Although I’ve a blog about asexuality I’m not officially out to anyone close to me, only the friends I met through online asexual sites who are some of my good friends now, my family and other few friends don’t know.
What I wanted to know is are you out? And if so how did you go about doing this, what reactions did you get? If not, are you thinking of coming out? If not why?
It annoys me how straight people don’t really need to come out, and its taken as a given, argh don’t get me started.
There was a good quote on here:
“So if you’re gay and you come out of the closet… do you come out of a cake if you’re asexual?”
So I am out to all of my friends at my undergrad university, most of the people I knew before that, and my nuclear family. My extended family, no. (No one on my dad’s side gets to know for reasons of not being likely to deal well, and on my mom’s side it’s just not really an issue right now and I haven’t particularly wanted to deal with it.) I have not gotten around to outing myself to the friends I am making at my new institution yet, but that will probably happen sometime in the next few months. I have also stood up in front of a crowd of strangers and encouraged them to ask me about asexuality lots of times. Oh, and I wear a shirt saying that I’m asexual in great big letters pretty frequently, albeit not to work. I got complimented on that one by my dog trainer a few weeks ago. So there’s that.
Historically I have generally taken what I call the Toothache Wolverine approach to coming out. That is, I decide that a person needs to know now dammit, haul the conversation over to sexuality via any route that is even remotely justifiable, and formally out myself complete with definition while also being approximately as cranky as the eponymous wolverine. (The crankiness is partly a reaction to feeling uncomfortable and tense and partly a strategy designed to reduce concern trolling or people feeling that this is something up for question.)
Generally reactions to this are fairly good, although people sometimes get the wrong idea about whether I am willing to help with questions they have about it (usually yes). There have been exceptions, but I don’t know that the style in which I came out would have changed anything there.
I came out to my mother in the middle of a screaming fight about my gender presentation, which I really do not recommend doing. I’m still sorting out my parents’ relationship to me over my sexuality right now, so I’m not going to discuss that too much more here.
Currently I am attempting to defuse the crankiness and take the “assume they already know” approach, in which I pretend they already know everything and if they need clarification they can ask, and mention ace-related pieces of my history whenever they occur to me. This is not working all that well for the moment, largely because it requires dealing with a long habit of mistrust, but I’m working on it.
(It is also not working well right now because I keep saying things I think are unremarkable to my cohort mates and getting treated like I told them I coat myself in peanut butter and dance naked on my balcony every full moon, and that makes it harder for me to want to share something about myself that I actually expect people to react weirdly or badly to. But that’s a different story.)
When I have used this one in the past it’s worked awesomely, though! It’s a more stress-free method of coming out than the more formal one I got used to using in the past. Works better when there’s a chance that your intended recipient has ever encountered asexuality before, though.