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aro_elise

coming out again

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so i was with my roommate and our friend, and we were having some personal chats, asking questions and all that, and i asked them to describe romantic attraction.  this was met with the same dissatisfying answer i've gotten from everyone i've asked: basically like a combination of "emotional" and "physical" attraction--what i know as 'platonic' and 'sexual', apparently--but stronger.  i'm like, my dudes, you're not giving me anything new.  you're saying it's different (from what i experience) but you're not describing anything different.  i got so into this discussion that my friends started to get suspicious--all i'd said previously was that i didn't really date, wasn't very romantic, etc.--so i casually mentioned i'm aro.  (this is how most of my comings-out go: i'm backed into a corner and it's easier just to do it.  once my friend asked in a convo with his classmates "aren't you asexual?" so i had to clear that up--turned out one girl was actually questioning, herself; the other contributed the classic "that's how i felt before i met my bf".)  anyway, my friend stated that he believed it was possible to be aromantic and agreed i was.  i told him not everyone is so cool about it, and thanked him.  the one uncool thing he'd said was the following, after i equated my love for my best friend to the sort he seemed to be describing: "i think you're romantically attracted to your friend."  ohhhh man, like, do you not love your friends very much or something?  i would do anything for her and i'll never get tired of her, therefore we've surpassed mere best-friendship?  good god, man, we've known each other 13 years, what am i supposed to be--ambivalent?  i cleared that one right up.  anyway, if you guys have had any similar coming out experiences (or different), i'd be glad to hear them.  my favourite is still when i told my good friend, after only my bf at the time and my parents (she's gay and told me early on, too) and she said excitedly "i can see that!"  always a roll of the dice, isn't it?  

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This question made me realize that I am not out to that many people. I'm out to my mom, I've never felt the need to come out to my dad because he's the only person who doesn't seem to need labels in order to accept/understand me as a person, and I don't think I'm "hiding" anything from him. I came out to my mom on an intense car ride where I asked her to stop inquiring about my love life because it's not relevant (we have a lot of those.) and she asked me about several male friends of mine, and when I'm just going to "choose one", and stop denying that I was just friends with all 4 of my male friends (which I was). I said that she didn't have to worry about them, when I say I'm going to hang out I'm literally just going to hang out. I don't remember what exactly I said to her, but I explained that I was aromantic and what that meant. She got so sad, she told me my brother also came out as ace (though I suspect him to be aro/ace) to her, and just wanted to know "what she did to make us this way". 

 

I sporadically come out to random people who really aren't affected at all by this information. 

 

I came out at work (all queer women.) after I spent three weeks internalizing my moms comment about whether I'm aro or just gay. Which in fact I realized I wasn't gay (my best friend confirmed this weekend ; i told her the whole thing and she was like "dude I'm gay everyone you know is gay, you're not gay you'd know."), and just aro af. I told my job at our staff meeting about my identity crisis with my sexuality, then concluded with "so please don't ask about my sexual/romantic life it doesn't matter, and it does not dictate who I love. ". They received it really well, and nothing changed in our relationships.

 

I lost one of my best friends (I as actually heartbroken for weeks) after coming out. he called me "another one of those selfish, ultra liberal, tumblr bitches." turns out he just wanted to fuck me (he was in it for the long haul apparently.). 

 

Monday I came out to my friend in one of my classes because it was relevant to a story I was telling, and she literally said "yo dude me too." wtf right?

 

so some downs, but some gems.

 

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This is an interesting topic.  I also realized I'm not out to many people as aro.  I'm nonbinary trans, and I am out to a lot of people about that (but never coworkers, not until I have legal protections, which don't exist or are unenforceable in the US).  I'm also very involved in a polyamory community, and I'm out to fewer people about that than I am about being trans, but more than I am about being aro.  The only one of these three I'm out to my family for is being trans.

 

My closest friend (who is very cishet allo and mono) reacted with the same sensitivity and kindness she always does, which is why she's my closest friend.  But she really doesn't understand it.  None of my friends, besides people I've met here, are aro, and it's lonely to feel like most the people I'm close to don't understand what I'm experiencing.

 

Though, I guess for a lot of my relationships, being aro just isn't an issue that needs to be discussed.  I'm not going to be intimate with them, and I either don't trust them to the point where I want to reveal those sorts of things, or talking about intimacy isn't a part of those relationships.  But I think I would like to be out to more people than I am about being aro.  I definitely think some people will be dismissive of it, more than were dismissive about me being nonbinary.

 

Mostly though I just want our society to be more sensitive to the needs of aros, and not to devalue the kinds of relationships that aros thrive on.  And it's really hard to talk about that in a meaningful way without being out about it.

 

I guess what I want more than feeling comfortable being out is meaningful connection with people who validate or even celebrate my experience, whether it's similar or different compared to theirs.

 

Add that to The Aro Agenda.

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I missed a good opportunity to come out to some friends recently. One of them brought up asexuality, but I had some strong comments yet to make about respect and predatory sexual behaviour. Plus I may have been quite a bit freaked out about finding out that my friend was the thin barrier between other friends becoming rapist and sexual assault survivor. It was a bad conversation. I wasn't really in the right frame of mind to come out. 

 

I still think the best reaction was my friend who instantly apologised in case they ever made me feel uncomfortable in the past. wow, did I strike gold with that friend or what!

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