Story by Anonymous
When everyone had a crush on someone or the other, I felt nothing.
It was around 7th or 8th standard, when everyone was keen on knowing who liked who. Because my circle of friends included mostly guys or was rather perceived that way, people assumed and passed around rumours that “'oh she likes him that's why she is being clingy to him”. This happened every time when I was close with one of the guys. Few of the girls that I was friends with were hung up on the fact I had a crush on someone. However, when I broke it to them that I was not attracted to anyone I was labeled as an abnormal person.
There was no one I could relate to and that left me lonely.
Things went south the day one of my friends asked me if I was a lesbian. All of this affected how I perceived myself. In a country which lacked a proper sex-ed class and a school without a counselor, I ended up internalizing that being gay or lesbian was inherently bad. It also rendered me incapable of opening up and having an honest conversation about sexuality and the wide spectrum of it all.
The few friends I had were completely baffled by the fact that I was never sexually attracted to anyone. They made it a point to bring it up every time and I was labeled as a sociopath. This basically left me peerless in 9th and 10th.
I was in 11th when I started exploring the online space. I started engaging in fan communities and came across many LGBTQIA+ artists who were vocal and active in their respective platforms. Befriending some of them, I opened up about my lack of sexual attraction. It was during this time that I became aware about the spectrum of asexuality.
I found a bunch of ace(asexual) speakers and others, who talked about their feelings and how it felt being asexual. Suddenly, all the boxes that I once looked at quizzically were checked. I had finally found a home with my sexuality. Nothing was wrong with me, after all!
When I joined college, I came across many people who were members of the queer community. They felt no need to hide it and I found myself at another home there. I even met a friend who identified as an ace and we opened up about a lot of things, especially our social anxiety and inability to make friends.
I also came close to being in a relationship with someone one time, but it ended up in an argument about how our relationship had never elevated from friendship as I was not into being intimate. And this has been in my way of having a relationship. I am not closed off to the idea of sex and intimacy; it just feels like a physical chore than an instinct for me.
I guess, people find us incapable of maintaining a relationship because we are labeled as emotionless. Or people are just unaware about asexuality as one of sexualities to exist due to the limited queer representation around us, provided asexuality being severely underrepresented.
While it may not look like a visible struggle for asexual individuals compared to the other folks on the queer spectrum, it always takes an emotional toll.
I still find it hard to tell people that I am asexual to this day. I am afraid of coming off as an emotionless person. I feel the whole cycle repeating most of the time and end up viewing my asexuality as a bane, even though I know it is not.
However, I have come to terms with my sexuality, as people who I am close to have heard and understood me. It feels like a warm welcome.