Outed to my Mom

Zaiya, 16, United States.

My brother didn’t mean any harm. He didn’t think he was doing wrong. He still doesn’t and if I brought it up with him he’d probably dodge the subject. When my brother outed me to my mom it was just another thing.

I had been preparing to come out to her already. I had spoken to her about asexuality in the car one day, going over what it was and basically getting her opinion on it. She is already very defensive about things and only recently has started getting onto my step-father about being homophobic. She has a gay friend so, I guess, to her it’s “okay” now and she can accept it.

She’s not as accepting of other things. I am just as stubborn, though, so I do my best to teach her new concepts. Her reply is usually something along the lines of “I just don’t get this new stuff” or “I like the old ways, I don’t see the point in all these new words.” When I try to explain the point of said words she turns her head and ignores me. “I don’t think we need all these labels.”

Regardless, I had been teaching her about asexuality, the asexual spectrum, and was going to come out to her soon. I came out first to my best friend who was thoroughly supportive. She’s just as involved in these things as I. Then I came out to my brother, who was confused but accepted it. As he said, he just didn’t see how it was possible, how someone couldn’t feel sexual attraction. I told him I didn’t understand how someone could feel it and he seemed to get the point.

My brother was in the car when I was telling my mom about asexuality. Perhaps he thought that was me telling her that I was asexual. Two weeks later he says, loudly, “You know she’s asexual, right?” and then looks at me and says “you already told her, so it’s okay if I do”.

My mom is in the kitchen at this point. “She’s what?”

“Asexual,” I say, completely irritated that she doesn’t know what it is, since I had dedicated these last weeks to telling her about it.

“You don’t even know what that word means,” she says. A minute later she also adds, quietly, “What is that?” I told her. I explained. Again. She was very defensive and in denial.

A few months later, here I am. I have, on multiple occasions, brought the subject up again and tried to talk about it with her. She always just kind of drops the topic and my brother shies at the mention of “sex” and looks at me accusingly.

We are watching TV and she hears one of the people on there say they are pansexual. She looks disinterested and asks me what that is. I tell her. She looks shocked and insulted and asks me “Is that what you are?”

I honestly don’t know what I need to do to get her to listen to what I am saying and also get her to accept it. She doesn’t bother paying attention – and I would love to say that it’s just in this area that she’s distracted in. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know much about me even when this isn’t in the situation. It bothers me that she can’t remember one thing.

After some talk and then silence as we get back into the show on television, she says “I had a crush on a girl when I was with your dad.” I am unsure what she was trying to achieve by telling me that, and if she was attempting to comfort me. It sounded almost as if she was doing the whole trivial “it’s a normal thing teenagers experience, it doesn’t mean you’re actually gay” thing.

As of now, she only knows about my asexuality. Neither she, nor my brother, nor my best friend knows about my romantic orientation. I’m not sure I could tell them, either. My brother always makes remarks along the lines of “You’re straight, right?” and if I were to say “I don’t really care about genders” he’d see that as me falling into the fact that he always calls me gay.

I don’t want to hear “I told you so.” I want to be able to talk about these things without them getting extremely uncomfortable and asking me why I’m forcing this information on them. Is my wanting them to know about what I identify with, who I am, really too much?