For my sixteenth birthday, I got a new sexual and romantic orientation.
I spent about two weeks opening neat little boxes wrapped in ace/aro pride flag paper. They took a high school girl’s lifetime to get to me. Other gifts travelled faster, but none of them instilled the same blend of fear, anxiety, and excitement inside of me. Inside were scenes from my life, laid out so plainly I spent the next three years wondering how I could’ve possibly missed it.
In one scene, my mom is driving me to elementary school. I looked out the windows of the car, watching the route go by in a blur of green trees and brown shopping centers. I pictured what I would do about my wedding. All people get married someday, I knew - or thought I knew - but boys were icky. In my nine-year-old mind, I conceived the perfect plan: convince a good friend to dress like a boy, and then we would be able to get married. That way, I’d just get to live with a friend forever. What could be better?
In the next, I’m writing in a fuzzy white diary, a friend’s sleepover party weighing on my mind. Once again, I’d given no answer to the dreaded “who do you like?” question. Knowing I would never dream of being “boring” again, I scanned my mind for tolerable boys in my grade. My mind settled on a boy I’d never heard talk. He wasn’t annoying - sure, he’d do. I wrote down that I liked him because he “didn’t show that he was an idiot.” Maybe drawing hearts would make it real. Oh - maybe I should stare at him in class, too! I’m supposed to like this boy, after all. A few weeks later, another sleepover happened. Seven girls found out about my “crush”, and somehow, it magically disappeared overnight, and I was too young to feel true romantic attraction.
I admired an American Idol contestant for a while. Then, I liked a few fictional characters. Was that love? My elementary school self didn’t want to kiss some twenty-something singer. I thought it was love, though. Does a twelve-year-old girl want a relationship with Remus Lupin? Of course not. I knew that wasn’t a crush, but I’ve still read Prisoner of Azkaban at least five times more than the other Harry Potter books. Untouchable people confused me the most. I didn’t know what to do with these scenes. For a while, I just assumed they made me straight. But there were several fictional characters I’d forgotten about: the ones who couldn’t just stay friends. Why did Kim Possible end up with Ron? Why did Lizzie McGuire end up with Gordo? In what way did Ned Bigby and Moze make any sense? It seemed that every time a boy and a girl were friends, they were thrown together. Growing up, I never had male friends. Girls were easier to talk to. Girls didn’t have to end up with their best friends.
In eighth grade I was an overly invested “ally”. I only watched media with same gender relationships (some of it highly problematic; it makes me cringe) and insisted that straight people were inherently boring. Nowadays, I laugh at how close I came to discovering my true identity. I would look up famous LGBT+ people on Wikipedia and read about all the different sexual orientations. The list of famous asexuals included about 4 people, only one of who I’d heard of. Regretfully, I dismissed it as “uninteresting”, spent a few weeks trying to force other labels to fit me, and then settling uncomfortably on “straight”.
The person who delivered the package was actually someone I hated. He was this kid on the swim team who somehow wormed his way into my friend group. One day, I was telling my friend about how I’d never had a crush before in my life, to which he responded ever-so-eloquently: “that’s bullshit!” I knew my experiences better than he did, but the exchange made me wonder just how strange it was. For two weeks, I read definitions of asexuality and aromanticism, flip-flopped between labels and combinations of labels, took several “are you asexual?” quizzes, and at last, I had my sixteenth birthday present in hand. Even then, I thought I was too young. What if my sexuality changed, and I’d told everyone the wrong thing? If that happened, would everyone tell me I just needed to “meet the right person”? (though now I know that meeting the “right person” wouldn’t make me any less asexual/aromantic) I didn’t want to prove anyone like that right, so I decided I would wait a while before telling anyone other than my best friend (who accepted it readily and understood my fears, being a lesbian herself).
