Sometimes I feel like an alien.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it can be empowering. When I started to realize I might be asexual, and what that meant in a society so obsessed with sex, I liked to think of myself as an extraterrestrial anthropologist, observing the mating rituals of the Homo sapiens. If I was a different kind of creature, then there was nothing remarkable about not wanting sex. And I could be a cool kind of alien, like a Time Lady. Much better than being a human who just didn’t quite get it.
There was a particular social group I used to run with where everyone was… loud… about their sexuality, and I felt awkward and prudish because I was uncomfortable with all the sex talk and sex jokes and raunchy drinking games. I wish I’d had the anthropologist idea back then; the reframing might have helped me.
I wasn’t out as asexual at the time, because I hadn’t figured it out myself. A lot of people in that group were queer. I wonder how they would have reacted if I’d come out.
I hate that I have to wonder that. I hate that expressing ace pride on Twitter during Pride Month brings the aphobic assholes out of the woodwork: people who are queer themselves, gatekeeping and rules-lawyering whether aces should be allowed in the Queerness Club. I hate that those people can get in my head and make me doubt.
I’m a mostly-het romantic asexual. In other words, I can pass for straight like nobody’s business. I can pass so well that I passed to myself for 23 years, because the difference wasn’t enough to matter… until it was, and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So I’m very vulnerable to accusations of “not queer enough”. I hesitate before going to queer meetup groups, because am I? Am I really?
It’s isolating. It’s worse than feeling like an alien. I’m stuck in the middle: different, but not really different, or not different enough to count.
I’m trying to fight that feeling. I march with an ace group in my local pride parade. I go to those queer meetups, and I’m so grateful to the people who have welcomed me when I questioned my right to be there. Because if other queer people validate my kind of different, maybe I don’t have to feel like an alien at all.