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Nice to Meetcha!

Discussion in 'Asexual & Grey-Ace' started by Foxglove, Mar 12, 2020.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Foxglove
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    Hi, Folks!

    There's no real purpose to this post other than to say that I'm glad to have found this space and that I plan to look at lots of threads here to see what I can learn from others.

    My story is that I'm a transgender woman and have been out for about the last eight years. When I was young and still living as male, since I was attracted to some extent to women, I tried the dating scene for a while and was a dismal failure at it. Looking back on it, I can see that my heart simply wasn't in it.

    At the time I didn't know that "asexual" was even a thing. It's only been in recent times that I've learned a bit about it. Now I wouldn't say that I identify as 100% asexual, but I'm pretty close to it. Having learned that it is possible to be asexual, I would say that all in all that's how I'll label myself. On occasion I may feel some attraction to someone, male or female, but the attraction simply isn't strong enough for me to feel the need to act on it. In fact, it's been a long, long time since I've had relations with anyone.

    I wish I'd known about this a long time ago. It would have allowed me to relax and not work so hard just to make a fool of myself. We all know the importance of finding ourselves and being ourselves, and it would have been so much better for me if I could have recognized this aspect of my character long ago. As it is, I'm quite happy to call myself asexual and I'm quite comfortable with that side of me.

    Best wishes to all!
     
  2. Nina Zenik
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    Hello! I'm new here, too. It was defo weird before finding out asexual was a thing for me as well. I used to say I had crushes on people just for the lols, which was what I used to assume was what everyone was doing. I thought they were all joking or something saying people were hot so I didn't even realise when I first found out about asexuality. Kudos to past me for thinking sexual attraction was a joke.
     
  3. Foxglove
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    I wish I'd copped on as soon as you did. As I said, I'm not completely asexual. Maybe this term "grey ace" (which I'd never heard before finding this forum) would be more appropriate to me. If I'd copped on earlier--that asexuality is a thing--it would have taken some pressure off me to be "normal". Live and learn.
     
  4. Nina Zenik
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    Yeah, I don't hear people talking about asexuality in any way in real life. Even less about being 'grey ace' or anything. Actually I'm pretty sure if you said 'I'm ace' to most people in real life they'd assume you meant it as using 'ace' to mean 'cool' lol. I guess still being slighty sexually attracted to people would make it harder to tell, especially if you didn't know it was possible to be asexual. I don't actually remember how I first found out about it being a thing but I think it had to do with being a big fangirl. You just end up knowing things.
     
  5. Foxglove
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    True, you don't hear much talk about it. Although there was one time I remember when a friend of mine started having a bit of a go at aces. (He didn't know I was one.) In his view aces are limited because "we can't express intimacy with another person". Now I didn't take him up on that because it simply wasn't the time or place. But I was disappointed in him. I mean, he was a smart enough guy and you'd hope for better than that from him. And secondly, he's gay himself, so you'd think he'd be a bit more understanding towards other sexual orientations. Anyway, I didn't break off relations with him. He was a good guy, and we all have our little blind spots, right?

    In any case, being asexual hasn't been any sort of problem for me--once I realized that I tended in that direction. I've never been in a position where I needed to discuss it with anybody or come out to anybody. I've just avoided relationships.

    Given that I'm transgender, my gender orientation has always been a much bigger issue for me than my sexual orientation. As it is, I'm at an age where there wouldn't be too many men interested in me anyway, so it's not a problem for me.

    Quite frankly, as I've said elsewhere, I don't mind being asexual or grey ace or whatever. I think it keeps you out of a lot of trouble. When you look at all the trouble people get themselves into just for the sake of getting laid, that's a problem I'm happy enough avoiding.
     
  6. Nina Zenik
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    I sort of get why your friend might think that, and he probably wasn't intending to be offensive. I can't really imagine being sexually attracted to people (what do people do, imagine each other naked? I am confused), and I guess it's equally hard for other people to imagine being asexual, because to them sex is like this great thing. I can imagine that they might think we're missing out or something.

    And yeah, everyone has blind spots, especially about things they don't understand. Before I realised I was asexual, I was a bit judgy about other people having sexual relationships. I thought they were shallow for wanting that with people they had only known for a couple of months or something, because I judged sex to equal serious relationship (I thought people only wanted sex if it was serious, like, you're married or something) and how can it be serious when you barely even know that person? But I know other people just have different feelings than me now and I can respect that.

    Still weird to hear he doesn't think you can be intimate without sex though. To me being intimate is knowing all the tiny details about someone and just being physically close, like cuddling or something.

