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I Am Asexual, Aromantic, and Proud AF
Lo Fox shares her story of discovering her sexuality and holding space for her existence
I am asexual and aromantic. No, I am not a plant, I do not have trauma that has caused me to repress sexual feelings, and I am not saving myself for someone. I am simply asexual and aromantic. Asexuality is defined as “the quality or characteristic of having no sexual feelings or desires,” but I find this definition to be rigid. Asexuality is a sexual orientation. Just like every other sexual orientation, there is a spectrum. The same goes for aromanticism. The asexual and aromantic spectrum is a diverse experience for everyone, but my experience is quite unique.
I had crushes, but I never had any desire to act on those feelings
At the beginning of discovering my sexual orientation, I was unsure about my feelings. Was this normal? Am I the only one who is not interested in sexual activities or kissing? Why do I find the idea of sex so unappealing? I had spent most of my life thinking that I was unusual and that there was something wrong with me. I never had a middle school boyfriend like my friends did, and I never had a high school boyfriend either. I didn’t want to have one. I had crushes, but I never had any desire to act on those feelings. I was content with that. I have known for a very long time that I am asexual and aromantic, but I didn’t know until the age of eighteen that there were words to describe and help define my preference.
Sex and romance are central to so many parts of society. Cis-heterosexual relationships that involve sex are seen as the default setting for humans when that is actually far from the truth. So, where does that leave people like me? I have always had identity issues, and being transracially adopted, I have struggled my entire life with knowing who I am and where I belong. To add to the identity confusion society wishes to project upon me, I also identify as biromantic. How am I biromatic and aromantic? The answer is simple: I am not interested in a romantic relationship, but if I was, I know sex would not be a preference for me.
Cis-heterosexual relationships that involve sex are seen as the default setting for humans when that is actually far from the truth. So, where does that leave people like me?
I have chosen to be single for the duration of my life, and I am extremely happy with that. Many cultures around the world have demonized women for choosing to be alone. This includes both of my cultures: American culture sees a woman that has chosen to be single as lonely, sad, and unsuccessful, and South Asian culture sees a woman that has chosen to be single as unskilled, defective, and unlovable. But despite being both American and South Asian, I am none of these negative stereotypes. I am me. I am human.
We live in a world that aims to invalidate us and tear us down in any way possible. Asexuality, aromanticism, and bisexuality are all sexual orientations that some people believe do not exist. But they do. I first came out on Instagram. I shared my sexualities in the comment section and naively thought no one would take issue with my seemingly contradictory statement of being asexual and biromantic. But I was wrong. I was bombarded with people commenting, as though they were not even talking to me. As though I didn’t exist.
“How can she be asexual and bi? That’s not possible,” they said.
I responded to these comments saying that my existence was not up for debate. I expected people to leave me alone after this but that was not at all what happened. The comments continued.
“That’s like saying you’re a vegan who eats meat and then telling people that it’s not up for debate when they say it makes no sense,” strangers said.
This comment, and many more, will stay with me forever. Words are powerful to me. My mom happily accepted me, but this experience showed me how intensely hurtful it is to be examined and questioned like something to be studied rather than a human being with complexity. As a young college student, I know that I have many more experiences like this in store for me. But as traumatizing as living my truth online was for me, it has made me hesitant to continue to share. I haven’t even told the rest of my family yet.
Realizing that I want to be single for life has been a rollercoaster. I know that I am happy with my decision, but because of these common views, I sometimes question if there really is something wrong with me. But I am a woman who is free to make the choices that are right for me. Only I can know what is best for me when it comes to love, and I have chosen the love of my family and friends over romantic love. I like not being tied to a person. I enjoy conserving my energy for my family and friends. I value my solitude. Many may see this as cold, but I truly revel in my perpetual singleness.
People like me are human beings who deserve to be understood, just as any person of any other sexuality should be. Sexuality is not a choice. I was born this way. I am not sorry, either. Instead, I am proud.