Monday, January 31, 2011

Best Out-Coming Ever

It feels good to be blogging again. After a hiatus of, what, a year and a half, I feel like I have things to say again, and more of them. We shall see.

After yesterdays depressing gripe-fest, I'm going to share something happy, something worth celebrating, something that makes me feel good about life and my sexuality.
In this story, that something is my friend Sean.

As I'm sure we're all aware, coming out can be a real pain in the butt. It usually involves explaining asexuality thoroughly and, at least if you're me, lots of blushing and tripping over one's own tongue. That's why, on the way home from school for Thanksgiving break, I ended up coming out to a friend in the clumsiest way possible. The whole car-ful of us were mid conversation and how my sexuality became relevant I really couldn't say, but I ended up blurting out, "I'm... uh, I'm asexual. I can... uh, explain if you want, or I guess you could just google it."
Since Sean didn't ask for an explanation, I was kind of just praying he hadn't heard me and I could try the whole thing again when I was prepared to sound like I had a brain in my head, and the subject didn't come up again.

Fast forward about a month. Sean and I are in the car again, this time just the two of us, and I'm driving him home. Both being flaming liberals, we can talk politics together without getting mad and so that's what we were doing. Again, very casually, my asexuality came up and this time I was prepared. From what he was saying, though, it seemed that he already understood what asexuality is.
I asked him where he'd heard of it and it turned out that Sean, God bless him, had gone home and googled asexuality, just as I had so awkwardly suggested. He had read a few things on the subject and then gone to talk to his mom, who's a psychologist, and who is apparently totally Ase positive and accepting. His explanation was simple: He wanted to understand me.

This is possibly the nicest coming-out I've ever had and here's why. I didn't have to do the work here- Sean took it upon himself to understand me without asking me to put a huge amount of effort into being understood. There was no challenge of my identity and although I said later that if he had anything he wasn't sure about I'd be happy to explain, he's never really asked me to.
It's not that I mind doing the educating, but I appreciate the stance he took, which was that I was under no obligation to drop everything and teach a 101 lesson on asexuality. Not having to be a constant "voice of the community" was really lovely.
And then, having done the research, Sean was just totally accepting and his whole goal in this situation was to understand me as a person and as his friend. His interest came from a totally good, kind place and I hope I made it clear to him just how much I appreciated that.

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