If you’d like to learn more about asexuality, please visit the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, AVEN.
CT: Honey, first, congratulations on graduating summa cum laude. What’s next for you?
Honey: I’ve just accepted a position as a violinist with the San Myshuno Symphony orchestra, so in a few weeks, I’ll be moving there. I’m excited, nervous, and more than a little scared.
I do think it will be neat to live someplace with lots of diversity! I’m hoping that it gives me more room to be me!
CT: When did you first identify yourself as an asexual?
Honey: I was really lucky. One of my roommates during freshman year, Emma Bennet–she’s a wonder child, actually!–identified herself as an asexual. So when talking with her, I realized that there were others like me, and that I wasn’t as weird as all my friends and my parents thought. Then, in the human sexuality course I took sophomore year, it was actually presented as the fourth sexual orientation–like it was official. And so then, I just sort of relaxed into it. I was really glad not to have my identity as an issue or source of confusion during my college years. There was so much else to do!
CT: It sounds like your friends and other students were really accepting. Has everyone been?
Honey: Oh, no! I haven’t even come out to my parents. I’m afraid to, really. My mom–well, I’m not sure how to come out to her. You see, my parents are both very romantic and highly sexual. My home growing up–it was electric! Anyway, my mom’s always asking me about every single guy I know. She says things like, “Wouldn’t you like to try a little make-up?” or “You know, with your figure, every eye’s on you when you walk into the room. You should work it, Honey! Go ahead and put a little swing into your walk!”
I mean, I love her, but she’s been pushing me to get a boyfriend since I was twelve. Lately, she’s been hinting that maybe I want a girlfriend, instead. And I really haven’t yet figured out a way to tell her that she just doesn’t get it.
My dad’s a different story: he’s pretty accepting of me. He wants me to have intensity in life: to live fully and to feel things strongly. But he seems to settle for musical and even transcendental intensity. Like, aesthetic intensity. You know, maybe I’ll come out to him first, and then let him explain it to Mom.
CT: That sounds like a plan.
Honey: My mom just doesn’t want me to miss out. She knows how happy being with my dad makes her, and, of course, she thinks that since I’m her daughter, I’m exactly like her. But I’m really not. I’m me.
CT: Yeah. For me, that’s the beauty of finding labels that fit us. When I think of all the labels that help me feel comfortable with who I am (the Myers-Briggs INFP, the sociological term “cultural creative,” and asexual), they all help to create space so I can be who I am in the ways that don’t fit with the mainstream–and to help me realize I don’t need to try to fit in.
Honey: That’s a great way to put it!
CT: What message would you like to share with others during Asexual Awareness Week?
Honey: Oh, I’m so not good at summing up things in a pithy statement! I always think in terms of music. You know how some people describe Bach’s music as being dry, as if it’s all logic and no feeling? But for those of us who play it and love it and live it, we find it so rich, so full, as if it contains all of life and all that the universe has to share. I guess that’s what I’d want to get at. My life, as an aromantic asexual, isn’t dry or boring or missing something. For me, it’s full of passion and feeling and the energy of life! I wouldn’t want to be any other way. And I really hope that everyone, in every orientation, can feel that way about who they are.