ace, asexual, asexuality, coming out, coming out to friends, dating, identity, intersectionality, kelli miller, relationships, second opinions
"I’ve recently realized that I’m grey-a, bordering on full ace. However right around this realization has come the beginnings of my first romantic relationship… and I don’t know how to explain things to my Person. Do you have any suggestions for how not to make a huge problematic deal out of this?"
-Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Kelli Miller as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions
Congratulations on figuring yourself out and your new relationship! This sort of thing can be hard, because, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, you don’t quite know what kind of reaction to expect from your Person (Going to use your language. Hope that’s OK!). People don’t know a lot about asexuality, unfortunately, which can lead to some confusion. I don’t think it should be seen as a “huge problematic deal” to share yourself with them, but I get the need to ease someone into it if it feels like sensitive territory. I think your best bet is to clear up some of the details before coming out to your Person.
What I’m saying is that I think there needs to be a way to educate them without blurting out that it’s you you’re talking about. What you can do is find some articles online, videos, or blogs on tumblr (there are more than a few!) that talk about asexuality and bring them up in conversation.
I’m not going to pretend this is an easy thing to do, of course. It’s just one of the few ways I can think of dropping hints. Start off small with definitions. Talk about how there’s this part of the population that identifies with the term and say what it is. Given your identity, try to emphasize that asexuality is on a spectrum. See if you can get your Person to ask questions. I think it would help to make it sound like it’s something you’re very excited about talking about, if it isn’t already, so that they can see that it carries some weight. Don’t go overboard, but you know, show that it’s definitely something that resonates with you in some way. That way, it has less of a chance of sounding like you’re just mentioning stories. This process is very much up to you in its execution, like much of this really is.
Eventually, once you’ve briefed your Person over what asexuality is, you can take them aside and start into what it means to you. Hopefully, your Person won’t be blindsided, as you’ve been talking about this before. This is the important part. You can tell them about aspects of your identity that are important to you and why you think it is important to bring it up in the context of a relationship. Maybe you don’t want to have sex. Maybe you feel like you could eventually have sex once the attraction is there. Asexuality is diverse, so whatever it is, identify what it you need to say and communicate it. Be true to yourself, you know?
Remember to tell yourself that sharing your feelings shouldn’t be seen as a problem in a relationship as you go along, by the way. I understand not wanting to make it into an ordeal, but finally finding a time to share this about yourself can feel more complicated if you feel as though you’re causing a problem. This is you, and I’m sure you’re an amazing person who is with someone else who finds you amazing. Do what is best for you, because that should be what you and your Person want for you. Try not to fret too much. You never know, you might be surprised by their reaction. You can do this!
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