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thoughts on comming out, with no label.


Natkat
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Hello, I am sorry this is long.

 

So, I been thinking if I should come out to more people than those few I am out with now. 

(Just to make clear I don't want to come out to my family, only friends and such.)

 

Why do I want to come out? I don't know, but in general I consider myself a pretty out person, and laterly the aro thing been a pretty big thing in my life and it feels so odd how that is the only thing I can't talk about when I can talk about Ableism, Racism, Polyamory, Transfobia and so many other topics but keep my aromantism hidden. Also I am currently trying to do more aromantic awareness, like I am making a meet up and writing a book and such. First of all awareness is always more easy when you are out, and secondly it also feels odd when I tell people I am busy yet nobody know exactly what it is I am doing xD. I kinda just want to talk about it and not feel like I am hidding something from people.

 

Now the first worried I had when I started to identify as aro was that I could not be out because it would mess up my political activisties. I have previously been in the media a few times and considered myself a pretty active activist, so I were afraid that the media and those who were sceptical would find out and "abuse" my aromantism in a way to harm the things I stood for and by that also get alot of enemies who would feel I was a bad representation. 

 

however this is not a worry I have now since I arnt really active anymore and in general have decided that I dont have the time for anything that requires alot of energy for anything that involds the media attention (at least not right now.)

 

so yeah, its not really a worry I have anymore, but I am stll worry about coming out. I am paticular worried about being out in the trans-enviroment since I feel its like my second home. I am autistic and grew up in an autistic enviroment but I felt disowned because despite my classmates being mostly cool, being trans was never 100% accepted or normal at least for the adults, and when I go their there I can expect to get mispronounced and called my old names and its all pretty akward.

 

So I feel I lost a part of my comunity for being trans, and I dont feel like losing another one for being aromantic. 

 

This is my main worry. 

 

Beside that I am really worried on how I should come out. The thing is I dont feel I have a firm label and thats why its so difficult for me to come out to people. Its much more easy when you just say. "im bi" "im trans" and so on. However I dont know where I fit on the aromantic spectrum since I feel its difficult to tell a squish and a chrush apart:S

I could go from everything as, aromantic, gray-romantic, litroromantic, quiroromantic and so. 

Mostly I just call myself aro, aro-spec or aromantic or grayromantic but not being 100% sure which label would fit makes it even more difficult to come out.

 

and last, for those few I came out to, I had a few good experience but also some bad. 

I consider myself allosexual, pretty sensual, open for QP, and if I happent to one day feel I wanted a romantic relationship then so be it (even when I dont think its gonna happent). 

I sort of feel like with some of the places and people I came out to that there were an expectation that then I dont feel any type of attraction and general I dont want to bond with people at all, which really sucks because that is not really the person I am or the type of signal I want to give people.

 

and its all worries me.

So yeah any advice or support would be wellcomed. maybe someone had simular thoughts on comming out?

 

icecream for the people who read this far:icecream::icecream::icecream:

 

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I personally don't give time to those who don't accept my (lack of) direction and I know the annoyance of not being able to talk about something so big but I think that if there's too much threat of getting bad press then make sure you come out selectively and make sure that everyone you tell is informed of what aro means so if gossip goes around there are enough clued up people to defend you

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TW: slurs, dark thoughts

 

I can relate to this a lot. I think, if anything, losing communities when you're coming out says more about the people around you, than it says about yourself. When I came out as lesbian, I lost some friends, and was shunned by my parents. When I came out as trans, some of my friends were dismissive, I lost the respect of the general public, and my parents basically gave up on me. After I started coming out as lithromantic, two of my close friends told me it was probably just a phase. It seems like the farther we diverge from the cisgender, heteronormative, amatonormative narrative, the less we get accepted by mainstream society. I say fuck mainstream society. I don't expect to be respected by anyone anymore. In fact, I expect violence. I expect people to call me dyke, f*gg*t, tr*nny, b*tch, psycho, sociopath. I am well aware that the world doesn't want me or my queer siblings to exist, and I'm almost always in a hypervigilant, "fight me" mood because of it. I feel like I have to constantly defend my right to exist, and my siblings' right to exist, the more I choose to live as my queer self, openly. 

