Bullied For Being Asexual
PANEL 1 – A TV screen. With a man and woman kissing.
CAPTION – By my teenage years, I already knew marriage wasn’t for me.
PANEL 2 – AUTHOR is a girl in her tweens. She is watching the TV, and is looking confused.
PANEL 3 – AUTHOR is surrounded by her friends. She is at a slumber party. Everyone else is looking happy and excited at what is on the TV.
CAPTION – It baffled me since I never felt that way about anybody.
PANEL 4 – Close up of the man on TV.
CAPTION – I’d never wanted to kiss a boy…
PANEL 5 – Close up of the woman on TV>
CAPTION – …or a girl…
PANEL 6 – The girls are talking to each other after watching TV>
Friend 1 – Which celeb would you like to be with?
Friend 2 & 3 are thinking about different people.
AUTHOR – ….
CAPTION – I couldn’t understand why I was expected to do this with someone someday and enjoy it.
PANEL 7 – AUTHOR looks awkward at friend.
Friend 1 – What about you??
AUTHOR – mmm…
PANEL 8 – AUTHOR looks timidly at her friend.
AUTHOR – I…want to be a virgin forever…
PANEL 9 – Friend looks surprised, pulling out her phone, while the other friends in the background are laughing.
Friend 1 – WHAT?! Hold on I gotta record this…
PANEL 10 – AUTHOR looks horrified. Friend looks threatening.
AUTHOR – NO! Don’t record that!
Friend 1 – Just DO it!
AUTHOR – Please don’t!
Friend 1 – It’s funny! Say it again, or we’re gonna tell everyone.
PANEL 11 – AUTHOR looking down, embarrassed. While Friend records AUTHOR on the phone.
AUTHOR – I…I want to stay a virgin…
PANEL 12 – Close up of Friend 1.
Friend 1 – But you haven’t LIVED until you’ve had sex!!
PANEL 13 – The rest of her friends are sneering and making fun of AUTHOR.
Friend 2 – What’s WRONG with you?
Friend 3 – Ya! Hahahha!
PANEL 14 – A close up of the phone, AUTHOR looking embarrassed.
CAPTION – I remember feeling like something was wrong with me. Like I was damaged and broken as a human being.
CAPTION – …years later, I learned that there are other like me, and that I can call myself asexual (The label that best fits me is a-romantic asexual).
CAPTION – Unfortunately, the questions only continued as I got older…
“Do you have any crushes?”
“Are you sure? Don’t you fancy boys?”
“What about girls?”
When I was ten, I decided that I didn’t want to get married to a man. It took me a long time to realise that straight marriage wasn’t the only option thanks to growing up in an incredibly heteronormative, conservative religious culture. As soon as I did realise, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted from my life.
When I was around eleven or twelve, I noticed that all my classmates were starting to develop crushes on other people.
That baffled me since I’d never felt that way about anybody. I’d never wanted to kiss a boy. Sex ed at school horrified me. I couldn’t understand why I was expected to do this with a man someday and enjoy it.
‘I want to be a virgin forever,’ I told the girls in my class.
They recorded me explaining why I didn’t want to have sex on video, although I begged them not to.
‘She’s not gay, Michael,’ one of the girls added on as an afterthought, since she was planning to show it to her boyfriend.
A few months later, I was eating lunch with some people I thought were my friends. The conversation turned to sex. Again, I said I didn’t want to have sex.
‘But you haven’t lived until you’ve had sex!’ declared my friend.
Everyone else agreed with her, ganging up on me.
I walked away, feeling as if I was somehow broken or damaged.
The questions only continued as I got older. I’m a naturally blunt person, so it wasn’t in my nature to feign a celebrity crush. I tended to just avoid answering, even if it put me in an awkward situation.
‘Do you have any crushes?’
‘Are you sure? Don’t you fancy any boys?’
‘No, I don’t’
‘What about girls?’
I blushed and looked away. I identify as a aromantic asexual, which means that I feel very limited romantic attraction, but I don’t experience sexual attraction. But I wasn’t about to explain that to them.