself because that means you can be anything and everything and you can be you. (But I don’t wanna give people the wrong idea, so be yourself as long as it doesn’t harm anyone)

      STEP 2- Learn. Go to the library and gather as much info as you can on the computers there if your public library has comp. (this will help with your web history problem). You want to be able to answer as many questions as your family members will have for you and researching will help you remember even if you already know. Try studying what you know too, not just acquiring new info.

      STEP 3- Imagine confessing to your family about your asexuality. How would you do it?(I suggest face to face) What info would you include? Where and when would you tell them? These are all things to consider. Imagine different scenarios where you do different things and imagine how you would handle each situation. Practice this and when you do come out, it’ll feel a lot more natural to explain things.

      STEP 4- Find a time and place to tell your family and when you’re ready, go for it. Be yourself. Also, I think it’s important that you tell all of your family. Your brother should know about your asexuality since it is a big part of who you are. You can’t be you if you aren’t true to yourself. So be confident, be yourself, and let the people who matter know who you are and what you’re capable of.

      • This is more than I could have imagined, thank you so much for taking the time to answer me so thoroughly, your kindness means a lot to me. :) These are great tips which I will definately follow. I have yet to come out, I’m waiting for a good time, but I’ll tell you how it goes!

        • I did it!! Went really well overall, a bit more “but why do you need labels, just live your life without closing any doors…” And “but you’re young, that might change ” than I would have liked but nobody’s mad/closed minded and my brother gave me a fist bump. Thanks so much for the advice and support!

          • I got the same “why labels?” and “you’ll probably change”, too. You have no idea how happy I am to help you! It took me hours to revise a well thought out plan and to see it come out pretty successfully is just amazing. I’m so glad I could help a fellow ace. Good luck to you in life and may you live happily and freely. Again, congrats!

  22. Well, I came out to a number of people this summer. First, my sister, who just shrugged it off and said “I’m not even that surprised”. Then, my mom, who also wasn’t too surprised. I felt neutral with my first kiss, which she learned about prior. She’s a conservative, so I was a little afraid, but it worked out well. Sometimes she even brags about it, comparing me to the “snobby hoes” in my town!

    Now, a number of my cousins, my mom’s boyfriend, some of his friends, and probably other people know. My father doesn’t know, but he’s never really been a father figure to me. He’s more like a distant uncle who’s fun until he drinks over his limit.

    Once I finish my education, I plan to buy sperm from a clinic. Because I will only have one income, I needed a cheaper alternative to adoption. (Sperm usually costs about $3,000 per treatment, which is affordable on a realistic salary).

  23. The way I’ve done this has pretty much always been casual and uncaring, and I’ve had adequate success. I first came out to a fellow on the internet, with whom I engaged in intellectual conversations with, and he got excited to have finally met an ace. He also knew enough about it to not ask questions that I couldn’t answer. The next person was my best friend, and he simply responded with “oh, that makes sense”. And then there’s my mum, who just sort of passed it off. I haven’t told my dad yet, but he already knows I have no interest in a relationship and fully supports that, but he isn’t too accepting of those kinds of terms.
    Really, the only difficulty would be the prospect of marriage. My peers and extended family tend to poke at the notion with every chance they get and laugh it off when I say I’m not interested. On the other hand, if I did get married, I’d need it to be platonic – I absolutely will not have sex with that person, to me that is unthinkable and traumatizing. So unless I can find another suitable asexual (or at least someone who doesn’t mind dying a virgin), I’ll enjoy my solitude but have to deal with these people for eternity…
    Oh, and of course the males who try to crawl their way out of the friend zone. That’s a bit of a nuisance.

  24. well i came out to my friend through sherlock . id heard sherlock was ace so i said that then ‘like me’ on instagram dms.

    she seems to have accepted me though?
    not sure
    this happened when the last episode came out

    but im mainly closeted i guess

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