Ask Trevor

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Asexuality and family

Question:

So, this year has opened a lot of doors for me because of the boarding school I moved to in the fall. One of these doors was a school club for the LGBTQ+ community, and I met some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. I also learned a lot about myself in the process. I had never really wanted to have sex or a sexual relationship with anyone before, and because of the amazing friends I met here and the resources I have, I have come to realize that I am Asexual. I have never had sex because I had never wanted to, and I was never interested in dating or relationships like my friends were. But now I have the problem of explaining Asexuality to my family, particularly my dad. My parents are divorced and so I have the task of coming out twice. I’ve spoken to my mom about it a little bit, and she didn’t really care at all because it was something I had always been and i’ve never hidden it from her even before I knew it had a name. However my dad (to the best of my ability) doesn’t know. I came really close to telling him and he began to tell me how sad it made him that I was alone all the time. I just couldn’t do it. I’m really not sure if I should talk to my dad about it at all because I don’t think he would understand that it’s not a choice i’ve made (as he put it last time i came close) and that i’m perfectly happy without his idea of a “relationship”. Is it even worth telling him? I fear that I will only hurt him, and myself in the process, and my behavior isn’t going to change in anyway since my revelation. I don’t want to be treated differently because i’m not heterosexual by him or the rest of his family.

 

Answer:

 

Dear Diana,

Thank you so much to for writing Ask Trevor to share a bit of your story and to reach out for help. It sounds like you’ve had an exciting year at school with your newfound friends, your new community, and newfound identity. Coming into your own, so to speak, and growing to know more about yourself is an amazing time in a person’s life. It’s always fun to hear a story like this, and I both “thank you” for sharing your story so far and congratulate you for the positive steps you’ve taken.

Life has it’s ups and downs, though, and I hope to be able to help with the second topic you brought up in your letter. Situations often pop up during a person’s coming out process that are sometimes tough to deal with. They’re completely normal, and nearly everyone has to face a tough spot here or there. It seems like you’re faced with this type of a ‘speed bump’ right now. While you try to work through this and get over this ‘speed bump’, try to remember your well being, both physical and mental, is very important. It seems like you feel in control of your process – and that you feel comfortable with sharing your story with your family. That’s a great situation to be in; the trouble now it seems is that you need to find a receptive audience.

I can’t really answer your question and tell you if it’s worth it to tell your dad – to come out to him or his family. Only you can decide if the time and circumstances are right. If you do come out as asexual, he may not understand what you’ve told him right away. Many non-LGBTIA people aren’t that familiar with versions of sexuality that don’t fit into their cookie-cutter definition of ‘normal’. There are several different and very fluid identities under the asexual umbrella. Nothing has to be set in stone until you’re ready, and it may take him a while to understand your story. He will most likely have questions about what you’ve told him, so it may help to think ahead and have answers ready for questions he may ask. There’s a page on the asexual.org web site that covers a wide range of topics that may help you prepare, and you may also learn more about yourself in the process. http://www.asexuality.org/home/general.html If things work out well sooner or later with your dad, and he becomes more and more open to knowing about you, you may want to direct him to the page of Frequently Asked Questions for Friends and Family of people who identify as asexual. There’s a potential for him to read, and possibly learn something you haven’t had the chance to share with him yet. http://www.asexuality.org/home/family.html

As I mentioned before, there are many people out there dealing with similar issues. There are also just as many people out there who care about your well being. If you have questions I haven’t answered or that the http://www.asexuality.org/ site doesn’t answer, you may be able to find help through a couple of other Trevor Project resources. TrevorSpace is a a social networking tool that may help you find new friends to communicate with as well as help work through coming out issues. https://www.trevorspace.org/ We also offer the TrevorChat service if you’d like to communicate online as well as a toll free phone number to call for life-threatening issues. http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now.

Good luck, Diana!