I am coming out of the dark, not only literally but figuratively as well. It has been such a long time since I have put my thoughts and feelings into words to share publicly. Time has evaporated; my babies are teens and my career has a solid foundation. I sit here in the middle of 2020 wondering what has happened to the world and to myself. There is global pandemic, the country is falling apart and I am wincing due to the pain shooting up from my shattered hip that is on the mend. In the darkness there is light… right? While I struggle to find the positives of everything happening in the world right now, I recognize there is good happening. We, as a world, absolutely need to stand up, be loud and stop unjust hate crimes that plague this planet. When the pandemic hit, the mantra “we are all in this together” meant camaraderie, support and peace. Through the protests and riots, this manta continues to hold meaning. Humanity has the ability to hear it; they just need to stop and listen.
Coming out of the dark has a personal meaning for me. As I continue to reach new levels of self-actualization, life becomes clearer. I understand why life had, and continues to have, certain struggles. Coming out of the dark is a realization of my sexual identity. I lived in the dark as many have lived in the closet. I have lived in a state of confusion regarding my sexual orientation since I can remember.
In my mid-twenties, I had watched a documentary on Alfred Hitchcock. The documentary talked about Alfred’s sexual orientation and his relationship with his wife. Alfred Hitchcock was reportedly sexually inactive for most of his life, alluding to a definition of asexuality. This information resonated throughout me. I was under the misconception that asexuals were automatically aromantic, and it was inspiring to find out that was not true. The seed was planted, but I was living in the dark, and my asexual awareness needed light to grow so it remained dormant.
Being attracted to the LGBTQIA+ community was confusing in itself. Was I gay? Was I failing at romantic relationships because I did not want a male partner? Maybe I was bisexual? Pansexual? I was, and continue to be, attracted to members of the opposite sex… girls are shiny, just not romantically. Education and awareness regarding asexuality was not available to me, so I was grasping at what was. The dark just kept getting darker.
Every relationship I was in imploded. I would lose momentum of trying to be someone I was not. Worse, I blamed my partners. I was conditioned believing “you just haven’t met the right guy yet.” I did meet the right guy and I married him. Unfortunately, like all my relationships before him, my marriage suffered. My life suffered and my world was a chaotic mess. I was with someone I admire and love (always and forever), but I was nasty and mean. Struggling to find balance and not understanding what I needed, created an individual I am not proud of being.
The journey coming out of the dark has been rough and unsettling at times (more often than not). I threw hate at others for being confident in who they are because I was envious I could not be as strong. The stepping stones, as cracked and uneven as some were (some continue to be), have been my path out of the dark. I remember saying “I am asexual” out loud for the first time to a friend in the car just last year. I said it without conviction. I am still in the dark as most individuals I know do not know I am asexual. Why would they? I felt like a fool for wanting to come out of the dark. I felt like I would be judged for behaviors and actions that I did not take ownership of. I felt, who am I to jump into the LGBTQIA+ community? I felt like I was trying to take something that did not belong to me.
A pivot occurred, where I carefully and cautiously placed a foot gently into the light… I had a conversation with my oldest son, in Vegas, on his fifteenth birthday, regarding his sexual and romantic identities. My son never came out as asexual and aromantic; he just grew and developed naturally into himself. I came out to him as asexual heteroromantic, my heart filled with pride as he gave me the same unconditional love and acceptance I have always given him.
I decided to come out of the dark to my brother-in-law, and apologize for slamming the door on him when he came out of the pantry. I was greeted with an understanding and acceptance I felt like I did not deserve. I told my husband (unfortunately now separated) and again, I was given respect and love I did not feel like I deserved. There is a lot of wrong I did, and I am humbled by the support and unconditional love all around me.
I am asexual heteroromantic. I am no longer lost, confused or lying to myself. It is not that I have not found the right guy. It is not something I am just saying as a front to hide behind… this is who I am. I love romantic partnership but I would rather sit and eat cake with a partner than have sex with them… It really is that simple.