How do you... come out of the closet?

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
otherworlder
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:29 pm

How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby otherworlder » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:50 pm

Well, first I must congratulate myself on finding the organization. I swear I did suspect if there is anything wrong with me physically/psychologically over the whole business. I am nineteen, still a virgin and haven't even kissed in my life. I have never had a crush, never dreamed of anything remotely related to sexuality, find the idea of sex entirely repulsive and incredibly averse to intimate physical contact. I was perhaps a little freaked over my own... freakiness for a while, but I have come to term with it. That's just who I am.

The problem is, how to I... get it across to other people? I once talked about some of these sentiments with my friends, and they seriously wondered if anything happened to me as a kid...My parents are very old-fashioned, conservative (but atheist) people. My mother rants and raves about my new found vegetarianism! They expect me to marry and have family and I am their only source of grandchildren. I have dropped a few lines now and then about not wanting kids (it's more "I don't want sex"), but they think I am just in a phase and still acting like the rebellious youngster who doesn't want to take on responsibilities. They NEVER connect it to sexuality. They have never given me "the" talk and they are entirely oblivious to my sexual development. When and how can I possibly tell them? My current plan is just to wait until a point where they are badgering me about getting married... But there has got to be a more positive way to take the initiative?

Anyone who already "came out of the closet" have useful experiences? How does one deal with very old-fashioned parents and other family and friends?

pretzelboy
Regular Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:15 pm

Re: How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby pretzelboy » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:20 pm

Coming out to parents can be difficult for a lot of people, depending on the person and on the parents. Since I hope to get married and have children, I think it was easier for my mother to accept my asexuality (that and because she knows someone she has long suspected to be asexual.) Even though I knew that she would be fine with it, it was very difficult for me to tell her. My father still doesn't know.

Some people find their parents very accepting of their asexuality. Others less so. I think the biggest difficulties parents have with their children's asexuality are wanting grandchildren and fear that their children will live lonely lives. Especially with parents of high school or college age asexuals might think that their children's claims of asexuality may just be a lack of understanding of their own feelings. In some cases, they may well be right, though I'm not saying that about you.

I don't know your situation very well, but my advice is that if you want to come out to your parents, try to find some time to do so. Possibly tell them that you want a chance to talk about something important or something like that, if you're comfortable with it. Bringing it up while being 'reminded' about how you need to be thinking about getting married and having children might not be the best time. I could easily see people as interpreting saying you're asexual as an excuse or a way of avoiding things or to win an argument rather than as something that is personally important to you. They might not take it as seriously as if you made it clear that you're asexuality is something important to you that you want to tell them about but that it isn't easy for you to tell them. Anyway, that's my two cents worth.

User avatar
Dargon
Mega Member
Posts: 516
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:34 pm

Re: How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby Dargon » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:19 pm

hi otherworlder.

there is no one right way or time to come out to your parents (or the rest of the world for that matter), it depends a lot on yourself and the people you are coming out to.

the most i can offer you is my own experiences, since i am quite out of the closet.

prior to my coming out, my mother often bothered me about when i was going to get a girlfriend and give her grandkids (she still does this). i would jokingly tell her "maybe when i'm (insert number of years here)," with that number getting higher over the years. my father never bothered me about it.

a little more than a year ago, i went to n aven meetup in dallas, and when my parents asked where i knew these people from, i out and out came out. The situation was pretty good for bringing it up. my mother still refuses to believe i am asexual. my father, one day after this, mentioned a bible verse (1cor7) and was pretty much cool with it. I'll go ahead and add as an aside that, since I am a bad person, i keep messing with my mother, sometimes acting quite gay, other times acting quite the player, and sometimes the total misanthrope, keeping her confused as to my sexuality (my sister is also in on this, and so will talk about cute guys with me, or ask about my different girlfriends). Another aside; since coming out to my parents, any time my mother nags me about marriage and grandkids, I remind her it ain't happening. If she keeps pressing (which she does), I go ahead and let her know the family name dies with me, and there ain't a damned thing she can do about it (yes, I am a mean person).

outside that, reactions have ran the whole gamut. Some have accepted it right away. Some even already knew about asexuality. Some have rejected that I am asexual, others reject the entire idea of asexuality. Some have tried to find what caused me to be this way. Perhaps one of the important things is to realize that while some may accept it, others will not. I really have no advice on how to deal with those that reject the idea, other than just know when to drop the topic. Sorry if that sounds pessimistic, but it has been my experience that there are some that just won't accept it.

