As some of you already know, coming out of the closet as an asexual can be a difficult thing to do in a world that needs more education about it. This lack of exposure is something that you should try to keep in mind when you talk to your friends or your parents. Here are my tips that could help “make your case” to the people you want to tell.
1. Before anything, arm yourself with knowledge!
I hope that the majority of you can at least define what asexuality is, but just telling someone you don’t experience sexual attraction will probably not be enough. You may need to explain the difference between asexuality and celibacy, for example. Some of you will have to explain that you experience other kinds of attraction (I experience aesthetic attraction). Many will have to clarify that they still find a romantic interest in people (hetero/homoromatics, biromantics, etc) or not (aromantics). The more knowledge you have of your asexuality, the better you can stand your ground. Your chances of people taking you seriously are higher because it shows that you are taking this seriously yourself.
2. Prepare answers for common reactions
This is another reason for the first step. You are more than likely going to come out to people that never heard of asexuality in their life. Now, some reactions are just plain mean. Others may respond with a stereotypical statement not because they are trying to hurt you, but because they do not understand that people can be asexual. This is why coming out should also be your opportunity to teach others about asexuality.
A great post for reactions asexuals get: http://equivamp.tumblr.com/post/37140875838
3. Set up a proper time and place with your friends/parents/etc
Do not just randomly decide that you’re going to mention something to your friends and family because they may think that your asexuality is just a spur-of-the-moment thing too. You want to come across as serious, so tell your friends and family that you want to talk about something very important when you’re both not busy. You want to make sure you will have their full attention at this time and place.
4. Remember to breathe
Coming out can be very nerve-wracking (especially if you’re uncertain how your friends and family will react), so take a few deep breaths if you need to before you begin your dialogue. You may want to recite your opening statements in your head a few times before you talk to your friends and family, just to make sure everything comes out correctly.
5. After coming out, ask if they have questions
Unless you find out that they actually know other asexuals (a happy surprise that I received from a friend I came out to recently), you should always ask if they have questions. Do not assume right away that they 100% understand asexuality, even if you explained a lot to them. This could make you upset down the road if they say something wrong later on.
6. The aftermath
– If your friends and family appear to understand and accept you:
Hooray! But it will probably take some time before they really understand asexuality. I came out to a friend once that seemed completely accepting and happy that I discovered my asexuality, so I made the mistake of assuming she would understand that I’ve always been this way. The next time I visited her, she said, “So, how’s it going? Still asexual?”
– If your friends and family refuse to accept you as asexual:
Sadly, this will happen to some of you. If this ends up happening to you, remember two important things: You have a whole asexual community online (and in person for some of you) that 100% supports you and you are not broken. Please don’t ever think that something is wrong with you just because you’re not like most other people. We aces should be proud of who we are!
Reblog or send me a message if you have more tips on coming out!