Repeat your Aceness.
What does that mean? I mean that once you tell people you are asexual, don’t let it rest! After I began coming out as asexual, I noticed in myself a hesitancy to comment on it in further situations, and a desire to let it be ignored once I had made my close ones aware of it. I was secretly afraid of the reactions if I kept bringing it up.
So I think that if you are wanting to be truly comfortable as an asexual, it’s important to keep bringing it up. For one thing, there are people that will seem perfectly accepting of your asexuality. But even though they seemed warm and open-minded, they were actually thinking “Yeah she’ll grow out of it eventually” or “It’s just a phase” even though they may not have said anything negative to you. However, if you keep repeating it and not hiding it, eventually their true thoughts will come out. Then you can set them straight and eventually they will just have to come to accept it.
Case in point, my brother. He had heard me say I was asexual before, but we were joking around about something (probably that I was a lesbian or some such for remarking on a girl’s attractiveness) and I simply said “nope, just an appreciative asexual” or some such. To which I heard…
Him: “Shut up.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Him: “Just quit it.”
And then we preceded to have the “blah blah what are you a plant” discussion where I repeated everything about asexuality, answered questions, and explained pan-ness and gender identity things as well.
The more I mention asexuality and talk about it in real life, the more comfortable I become talking about it, explaining it, and telling more people about my orientation. The less strange it seems to the people around me, and the more it seems like just another unchangeable fact of me. We aces tend to be a quiet bunch. Not invisible, just very quiet, not getting in anyone’s face. This also means we don’t hear much about asexuality, we don’t see it, it’s very easy to just let that little piece of our identity’s fade into the background, not causing any trouble or inviting any question.
In other words, for many of us, there is no good reason to be very vocal about it all. Why bring it up, ever? Because it’s a part of you, and you should not have to let it stay under an invisibility cloak just because most people are quite ignorant of it. You may also gain a allies-I was pleasantly surprised when my father, although accepting, thought asexuality was basically just celibacy. Why was I surprised? Because I didn’t have to say a word to explain myself or set him straight. My sister piped up and did an excellent job of bringing him up to speed. And now I am confident that if I am anywhere with her, I can safely say I’m asexual without being badgered or mocked. My sister will back me up and I will not face bigotry or ignorance alone.
It’s a hard thing, being asexual and surrounded by sexuals, but there is only one way to change that: talk about it, joke about it, and make it just a regular part of who you are. Otherwise we will always be alone and different, we will never see ourselves represented anywhere, we won’t have things to identify with, and if there are other asexuals around us, we will never even realize it.
Did you know Emilie Autumn is an asexual? I just found out (late to the party as always :P) this makes me happy.