I wish you the best of luck.

User avatar
Emmarainbow
Established Member
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:38 pm

Re: How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby Emmarainbow » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:44 pm

It wasn't too hard for me to come out to my mum, since I had left so many hints... 'I don't fancy anyone' being a major one, and lately 'you know I've never fancied anyone? I might bring home a guy or a girl' (since I do want a 'relationship' of some kind some day) to 'ok, I shall now explain properly'. (and she was fine with it! Woo! Unfortunately, she keeps trying to dissuade me from coming out to my dad. :/ I know exactly why she's doing this, but if I do go to Brighton Pride or something, he's going to be a lot *more* hurt that I didn't tell him.)

Usually coming out is quite easy for me, since I talk about sexuality a lot, so it just happens. Plus, noone can ever shut me up! :silence:

A good way to get people aware of it is just to say, 'I've heard of this orientation, have you?' and have a discussion. Or even, 'I've heard of this orientation, doesn't it sound like me! Heh, I didn't realise other people felt like this, isn't it brilliant?'

Good luck with it either way though.

User avatar
Sea
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby Sea » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:53 pm

The best advice I can offer is to start by explaining how you feel before you use the word asexual. For people who may or may not have heard of it before, and may or may not be very accepting, I think it's easier to make them understand if you tell them what you're like before you use an unfamiliar label. It also helps in avoiding misconceptions.

I haven't come out to my parents, simply because it hasn't come up. If the subject comes up in conversation I will talk about it openly. I have no problem with telling people in that case. But I no longer go out of my way to come out to people; that was much too stressful.

Mon-chii-chii
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:02 pm

Re: How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby Mon-chii-chii » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:24 pm

If the topic comes up, I tell someone. If not, I see not reason why they need to know. The only people this has never applied to are my best friends. They all know I'm asexual and lacking in romantic or sexual interest completely and utterly. It's like a running joke betwix us -- when we all get together, we've got every sexuality known to mankind! xD I took them aside and told them flat-out when I thought I was bi, and they accepted it. When I realize why bi felt so off to me, I told them, and they all told me later I seemed happier saying it (asexual). I'd heard the term used jokingly for years but had never realized it was an actual sexuality. (For some unknown reason it just didn't occur to me.)

I've used the term in passing to my mother, saying it off-handedly, but I don't really think she got it. However, my parents have never been the type to bother people about relationships and such.

I've never had much of a problem with sexuality, and, yes, one of my best friends does have a problem with non-straight people (that was a bit of a blow to me).

Unless you're like me and simply see no reason to tell others randomly about it, or unless you like big, splashy entry's, I'd just pull those aside one-by-one who you've decided to tell, whenever you decide to tell, and tell them quietly and matter-of-factly. Let them know you have no problems with it (and if you do, be careful who yo show your insecurity to, or they may use it against you).

Or, you know, if you get angry enough you could just shout it. That works too. You get to watch people get this whole "scoffing, disbelief, 'wtf-are-you-shitting-me?!" expression. Or one of them. Whichever.

User avatar
ily
Regular Member
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:55 pm

Re: How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby ily » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:27 pm

My best advice is to do it in the way you communicate best. I write better than I speak, so I showed people my blog which has an asexual theme. Definitely get creative if you want. It's 2008; we don't have to sit people down for the "serious talk" unless we want to.

User avatar
Emmarainbow
Established Member
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:38 pm

Re: How do you... come out of the closet?

Postby Emmarainbow » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:33 pm

ily wrote:My best advice is to do it in the way you communicate best. I write better than I speak, so I showed people my blog which has an asexual theme. Definitely get creative if you want. It's 2008; we don't have to sit people down for the "serious talk" unless we want to.

Good point - I read on AVEN about someone who's mother just didn't get it. So she explained in interprative dance and her mum understood completely! :D