    I'm guessing being transgender is a pretty big thing you have to process about yourself? I'm cis so I wouldn't know, but I'd imagine those feelings are more complex than realising you're ace, which was probably the most complex part for me because it made it very hard to tell that I was bi. I thought I just had big friend crushes lol.

    I have no idea what I'll do when I meet someone. Hope they are also some degree of asexual I guess. Asexuals are 1% of the population so the odds aren't that bad with one in a hundred (good thing I like both, more choices (I just realised me liking both does not mean they will like both oops my bad)).
     
  7. Foxglove
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    Being asexual--or at least tending in that direction--has never been a big deal for me. It's one reason I'm happy to have found this forum: to see what it means for other people in their lives. As for me, all I've had to do is avoid relationships and avoid talking about them, and at my age, that's easy enough to do.

    Being transgender on the other hand, yes, that's been a much bigger issue. When you come out as trans, that's not something you can hide from the world. When you're in the closet, it's soul-destroying, something you very badly need to deal with. Being trans has caused me all sorts of problems in life, especially because when I was young, there was no way I could come out and expect to survive. Fortunately, things are changing now, but even so, it isn't easy coming out.
     
  8. 1sock2sock

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    Its so weird and limited and immature for someone to think sex is all there is to a serious relationship. Poor guy must not've had good role models.
    Im just realizing i may be ace to some degree. I never used to want a relationship until last year when i first had the world-altering thought that i may be lesbian.
    In my childhood i always thought it was weird that people good just bounce from one relationship to the next. When i got to high school i doubted myself, that i would be behind in the social department because i didnt have any relationships in that seemingly critical period for them.
    Before high school i had heard people can be gay. But that was just something that men could be.
    Anyway, i new i was never interested in males. I never thought females were, or could be, an option. I never had any desire for a relationship. Def not any intimacy.
    Little side note. Not trying to be mean or anything. I find this quite interesting. So, one of you says "copped" and the other says "tends". I believe, in the context the words were used in, you mean "caught" and "trends". Maybe not, but i couldnt help but see the error there. Linguistics are so interesting!
    Thanks for letting me chime in :) 

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  9. Nina Zenik
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    It seems like a lot of people knew about men being gay before they did about women. Pretty sure I did too. Weird how that's the first alternative sexuality people find out about. I wonder why that is.

    I was kind of similar to you in not realising about liking girls. Or, I knew about it, but never thought that would be me. And being asexual made it hard to tell since it's not like sexual attraction gives anything away.

    It does seem immature to me that relationships are so much about sex, but then I'm like maybe that's just because I don't feel that way about people? Maybe sexual people find it equally strange we're not bothered about that sort of thing.

    Is this the 'tends' in question? That one is correct, as in tendancy. I have no idea where the 'copped' is though lol.

    Are you a bit aromantic then, or just not interested? I'm pretty sure I'm just asexual. I still want to fall in love and do all the romance stuff. Though I've never wanted to just 'date' for fun like most people do; I've never dated anyone (except one guy who I agreed to hang out with once as friends at school but I think I just did not get that it was a date. He very high-key ran after me in corridors for weeks after and he was easily six foot three or something. It was like being chased by a medium sized tree).

    I do think things have changed a lot with attitudes to LGBT+ people. Like, I've never actually heard anyone be properly homophobic or transphobic or anything. I don't know if I'm lucky or sheltered or something in that regard, but I think most people my age (in my area, at least) are completely cool with that sort of thing. And I live in a pretty old fashioned area. Plus, representation in books/media is getting a lot better, which I think definately helps.

    Not seen any asexual characters yet though. I think trans people might be less well represented than LGB people too. I read lots of fantasy and there are some with loads of representation, but no trans people. I myself am writing a fantasy book and I have no trans characters either though, because I don't really feel at all qualified to write about how it feels to be trans. It's easy to write same sex relationships, because (well, I am bi) but almost everyone has a reference for love, even if they're straight. If it wasn't a main character I guess you could just mention a their name from 'before' or whatever, but then it could get a bit like ticking off a check-list, which is cheap and absolutely sucks. But if you write a character who is supposed to be trans and never mention that they are, it isn't really representation because it's not there on paper. Do you have any thoughts on that kind of thing? I don't actually know any trans people in real life, so I've never been able to ask anyone trans how they feel about that kind of thing.
     
