Angus, 18, Canada.
I came to realize that I was asexual in early December of 2013. The clearest indication of my asexuality came from my difference from other people around my age. A lot of people begin to fantasize about sex in their teenage years, and I was convinced about that quite easily.
It seems like sex is becoming a more popular subject in the media and pop culture. A lot of music videos have some sexual content or lyrics in them. There are lots of pornography ads on the sides of the computer screen. Magazines at the supermarket are covered with shirtless or suggestive people and say things like “best sex ever.”
I feel alienated in this culture because I have no sexual attraction. In fact, I have a degree of repulsion, meaning that I actually find it a bit gross. I’ve have friends who have talked about their sexual attractions to people. Since I didn’t have any of these feelings, at least one person wondered if I was gay. I was worried that if I didn’t fit in, I would be bullied, so that’s what I did for years. I pretended to be a straight guy. I went along with the other guys, saying that I wanted to have sex with certain girls.
Eventually, the other guys were convinced that I was straight. I considered this an achievement at the time because I could avoid bullying, even if I had to hide my true self. I began to talk more about sexual things than the other guys and then they were wondering why I went on about it so much.
High school was a difficult experience for me because every day I had to hide my true feelings and be the guy I wasn’t. I actually came home and cried occasionally because I felt confined to a certain set of “beliefs.” Depression and suicidal thoughts were very common around this time. I was very shy in high school because I didn’t want to say anything that could potentially result in bullying or misjudgment, so I watched every word that left my lips.
Then high school ended and it was time for me to decide on a career path. I choose engineering because I was hoping that math was important there, it is my favorite and best subject. I heard from many people that university students tend to grow up and don’t tease and bully the way they do in high school. Again, I was hoping for a new beginning and someday, the dawn of the true me.
I was getting along really well with the engineering students and I made many friends, despite having a difficult time with that in high school. The first semester was challenging and the final exams were on their way. We held a bunch of study sessions during the week leading up to the exams.
During some of the study groups in the seminar rooms, some of the guys would talk about their sexual attraction to some girls. When they asked me, I said that I was not sexually attracted. They were surprised and wondered why. I then made it my goal to find out who I truly was.
I looked up types of sexual orientations in a few places and wound up on Wikipedia. I found something called the Kinsey scale, which describes heterosexuality, homosexuality, and the area in between. I thought to myself: where am I? On the right side of the page, there were a few links for various sexual orientations. “Asexual” was the only one with which I was not familiar; I had to check it out. The descriptions were beginning to sound a lot like me! I followed the link and found a line about the website, AVEN. I went there and started listening to people’s stories. Then it hit me: I was asexual.
I became open with a few friends about my asexuality and most of them were accepting of me. My depression essentially dropped off the charts and I was very happy.
I can’t say that it was all a good response. Some who found out about my self-identified asexuality reacted negatively. I had faked being straight for so many years and so skepticism began to form.
Overall though, I am very happy in this phase of my life. I plan on getting a black ring for my right middle finger. This is currently a common symbol of asexuality. People will ask about the ring and I will tell my story, I am no longer afraid.
I currently stand for equality among all people and firmly reject the idea of discrimination. I am asexual and I respect people of all orientations, races, genders, sexes, ages, ethnicities, and social backgrounds. I dream of the day when nobody will be seen as an inferior but as an equal part of our growing society.