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I'm Asexual and People Just Don't Get It


Published October 19, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated October 24, 2016 at 10:58 a.m.

Dear Athena,

I am asexual, but most of my friends and some of my family members just don't get it. They can't understand how that would be real. Like, my mother thinks I will never marry, and it's annoying hearing about it all the time. My father thinks I am weird. My friends who are in relationships are sort of cool, but the single ones don't want to hang out at all anymore when they go out looking for hookups. I feel left out and upset. What is happening to my life right now?


Asexual, Not an Alien

Dear Asexual,

Of course you feel upset! It's 2016, and you've summoned up the courage to be open about who you are. And now you're being met with awkward questions and cold shoulders. I wish I could remind these people that, no matter how you identify sexually, you're still the same friend and family member you've always been.

The good news is, you can do that. Your loved ones might feel flustered because they think you're somehow different now. And apparently they don't know much about being asexual. While you don't owe them repeated explanations, you can certainly try to answer their questions, educate them and, most importantly, keep being you.

Your parents want you to be happy and taken care of, and maybe they think marriage is the equivalent of all that. Parents will worry about their kids no matter what, but hopefully in time they'll see that you're happy on your own.

Your friends are being insensitive and immature, and you can tell them that. Being asexual isn't contagious, and you're not going to cock-block anyone in the club, if that's what they're thinking. Perhaps you can help them see the error of their ways and you can all hang out again.

Bottom line: The people in your life will either learn to grow with you or they won't. I trust that in time your real friends will surface and your parents will come to respect the authentic person that you are.