In my last post on asexuality and family I actually left out a rather important detail. Now that I’ve checked with someone to make sure that they don’t mind me talking about them here, I’d like to make up for that deficiency.
Strictly speaking, I’ve actually come out to very few people as asexual. The first were people in the local AVEN meetup group: that doesn’t really count as coming out since I was talking to other asexuals, asexuals who were also complete strangers to me at the time. That was almost a year ago. I now have a number of friends who know that I’m asexual too, but none of them actually found out about it first from me. For instance, one of them found out because she happened to read the program of the asexuality workshop which a friend and I gave at Pervers/Cité a few months back: she simply recognized our names and knew, and I afterwards confirmed for her what she already knew. (She is, by the way, an awesome person, and has also since helped us with organizing a number of other local visibility events.)
There is actually only one person to whom I have ever gone out of my way to tell about my being asexual, and that is my sister. This happened nearly a year ago. I’d gone home to visit my family and, since my sister is someone I know I can trust with this sort of thing, I figured that I’d tell her I was asexual. After all, I wanted someone to know. Of course, I didn’t feel like just blurting it out at random either. I waited for an appropriate opportunity to arise. One came when we were talking about a course I’d taken a few years earlier on matters of sex and gender in Ancient Greece, since it led to the discussion of the concept of sexual orientation in general and also the LGBT movement. Realizing that a suitable occasion had made its appearance, I prepared myself to discuss my own asexuality, which is something I’d never done with a non-asexual before at that point. It turns out that I wasn’t going to then either, because my sister began to discuss her own asexuality! Like me, I can safely say that she did not expect her interlocutor to be so familiar with the idea, nor did she expect that person to say, “Me too.” It was a pleasant surprise, but since it caught us both unawares we didn’t talk much more about it until the next time I visited, once we realized that what had happened really had happened. It was rather surprising to learn that there had been another asexual so close all along. (It also raises interesting questions about the aetiology of asexuality, although it sure doesn’t do much to answer them!)
I’m glad to be able to end that post on family on a more genuinely happy note than I did previously.