Ever since 6th grade, I’ve been asked this question. Unlike my fellow classmates, I did not engage in the dating scene. I was too busy keeping up with my education and playing video games. I even joined my school’s science academic team.
"Don’t you think he’s cute? You should talk to him?"
Whenever I would answer, “No,” the next question was usually, “Are you gay?”
No. I’m not gay. There is nothing wrong with being gay, but I am not gay.
"What are you? You’re not straight or gay. Are you bi?"
No! I’m not anything!
So, for most of my schooling career, I was not anything. Whenever someone asked me what my orientation was, I would tell them I was nothing.
I finally settled on the term, “asexual.” By this time I was 16 and all of my friends were in relationships and had been in multiple ones by that time. Most of them accepted me and would occasionally tease me, asking me when I planned on budding a clone, but nothing serious. My friends, for the most part, were fine with me.
My relatives, however, were not that easy. Luckily, my parents didn’t care. If anything, they were happy that I was single, seeing as teen pregnancy rates in my area were rising. My mom did sit me down and tell me that she loved me no matter who I loved. My question to her was, “What if I don’t love anyone in that way? Is that okay?” She said that was fine.
My cousins, aunts, uncles, especially the religious ones, were 100% sure (and still are) that I just hadn’t found the right man. I even had a few of them tell me that I’ll never find a good man if I continue to “act like one.” I don’t think I act like a man nor do I think I act like a woman. I act like me. Am I a bit more rugged and less sophisticated than most women? No, I don’t think so. But they did. They wanted me to wear dresses and make up and talk about cooking. I wanted to wear jeans, keep my hair shorter (not very short) so it was out of my way.
So, tonight, my older sister texted me and wanted to ask me a personal question. I told her to fire away.
"Are you gay? Don’t laugh at me. I’m just curious."
I explained to her that I still don’t have an attraction to people in a sexual sense. I only want friends. Nothing more. Her reply? “Okay. I wouldn’t care regardless. I was just curious.”
Acceptance. That’s really all anyone wants. I don’t want to be told I just haven’t found the right person or sex is great when done correctly. I want you and anyone else to know that my main concern with other people is to be friends. Will I become friends with someone so strongly that it develops into something more? I don’t know. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities, but it isn’t my intended goal nor do I need to be in a relationship to feel whole or to feel accomplished.