Ask Trevor

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Asexuality and Self-esteem

Question:

Dear Trevor,

I’m pretty sure I’m asexual.  I’m aesthetically attracted to all genders, but sex genuinely doesn’t interest me.  The thing is, I’m terrified of coming out to my parents and friends at school because I know they’re going to tell me that since I haven’t tried sex yet, I can’t make such a big decision.  They’ll tell me what I’m missing out on and laugh, and I don’t want that to happen.

I don’t feel like I have the right to feel this way either since there are other people of other sexual orientations and identities that have problems far worse than just people laughing at them.

All I want is to like who I am, but this is standing in the way, and I can’t feel good about myself if society tells me I’m a freak for not being sexual.

Lizzy

Answer:

 

Lizzy,

Thank you for writing to us about these feelings – feelings that you are most certainly justified in having. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are honestly and bravely acknowledging the feelings you are having, and you feel compelled to share these feelings with the people you love and depend on, but you feel you cannot. And it doesn’t matter how negative you think the result may be. At times like this, when we are piecing ourselves together, having the support of family and friends is so important. Thinking you will not get that support, that you will not be taken seriously, can be unbearable. But that is not the case here. We want you to know that we know what you’re going through, that being asexual is completely valid and normal, and that you have our full support.

We can tell from your letter that you have been investigating asexuality and understand what it means, but we would like you to look at this diagram of the asexual spectrum from the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN): http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1197648/thumbs/o-ASEXUAL-SPECTRUM-facebook.jpg
It briefly describes asexuality, and the types of romantic orientation (Heteroromantic, Homoromantic, Biromamtic, Panromantic, Aromantic) and sexual orientation (Asexual, Gray-A, Demisexual) that apply to asexuals. You can also go to the AVEN website at http://www.asexuality.org/home/ for more detailed information.

Your letter also expresses a desire to come out to family and friends. Before you consider doing so, please check out the Trevor Project resource, “Coming Out As You,” at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/section/YOU. This is a great place to get your questions answered about coming out, and it can help you decide if coming out is the right decision for you right now. Also, take a look at the Human Rights Campaign’s “Resource Guide to Coming Out” at http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf.

We are sorry to hear that you do not feel comfortable talking about these feelings with your family and friends. Is there anyone you would feel comfortable discussing them with? Someone you can trust? Perhaps a trusted family member, a teacher, a school counselor? If so, consider reaching out to them. If there aren’t many people like this in your life, don’t feel discouraged. Many youth of all orientations find it difficult to find people they can talk to – people who can provide emotional support and relate to what they’re going through. That’s why The Trevor Project started TrevorSpace, a safe, supportive, online community for young people (ages 13-24). Consider joining!

We would also like you to know about The Trevor Project’s other help services, all of which are now listed and linked to on our Get Help Now webpage: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now. Please take a look and see which of our help services would benefit you most. For example, if you would like to speak with someone at The Trevor Project online, try using our free, confidential and secure instant messaging service, TrevorChat, open every day between the hours of 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM EST. To speak with someone over text messages, try TrevorText, open on Fridays between the hours of 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM EST. Please feel free to write to us again, and, of course, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

With love and support,
Ask Trevor