Bullied For Being Asexual

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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?”

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I’m asexual.
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?’
‘No’
‘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.

Story by anonymous, comic illustrated by Rachael Smith.

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