Happy Pride Month
For a long, long time, I thought something was wrong with me.
I listened to how the kids around me talked about their crushes at school and didn't understand what they were talking about. I didn't feel the same way about anyone. I tried very, very hard to understand what others were talking about and pretended just as hard to have the same feelings. I did a bad job of it by some of the weird looks I got.
I loved the idea of romance. I watched old Cary Grant movies religiously. I totally had a crush on him, but my imaginings, even as a teenager, never went beyond what I saw on the screen.
I had a crush on one boy throughout school, but I look back and realize it was mostly because I picked him because he looked cool in his heavy metal t-shirts and long hair. If he would be my boyfriend, then I would be cool, too. My imaginings never went beyond walking through the hall with him holding my hand and people thinking how cool we were.
I never talked to him.
I did get obsessed with both boys and girls who were older than me in school, but in the "I WANT TO BE AS COOL AS THEM AND WEAR FUNKY CLOTHES AND CUT MY HAIR WEIRD-" but not in the "I WANT THEM TO LOVE ME AND KISS ME AND-"
My abuser (who would’ve never let me date anyway) was convinced I was a lesbian. I wondered if he was right since I didn't find any of the boys around me crush-worthy. Then I realized I didn't find any of the girls crush-worthy either. My abuser's label stuck on me for so long that when I told one brother years later I was getting married, he said, "To a girl?" He'd never seen me crush on a girl, date a girl, kiss a girl, etc...but my total lack of interest in dating had reinforced my abuser's verdict on my sexuality. Of course, since we were raised Fundamentalist this was seen as a "bad" thing about me.
At the same time, people praised me for my purity. Which I didn't think I actually had since I'd been abused. I "knew" I was ruined goods, so purity wasn't an issue, though I did mourn it. I just didn't like anyone enough to let them touch me. Why should I let some guy kiss me and feel me up if I didn't feel attracted to him? When I sat in youth group and listened to kids talk about hard it was for them to wait until marriage, I wondered why they were all so slutty? I found it really damn easy to wait. (I was far too judgmental at this time).
I did have romantic/sexual relationships in adulthood, but those I could fit on one hand. I'm sad to admit, a lot of that was me deliberately forcing myself out of my comfort zone and trying to be "normal." These relationships were always with men.
I tried so, so hard to be “normal.” Throughout my life I rarely felt instant "sparks" with anyone. I can think of two times. Once, I met this one woman and felt like I KNEW her. It was the strangest thing and left me unsettled. I wanted to sit down and talk to her about it but chickened out. I look back now and wonder, "Was that attraction?" The second time was when I saw my future husband and something about him called out to me. I wanted to know him but didn't talk to him for almost a year until a mutual acquaintance introduced us. After that, we were instantly good friends, which lead to our relationship developing over time.
I love my husband more than I imagined possible. He means so much to me. Romance, sexual desire, etc, comes naturally to me when I'm around him. At least my version of it. I married "late" in life and I'm glad I never took people's advice to just "settle" and get on with life. I waited and I'm so glad I did.
It wasn't until I was in my forties that I found out what asexuality is and how it is a spectrum. I remember crying as I realized I was never broken. I was just different and trying to fit into society's mold for me. I am on the asexual spectrum, but I am not sex-repulsed. I just rarely felt sexual attraction or romantic feelings. Because of how rarely I felt romantic or sexual attraction throughout my life, I now hesitate to call myself straight. If my spouse had been a woman, I suspect I would have still had the same feelings. What I love about him is very internal, about who he is, but I also think he's a hottie. 🙂
There are asexual people in each category of LGBT+. Sometimes it takes them longer to discover their truth. That is why Pride Month is so important. Enlightenment comes with knowledge. By sharing personal stories, younger generations might discover their truth sooner so they won't feel "broken" or "abnormal." Hopefully, Pride will foster a more accepting atmosphere in society, so people can have a healthier coming out process and better support systems.
Much love to all my LGBT friends, family, readers, and writers. Love is love.