As this Pride month kind of SNUCK UP ON ME like a ninja, I thought I’d get personal here on my bloggy blog and talk about some things.
Some things being my sexuality and how books
or one in particular helped shape that.
Now, before I start I should bring up some content warnings: I will be talking about some homophobic and acephobic comments and scenarios I’ve heard throughout my lifetime. It’s not too expanded on, but just in case it may be triggering for you— I’m preparing you.
Quick short story: I have had to come out to my mother in my life six times. Seeing as I’m only 19, that doesn’t seem like a lot…. or maybe I’m downplaying it, I don’t actually know.
Now, my mother was super cool about it…. kind of... considering she already went through this with my older sister, but either way she was kind of okay. I’ll explain the “kind of” in a bit.
It took me a while to actually come to terms with my sexuality, being black and queer and raised in a Christian household is definitely a difficult experience: being young and hearing your own family members set in their homophobic ways really put a halt in my self discovery as a whole, to the point where I inadvertently blocked it out.
Being raised by an extremely religious father, that ideology ingrained in me at a young age: I was knocking on doors and spreading the name of the Lord by the ripe old age of 7. But, I had also grew up around his bigoted comments, is offhanded homophobic outburst and the insistent message of “if you don’t act on it, the Lord may forgive you.” My young brain didn’t fully comprehend it. Yet, looking back, I can definitely see how those comments traumatized me: I fully believed I’d be living on eggshells for the rest of my life for the small chance that God may forgive something I couldn’t control, but would have to. I realized later on in life all of the things I grew up with were things I internalized and projected onto myself until recently.
But, enough about my childhood, I didn’t have any qualms with the act of coming out: no super magical, movie like epiphany with the light bulb and such… it happened with a book.
When I was in ninth grade (so about 14), I had read Every Heart a Doorway. As you know, that has a-spec representation and at the time, I had already been questioning my lack of attraction to my fellow classmates. I’d already had the “who do you like in our class” questions and honestly? No one, you’re all horrible.
I’m joking, I’m joking, but it was a particular quote that finally speared the thought through me that I may be asexual. And after google research and some self reflection… there I was.
The first tine I came out to my mother was in a grocery store. Nothing glamorous, but I did mention the book and my feeling and finally said the magic words: I may be asexual. Of course, she didn’t know what that meant and I explained it to her. And the response I got was “how could you know? You’re only 14, you may change your mind. You’ve never dated anyone, you may find the one.”
To be fair, I kind of expected it. Doesn’t mean it hurt any less. But, how sad is it that I accepted that small glimpse of doubt because she was the only one I trusted to not completely judge me? She was the only one who I had faith in accepting me, just a little bit. Compared to being called selfish for stating I was a-spec (which DID actually happen…), in my brain, her comment wasn’t that bad.
The other few times I came out weren’t anything special, she’d ask why I wasn’t dating anyone and I’d have to explain yet again that I was asexual and uninterested, but this last time was a bit different. See, I had finally come to terms with the fact that I was pansexual. which in and of itself is an entirely different and long-winded story that I may expand on later on in life…
I don’t normally get this personal on my blog
surprisingly, but this year just made me more reflective on… a lot. I’ve lived damn near 2 decades… I guess now is as good of a time as any for some introspection.