On Pride, and being Ace/Aro/Agender
As pride month slowly comes to a close I take a second to look back at my queer ass journey, self discovery and what it really means to be a part of a community that doesn’t always acknowledge you exist, and sometimes directly excludes you.
I am Asexual, I am probably Aromantic (as I have an extremely hard time holding onto any romantic feelings despite wishing I could), and I am trans because I am Agender.
These are all things I’ve come to discover along the road. They were less big revelations and more “Oh shit that’s something you can be?” moments. For a long fucking time I felt like I didn’t exist, or that I was wrong for being the way I was. Because nobody talks about these identities. We have no representation in anything. The media that even acknowledges us often brands it as “too boring” or “hard to understand” and wont put us anywhere in their work. But through this oh shit moments, I realized that if there is a bunch of other people out there that feel the same way, maybe I’m not broken.
Maybe I DO have a community of people like me.
But LGBTQIA community can be very off-putting to people with my identities, In 2014 I went to Pride in Savannah, my first Pride ever and I was so excited, but I didn’t see a single Asexuality flag. I saw maybe ONE Trans flag. I didn’t see anything for Aromantics or Agender people. I saw more flags and positivity for people who love pot than people like me.
There were pride flags for people who love bears, for twinks, for furries, for bdsm, for all sorts of things except none for me. It was never something that was done maliciously, and it’s good that all those things exist and you can buy them and support people who do love those things, that’s fucking great. But when I can search an entire fairground for one purple, white, grey, and black flag and come up with nothing, but I can find about fifty different pot pride flags it’s disheartening. It’s exclusionary.
It made me feel like I didn’t exist again.
There’s been a lot of times in my life where I wished I could just be normal. Have proper feelings like everyone else. But I’m not that person. I don’t have, and probably wont ever be able to interact with people on that level, and while it makes me feel very disconnected from humanity as a whole.
So often Love is equated with humanity. “We love people, we marry people, we kiss, we flirt, we have sex with people because it’s what makes us human.” But what does that mean for me? Am I some alien species because I don’t find that enjoyable? Obviously no. There is plenty of support out there if you look hard enough for it. But holy shit I just wish it was louder some days. Because it’s so easy to miss. It’s so easy to listen to the back of your head that just tells you you are broken. Wrong. Never going to be loved the same way as anyone around you.
Asexuality is a funny thing. Often times people have such a hard time removing their own experiences that they can’t fathom someone thinking and feeling a different way.
Aromanticism is even weirder because half the time I don’t even fucking understand how I work. But I can’t force myself to think a certain way any more than anyone else. I know, I’ve tried.
There comes a point where I just have to step back and accept that this is who I am.
And while that’s not a bad thing,
Maybe one day I’ll be able to feel good about it.