5. Tell the story of the first person you came out to.
I actually came out to two people at once the first time I came out. They’d been there when I was actually working out I was Asexual and Aromantic, so it wasn’t as surprising to them as it has been to some people I’ve come out to.
However, the story of my first coming out needs a little backstory.
I first learnt of asexuality just after the first episode of ‘Sherlock’ aired in the UK, which, now that I look back on it, was late July (I’ve always remembered it as being around September, probably because of reasons in this post). I was unfamiliar with the term, and so, like any modern person with access to the internet, I googled it.
The first result was AVEN (I’m not sure if it still is). I clicked on it, and then spent the next few hours reading everything I could. I then spent the next few days reading more about asexuality whenever I had unfettered access to the internet.
For those first few weeks, I didn’t actually totally identify as asexual. I’m not sure why, but if I can boil down my thought process it was something along the lines of “There’s no way that all these people can feel the same way as me. I must be wrong about myself. What if I’m actually just a freak?” etc etc.
It wasn’t logical, but there you go. I never claimed to be all that logical.
Anyway, I eventually decided that yeah, I actually was asexual, not broken, and began ‘feeling out’ what that meant to me. (I’m still working that out, by the way. I suspect I always will be.)For those trying to keep track, I decided that I was actually asexual and aromantic (probably) around the end of august.
And then I did nothing.
Well, ok, I exaggerate a bit. I read more AVEN boards, and lurked around there. I read some blogs, and generally lurked around the asexual sections of the internet. But I didn’t talk to any of my friends about it, and I certainly didn’t talk to my parents about it.
Anyway, I would have gone along like this for a fair bit longer, if it weren’t for Asexual Awareness Week. I say a mention of it on one of the boards I was reading, and got curious. Then I read about it. Then I thought about it. Then I read some more. And then it was Asexual awareness week, and I couldn’t let it go by without mentioning it to someone, even if they didn’t know exactly why I was talking about it.
So I wished a few of my friends happy asexual awareness week, explained very broadly what asexuality was, and thought nothing more of it.
And then it got to nearly mid way through the last term (September, hence why I remember discovering I was asexual in September last year), and I decided that ‘fuck it, I’m coming out, and if my friends don’t react well I've only got a few more weeks left at high school anyway. I’ll make new friends at uni.’
So decided, I came out to everyone I knew, and all the other people at my school.
With a parade and flowers. And unicorns. Ridden by flaming longcats who summoned Cthulhu by beating drums made from the skins of dead trolls.
(if you believe that, I’ve got an opera house to sell you!)
Honestly though, I decided I’d come out and then didn’t for a few weeks. Every day, I’d wake up, think to myself ‘today is the day! Today, you LEAP out of that closet*’ and then spend the rest of the day...not leaping.
Eventually I did come out (obviously), but I did so at a time and location that was possibly not the best I could have chosen.
I actually came out to two of my friends halfway through a graphics class. Right in the middle of the classroom. While the room was in near dead silence.
Yeah. I’m not quite sure how I managed that either.
Anyway, I came out mid-conversation. We were talking about...something. I’m not actually sure anymore, it could have been the price of honey in 14th century Russia for all I know. So we were talking, and then we got onto relationships, and then we were talking about what we wanted for the future and then...I realised. ‘There will never be a better conversation for this. DO IT NOW’.
So I did.
I can remember saying to D** and M** that actually, I didn’t want to get married, or have a partner. I’m fairly sure I said something along the lines of “I’m actually asexual. An Aromantic asexual to be exact. I’m fairly sure you guys didn’t know that – now can we move on to D’s wedding train made from ducks?”
So, I was feeling pretty unsure of myself then. And then my friends, who are wonderful people, just looked at me. And then they said “We know. That’s cool. D’s wedding train will be made entirely from ducks, tied together with ribbon.”***
I was touched, and also slightly flabbergasted. How had they known? How long had they known? I asked them, and the replied that it’d been “Fairly obvious since you’d wished us a happy asexual awareness week****”
So that was my first coming out. In the middle of a class, to two of my friends.
*So I still haven’t leapt out of the closet. I’m not actually sure if it’s possible. littlepaperfrogs has a good article on it here. I’m just lucky that I’ve got a few people passing me lamps down here in the basement.
**Again, names changed. Don’t know, ask me and you may find out.
***I’m making the conversation up a bit here. I’m not actually sure what we were talking about to do with relationships. However, the image of this particular friend with a train of ducks as her wedding train is kind of hilarious.
****This makes me wonder why my mother doesn’t know I’m asexual- I wished her a happy asexual awareness week. Admittedly, her reaction to that is part of the reason I’m not out to her yet****, but still.
*****Let’s just say the DSM was discussed, and leave it at that.