 

And sometimes I question why I'm fighting. Sometimes I wonder if I really do have the right to exist, if so many people are saying that there's something wrong with me. Sometimes I feel guilty for existing, guilty for being respected by other people without having to fight for that respect first. Sometimes I feel like I have an obligation to get rid of myself because I am different. But why is it my fault for being different? Why isn't it society's fault for choosing to hate difference, and forcing those who are different to carry the entire burden of changing society?

 

No--it's not our fault. It's not coming out that's the problem. It's not our labels that are the problem. It's the social expectation that we're supposed to conform, that we're supposed to erase ourselves in the name of preserving "social stability" for the privileged. We're allowed to be different, so long as we're different in the same ways that they're different. As soon as we're different in a way they can't understand, they no longer want us. And you know what? We don't need them. If they so desperately want to integrate us into mainstream society, they can educate themselves. It's not our responsibility to educate them or pander to their needs, to reduce any part of our complex, beautiful, queer identities for them to understand. They will never understand. There is nothing to understand. I am a queer. lithromantic trans man, and I am a reality.

 

Take it, or leave it.  

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In regards to coming out, the biggest things I emphasize is what I am feeling rather than the label. In fact, I very rarely share the label asexual/aromantic with others in part to sidestep explaining the asexuality/aromanticism 101 that is not directly pertinent to my identity.

 

The other big thing is that I feel like people feed off your demeanor when you come out. If you act like it's some dark terrible secret, the people you share this with are more likely to see it that way. If you don't make a big deal of it, then your audience will be more likely to match you. Granted, I've only come out to a small handful of people I trust, but that's just my personal philosophy, and it especially shaped how I describe my orientations.

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I think if you don't feel comfortable using a label, then you should not.

 

Quite often I don't say "I'm a lesbian" or "I'm queer". I'd rather say, "I'm sexually attracted to women and sometimes some other people too, but I don't really want to have that kind of sensual/sexual intimacy with men."

Sometimes those words do hurt, they get too heavy, too medical, too grim and you just can't say them. I guess everybody who identifies with these labels feels that way sometimes.

 

In a way, I agree, for people who did not look up all this latin, its also confusing or worse. There are people who really want to understand, really care, but just haven't heard about anything like this before. Like with my own mother, I have to use descriptions because she just doesn't get the labels, but if I explain, she understands the concepts.

 

But they can also be a beacon, a call for people who are just like you. Labels can be great, especially if you use them within a community that knows what you are talking about. I think those words also saved my life quite a few times, because they lead me to the right people. I don't think I'd be alive today if I haven't had the older generation of lgbtq+ folk who showed me that there is a life for someone like me at 25, at 35 at 45 or at 70... Seeing people like you as happy, confident, out and proud adults means a lot more than all the pep talk in the world.

 

And one of the main reasons I want to be out is because I want to be one of those people. I want to keep those kids alive and safe, and create spaces where that will be possible. To create resources that would keep them from homelessness, poverty, survival sex work, suicide, becoming the victim of hate crimes, addictions etc. Because that should not be the everyday reality for anyone. It can be practical stuff like helping somebody to find a decent job or letting them crash your couch if they were thrown out of home. Or just making them a cup of tea and let them rant about things they can't discuss elsewhere.

 

As I get older, I'm less and less interested in trying to educating people who do not accept me and do not care in the first place. I just haven't got the time. The general public never really interested me, so I do not even engage with them on a personal level.  I'd rather be alone than with a crowd that hates me.

I know, you can't protect yourself from everything. I was randomly slapped on the street by a possibly drunk guy, because me and my friends dared to look quite flamboyantly queer...and I'm glad that's all that happened. There will be always people who do not like you, and want to make sure that you are invisible or dead. The only thing we can really do against their efforts is to build communities and protect each other.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

I think if you don't feel comfortable using a label, then you should not.

