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Labels before aro?


Arsenic
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A few time ago I read in a instagram post that aro and/or ace people used a lot of different labels before identifying as aro and/or ace. For me, I went through straight, bi, lesbian, bi again, pan, bi again, gray-asexual and demiromantic, before using aroace. What about you? Did you start labelling yourself as aro or did you start with another and completely different label?

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None. I had always been told that aromanticism was a type of asexuality. My sexual attraction meant I clearly wasn't ace, but my lack of crushes also meant I clearly wasn't straight, gay, bi, or pan. So I assumed I was nothing, and that there was something wrong with me, up until I was about 18 or so.

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Initially I just kind of clung to the assumption that I was straight and labelled myself as such, even whilst having every identity my ace friend mentioned resonate way more with me. After a while I went "Well okay there's probably something to that but no way I'm ace right? I must be demi and hetero. Duh. That makes more sense than me just being straight therefore it is absolutely correct!" That went on for a frankly comical amount of time, where it got to the point where it's like "Okay if I'm demisexual I am EXTREMELY demisexual..." before I eventually just accepted that...yeah no. I'm just plain asexual. That made me question the assumption that I was heteroromantic, but, between assuming that the strong platonic love I felt for people must have been romantic because surely love that strong couldn't be for people who were jUsT fRiEnDs and really not wanting to reckon with what being aro might mean for my relationship, I came to the conclusion that because gender didn't make any difference to me, I must be panromantic. Flash forward a few years of feeling more and more trapped in my perfectly healthy and enjoyable relationship and feeling unreasonably weird and uncomfortable every time he started talking about the future and I decided to finally do some serious research into what being aro was like, and lo and behold it was all the story of my life.

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Short version: started at "I don't know" or "I don't care," then went through lesbian, asexual, aromantic asexual, grayromantic asexual, to finally settle with aromantic asexual.

Detailed version: I think I never really thought I was straight, I just didn't care about my sexuality for a long time. I started to care a little, and then I noticed I didn't like boys, so I just assumed I was a lesbian. When I heard about the term asexual, I thought it meant not liking anyone, so I went by that for a while until I found out about aromanticism a few months later. I labeled myself as aromantic asexual from 2017 to 2020, when I had my first intense squish and confused my feelings for romantic attraction, so I thought I was grayromantic for about four months. At that time, I joined Apocalypse, learned about squishes and other types of attraction that felt more fitting to what I was feeling for that person, and started using aromantic asexual again.

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short: bi, ace biromantic, ace panromantic, aroace, ace & arospec pan, ace/arospec sapphic, aroace oriented sapphic

i don't think i ever thought about my sexuality up until this girl i was friends with said something along the lines of "you're cute when you blush" and then i immediately went through this second of "oh wait im bi" and just,,,, went from there. i labelled as ace biromantic, then panromantic (as the person who i liked began identifying as enby. eventually i was like "wait i dont like anyone maybe im arospec" and then i realized that oh, i like someone else. and then i began adding greyromantic and eventually demiromantic too, in addition to identifying as panromantic. eventually realized i liked girls or feminine people only and stuck sapphic on instead of pan. and im probably just very strongly demi, but aroace fits better, so here we are. 

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I'm questioning right now, but I've wondered if I was straight, bi,pan, aego, grey, and agno, in thet order more-or less. Currently I'm thinking I may be aro or greyro- those very specific microlabels are descripive,but not well enough known!
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well, being heterosexual, i figured i was just straight, as in, also heteroromantic, and then i found out about aromanticism, and went through the thrillingly slow journey from denial to tentative acceptance to embracing it.  slow but direct--never had any feelings which led me to even consider any other possibilities.

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Identified as bi for a while. When I started learning about a-spec terms, I identified as gray-aroace and bi, because I felt like I was in between allo and aro/ace. Now I think I'm a lot closer to "just aro" because the "crushes" I've had have been weak and/or short lived and probably confused with just really liking someone platonically, so that's how I label myself. Jury's still out on my sexuality, though.

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I never labeled myself as anything else but I did go on a date with a woman to try it.

If I had known about different labels it probably would have gone something like: demisexual, homosexual ... aromantic, gray sexual, asexual.

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