My heart is not flawed. I'm just Aromantic.*
*Consider this my ‘coming out’.
I’ve known for many years that I don’t feel romantic love. I have
good friends, but I’m not sure I’ve ever loved anybody except maybe my
sister. I’m an extremely sexual person, though, so I always thought
something was terribly wrong with me. How could I be having these
experiences with women and not developing feelings for any of them? What
kind of bastard did that make me? I cared about them, I wanted them to
be happy, I respected their bodies and their feelings, but when the time
came to walk away, it was only the sadness of leaving behind a friend.
Nothing was tugging at my heart.
No one could understand why I
wouldn’t get into relationships with them and it was so hard to tell
them, “Because I will never love you. We can have sex, it will be
wonderful sex, and we can have fun and go to movies, but I am incapable
of loving.” No one believes you, especially because the rural area I
come from hardly even understands gays and lesbians, let alone anything
else on the spectrum. I had never heard of being aromantic. When I was
learning English, I learned to say, “My heart is flawed,” and for many
years I used that. It’s even one of my tumblr tags. But girls get
insulted, they think that it’s them, or guys tell you that you just need
to find ‘the right one’ and I just feel broken all the time.
then I joined Tumblr and for the first time, heard words like 'cis’ and
'gender fluid’ and, finally, 'aromantic’. And so I googled it and I
swear, I laughed so hard I almost cried. It was the first time hearing
that I wasn’t broken, that this happens to other people. And that night,
I told my best friend, we had a serious conversation and I showed her
the Tumblr posts and I said to her, “Look, there’s a word for me, I’m
not broken.” And she hugged me and said, “No, Erich, you’re not broken.”
this is very important to me, because I’m a feminist and a big
supporter of body-positivity and I felt like huge hypotcrit every time I
am posting something that says, “Love yourself” or “Just be you”
because how could I be encouraging other people to accept who they were
and feel right in their own skin if I was repeatedly describing my own
heart as 'flawed’?
But for a long time, I
still didn’t do anything. I finally put a tiny 'aromantic pride’ button
on my tumblr, like I hoped no one would notice, but how could I say I
had pride when my Tumblr description still said 'my heart is flawed’?
So I finally changed it. Today. It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a big deal to me.
told several friends and they’re very supportive, even if some of them
don’t understand. But this is okay, because I have enough things stacked
against me without me calling a part of me 'flawed’.
will never 'love’ myself. But that’s the point. I don’t have to because
I don’t feel love and that’s okay. I can like myself and I can be
content that just because I’m not like other people doesn’t mean that
I’m not a complete, healthy, happy man.
I am not broken. My heart is not flawed. I’m just aromantic.