 

Quite often I don't say "I'm a lesbian" or "I'm queer". I'd rather say, "I'm sexually attracted to women and sometimes some other people too, but I don't really want to have that kind of sensual/sexual intimacy with men."

Sometimes those words do hurt, they get too heavy, too medical, too grim and you just can't say them. I guess everybody who identifies with these labels feels that way sometimes.

 

 

 

I do say stuff like "I dont want a relationship" or "I dont want to get marriage" so in that type of sense I am out, but I still dont feel its enough cause people just think of it as a "just yet" the same way as when you say you are single people think its like "you are single now, untill you find the one" + as you mention if you say you are aro then other people can also find you =) and you can spread the word and stuff.

 

so why it may not be the most important thing everytime, I do still want to use the label somehow. Last time I came out it was pretty awkward because I did not really have a propper label and the person wanted to know where exact I fitted on the spectrum.

 

right now the only word I feel mostly cool about is simple aro, but I dont know if someone would be angry if I use aro when I am not sure. "aro-spectrum posible gray-aro repulsed litromantic just sound very long and boring" :/

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Natkat said:

right now the only word I feel mostly cool about is simple aro, but I dont know if someone would be angry if I use aro when I am not sure. "aro-spectrum posible gray-aro repulsed litromantic just sound very long and boring" :/
 

People are angered by all sorts of stupid stuff, but don't let that bother you. The identity police always comes out of the woodwork when new concepts are discussed, but that does not make those concepts less valid. They are mostly insecure people who are afraid that the cishet majority will  hate them more if the community "wants too much" or "can't keep quiet". (Lol, as if! ¬¬)

 

In a sense all identities are a spectrum, attraction can be quite fluid, and in my opinion its never clean cut around the edges.

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There are some really amazing responses here. I have to agree with @Cassiopeia that one of the reasons I came out was so that I could in turn try to help others. I've since visited a local high school GSA group to talk about asexuality. I think just being there so they can see that a 37 year old asexual male does exist and is living a happy life it helpful. And now I have my YouTube channel with a dozen faithful subscribers. I couldn't have done these things without first coming out.

 

If you are worried about losing certain contacts over coming out, then they probably aren't people you wanted to know anyway.

 

As for which label to use for coming out, just use what you are most comfortable with now. Later on, you might find that it's different than you originally thought. There's nothing wrong with that. Being aromantic doesn't mean you are absolutely certain that you will never feel romance in your life. Nobody can be certain of that. You can only know that historically you haven't, and you don't feel it now, and you feel like you probably never will.

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19 hours ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

There are some really amazing responses here. I have to agree with @Cassiopeia that one of the reasons I came out was so that I could in turn try to help others. I've since visited a local high school GSA group to talk about asexuality. I think just being there so they can see that a 37 year old asexual male does exist and is living a happy life it helpful. And now I have my YouTube channel with a dozen faithful subscribers. I couldn't have done these things without first coming out.

 

If you are worried about losing certain contacts over coming out, then they probably aren't people you wanted to know anyway.

 

As for which label to use for coming out, just use what you are most comfortable with now. Later on, you might find that it's different than you originally thought. There's nothing wrong with that. Being aromantic doesn't mean you are absolutely certain that you will never feel romance in your life. Nobody can be certain of that. You can only know that historically you haven't, and you don't feel it now, and you feel like you probably never will.

 

as I think about it, I think I am less worried about people and more on labels. 

yes im nervous on comming out but not really more than general. like I said in the begining, I am more worried on not feeling wellcomed in my comunity anymore rather than just have a few who dont understand me (which currently is already the caise for me). The first would be really devastating for me but I guess it would be the same for everyone.

 

The label things is a mess when I cant say if I have experience romantic attaction or not. I think I may have experienced it one time at least maybe more? but for me its hard to tell.

What I do know is I never liked anyone who also liked me back in a romantic way, like those people who actually started having romantic feelings for me (even when I liked them) I did not reciprocate those feelings as in wanting to be in a romantic relationship with them, so I never really had what I call an "official romantic relationship". 

 

but yeah I think simple aro is the label I feel best about right now. then I can always go into details later on if the person is more interesteed.

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