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Coming out, what it means to be Aro, and me


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Disclaimer: This post is likely going to be long and rambling, and I don’t really expect anyone to read it, however, I felt the need to write it. Its really for me to help organise my thoughts. If people do read it and want to respond, great! If not, that’s fine too. I get it. If I had a blog, or kept a diary, it would likely go in there, but I don’t, and don’t see that changing anytime soon.

This post is also personal to me and should not be interpreted as a belief on what other people should or should not do. Everyone is different, what works for me may not work for someone else, even if they have similar life experiences and feelings. I am me; you are you.

Having said that, let’s start.

This post is to help me work out what I want to do with the realisation that I am Aro, and how I want that realisation to affect my life and relationships. It touches on aspects that cannot easily be separated, but at the same time are not necessarily similar.

For background I realised I was Aro very recently, despite being 38. I can relate to a lot of the experiences people here have shared and reading these experiences has helped me interpret my own feelings and experiences. I am now comfortable using the Aro label to describe myself, and, due to my own emotional obliviousness, this has come from the universe applying no small amount of blunt force trauma to point it out. The question then becomes, “Well, what next?” What impact do I want these realisations to have (if any?) and what changes should be made? Where do I go from here? The next logical step is coming out. But to who and how should that be done? After I’ve come out, what should follow on?

This post will contain two sections, where I discuss some of these questions, and how I think they may relate to me. Section 1 will consist of coming out as Aro, and what that means for me, while Section 2 expands on some of these ideas, and the implications of them, again as they relate to me.

Coming out

The first question that needs to be asked is “Do I even need to come out to anyone?” I will preface this by saying so far, I have come out to exactly one person, who was instrumental in leading me to accept myself as Aro. However, I do not have any romantic partners that I need to tell, and my family and friends are happy enough accepting that I don’t want a romantic relationship and have not wanted one for several years now. While I have certainly had my share of “When are you going to settle down?” and “Do you have a girlfriend yet?” questions, they have, for the most part stopped. I haven’t been on a date in probably over a decade now, since I divorced, and even before I didn’t exactly date a lot. At a certain point the questions start to become silly.

This means that coming out to them is only an exercise in explaining why I feel the way I do, and I doubt they would understand it anymore than I understand what falling in love feels like. So, quite honestly, what’s the point? While I don’t believe it would have a negative affect on any of my relationships, I also don’t think it would have many positive impacts. I think that broadly, my friends and family would say “Oh, that makes sense”, those that are already in the LGBTQIA+ community would say “Welcome!” and that would be that.  

So why do I want to?  

I don’t really have an answer to that question. Its possible I just want to share my realisation with the people I love, in the same way I would share a job offer or some other achievement. Its possible I want them to be better able to understand me, even if they don’t understand what I feel. I’m sure some people wouldn’t understand why I am even questioning whether I should come out, given I am certain nothing bad would come of it. It is likely mixed in with being highly introverted, as well as valuing my privacy. Talking about feelings is not easy for me at the best of times. Talking about powerful feelings I don’t even have? Nightmare. Yet I feel that I should. This leads me into:

What it means

Perhaps I feel that I should come out because I have a responsibility to be honest to my friends and family. This is entirely possible, and perhaps even likely. However, it gives rise to other questions. If I feel being Aro is a big enough deal to make a deal of it with my friends and family, that means I likely have similar responsibilities elsewhere. I am remarkably fortunate and privileged to have the life I do. I have a job that pays decently, and I genuinely enjoy, a loving family, fantastic friends. There really is very little I would change about my life if I had the choice. However, I am of the mindset that those that enjoy privilege have a responsibility to those that don’t. This can take a variety of forms. Financially I give to charities and give resources to people trying to get into hobbies I already share (e.g., I will give cards to people trying to get into a CCG). These serve as part of my responsibilities to societies or groups I choose to be a part of. Another part of this is offering comfort and support to those people going through emotionally tough times. I have the capacity to listen to and share some of other people’s baggage, because right now, I don’t have similar baggage holding me down. Given this, and that coming out is important to me, does it then follow that I have responsibilities to the Aro community?

I have seen that what most people in the community seem to want is greater awareness of the community in general, and acceptance that it is real. Given my privilege, and that I do seem to want to come out to my family and friends, it would seem somewhat selfish of me to not want to be publicly Aro. I have recently been considering getting token I could wear to show people how I identify. Letting people who know, know. I kind of miss wearing a ring, and the symbolism of an Aro ring amuses me no end, so maybe that could be it. This would also be a base line responsibility, the minimum I would feel happy doing, almost equivalent to paying my taxes. What else should I do, if anything? I am sure there are plenty of people that would say I have no responsibility to the community at all, and, once again, this isn’t supposed to be a post getting at other people. This is simply me talking about some of the things going through my mind recently and trying to figure out how I feel about them.

Extra Comments

It seems to me that I am at a crossroads in my life. Several other things are happening that seem to point to that as well. While I enjoy my job, my contract is due to end soon and I am starting the process of looking for something new. This will likely be a turning point for my career, in as much as discovering I am Aro is a crossroads for my life. I could quietly stay in obscurity; and be happy doing so. But I am not sure that would fit with my responsibilities or show suitable thanks for the various gifts I have been presented with. I changed the title of this section several times while typing it out. Originally it would have been Final Remarks, however, the word final gives a sense of end that doesn’t really fit. I would say future work, but that gives the impression I have come to some conclusions in my ranting. Extra comments seems accurate, but doesn’t sit well with me. Oh well.

To the people responsible for keeping these forums alive, I thank you. To the people whose experiences I have related to in coming to the conclusion I am Aro, you are responsible for multiple minor contusions as I face palmed myself for being me. Thank you also. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all this. Only took me 38 years to get to this point, the rest should be easy right?

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