I spent much of the month of June that year looking at myself in the mirror, thinking “I’m asexual” until I truly believed it. Three years have passed since then, and I feel completely secure with my sexual and romantic orientations. I never think of myself as straight. I have nothing in common with heterosexuality/heteroromanticism, and my friends and family have been nothing but supportive (though I’m honestly not sure my parents know … I hint at it very often, but older generations can be dense when it comes to ace/aro things). I am so proud to be ace/aro, and I wanted to share my story, in case it helps a person as confused as I was. Asexuality does not make you boring. I sing along to musical theatre soundtracks, write stories with my friend, make terrible puns, and study American Sign Language. I write ace-aro warriors, assassins, athletes, siblings, friends - all with different personalities, interests, quirks, and attitudes towards sex and romance. The ace and aro spectrums are filled with wonderful, diverse people. I am one of them.
I have received many phone calls and emails begging me to try out in front of the executive producers of the show in the past couple months. I’m not interested.
LAST YEAR I was interested, and I tried out but you DIDN’T WANT ME, I wasn’t “contemporary enough” and being transgender wasn’t such a hot issue in the media like it is now. This year, I see what American Idol is all about, another pre-casted show, that’s looking for “singers” to boost their ratings, and now they just need that TOKEN TRANS person for America to gossip about, to hype up the show.
I realized that YOU ONLY WANT ME BECAUSE I’M A TRANSGENDER PERSON who happens to be a singer, not because I’M A SINGER WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE TRANSGENDER, and because of that I’m not interested.
This year you picked me because you WANT SOMEONE THAT’S TRANSGENDER and you don’t want someone “that people might make fun of, or [someone] who looks too much like they are men who transitioned to women, or [that] look FAKE or GIMMICKY.” You said you don’t want a transgender person “WHO STICKS OUT LIKE A SORE THUMB.” You also referred to trans people as “MEN IN DRESSES” and “TRANSGENDERS.” That is very ignorant, and transphobic.
You told me that American Idol wants “sexual BLONDE GIRLS who are DUMB” and “BLACK GIRLS who are DRAMATIC.” That is sexist and racist.
I questioned you wether the show was a singing show or not and you said that “IT’S A TV SHOW.”
You said “people don’t really make it in music anymore cause there’s nothing to sell, cause now you are a commodity.” To quote my hero Macklemore, “If I’d have done it for the money I’d have been a [bleep] lawyer.” I told you that making music that’s TRUE is what’s the most important thing to me. I don’t want my music controlled by American Idol or any other show, I WANT TO STAY TRUE in my art FOR MY FANS.
I feel that American Idol would EXPLOIT me and maybe exploit the TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY for the purposes of TV ratings and profit. That’s not the right reason to go on television, and that’s not the right thing to do for my community. If it was purely an educational program, and not some overly sensationalized show than I would totally do it.
American Idol isn’t punk rock, punk rock is about being honest, and American Idol isn’t honest. It’s mostly pre-casted, and deep down, it probably isn’t even about singing anymore.
I reject your invitation to SELL OUT. After all, I’m a SINGER, who just happens to be transgender.
I am writing this as I watch American Idol and I hope that Trent wins lol but I’m sure laporsha will win lol!! She does have an amazing voice!
Back to GMW this episode is called True Maya and apparently it was changed a little from what some spoilers said!
This is about Maya still being confused about who she is and what people think of her! Maya has this rebel attitude but we know she isn’t mean or a bad girl yet people see her as a trouble maker! And she could’ve been if it wasn’t for Riley’s influence! Maya has said it she wants to be good and growing up its a very hard thing to do finding out who you are! Hell im old and idk what the hell I want to do sometimes!
Doy also gets in trouble for doing something he didn’t know doing it was bad! I was told he was awesome in this episode!
Farkle tells maya he knows who she is but Maya asked how when she didn’t know herself! But Farkle kisses her nose to in surprised to calm her down!
Cory is teaching a lesson saying that volcanos have to explode sometimes and Farkle says that the most beautiful flowers grow in volcanic flowers and Lucas says that deep down Maya is beautiful! Yes my little Riley gets a bit jealous!!
The whole time Riley is afraid that Maya will explode because she thinks something bad will happen!!
Sounds like a good episode for me!!