  10. 1sock2sock

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    Yeah, that makes sense. Tends, tendancy. It still seems a tad off, but i get it.
    When Foxglove said "I wish i copped on as soon as you did."
    Try watching Good Omens on Amazon prime. I havent had the pleasure of watching it (i plan to if i meet someone with Prime or try the free trial), but i have heard that it is a good representation of ace, nonbinary, genderfluid people and an over all big middle finger to the straight white binary representation of religion. If you have Prime, please, i would love to watch it. There are 6 episodes, no plan for more. Theres also a book.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
     
  11. Nina Zenik
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    Copped on is correct too to me. Maybe we're from different places and usage is different?

    Good Omens looks quite interesting actually. I'll put it on my TBR list. My dad and brother have prime but if I watch that I'll get another free trial. Because it'll show up on the list of things being watched and that may be... awkward.
     
  12. 1sock2sock

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    Im from the US.
    I wouldnt think itd be weird :/

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  13. Nina Zenik
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    It wouldn't exactly be weird lol, but they don't know I'm not entirely straight and I'm not exactly not telling them about it, I'm just not going out of my way to tell them. So I'm just not doing anything to prompt questions. It's like a balence of out-of-the-closet but not TOO out-of-the-closet. I want to keep it to myself for now until I know better and am comfortable with it but if they ask I don't want to lie either.
     
  14. MD_Unicorn
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    Hello,
    A big welcome to you both. I hope you enjoy your stay at the never ending party.
    MD :) 
     
  15. Foxglove
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    I didn't come down hard on this guy at the time, and I still don't. For me, life is (or should be) an unending process of learning about the world. Sometimes it takes a while for us to "cop on" to the simplest points. I myself have been guilty of that often enough, and I've never known anyone who wasn't. This issue of asexuality is something he still hasn't got to grips with. But he's a good guy and a smart guy and he'll get there eventually, I think. I simply chalk it up as one of his blind spots, and I believe we all have those. If he were a bad guy, that would be different--but he isn't.

    On this point: the only time I question someone's choice of words or spelling or punctuation, etc., is when I'm simply unable to understand what they mean. I think we've got better things to do. I myself am university educated, and I proofread every post I write before I submit it. Even so, I still make mistakes from time to time. E.g., the common confusion over "your" and "you're", or over "there", "their" and "they're", even I slip up in that regard sometimes.

    We also need to remember that some people don't have a lot of formal education. It doesn't mean they're dumb. It simply means they don't have a lot of formal education. There's a difference. And often enough we're dealing with people whose first language isn't English.

    So, as I said, I don't see any point in wasting brain cells on the issue. As long as I understand what somebody's saying, that's good enough for me. E.g., in the sentence you wrote above, it appears obvious to me that "good" should actually be "could". So I wouldn't waste my time calling attention to the mistake. We all make them. No big deal.
     
  16. Foxglove
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    I'd say that basically I'm just not interested. I was actually married at one point, but it didn't last long, one reason being that my heart wasn't in it. I got married for the same reason lots of LGBT people (of my generation at least) got married: it seemed like the thing to do. If I'd put more thought into it, I don't think I'd have done it. But once the marriage fell apart (and that was a long, long time ago) I never gave any thought to another relationship, romantic or sexual. I don't feel I'm missing much. It simply doesn't interest me. There are lots of other things that do.

    Here, things are very much hit and miss. I certainly have the impression that among young people today, there's much more acceptance of LGBT+ people than there was back in my day. When I was growing up, if you were trans there was no way you were going to be allowed to be trans. It simply wasn't going to happen.

    I live in a tiny little town in Ireland, and people are OK with me. They knew me for years before I came out, and they've known me for years after I came out, and they're simply not bothered. I've run into very little hostility. On the other hand, I often hang out on an atheist forum where LGBT+ issues come up quite often. The regulars there are all very supportive of us, but people coming in from the outside can be unbelievably vicious towards us, especially towards us transpeople.

    So it's still a question of not knowing what you're going to run into next.

    I'd certainly agree with this. It's becoming quite common to see gay people in novels (though not so much with bisexuals), but transpeople are poorly represented. I just came across a transman in one of Haruki Murakami's novels, and it was the first time since I don't know when that I'd seen a transperson sympathetically portrayed in a novel. And from the way Murakami wrote about him, it appeared to me that he did have a pretty good grasp of the issues.

    This wouldn't be easy because of course we're all individuals. We all have a basic experience in common, but how we react to it emotionally can vary a great deal--just as it is with cisgender people, I'd guess. Take two cisgender women, they might well react very differently to the experience of being a woman.

    I can say for my part that it is intensely frustrating not to be cisgender. As one transwoman had as her signature of a forum, "All I want is to be a girl. Is that really asking so much?" I think this reaction of frustration is quite common, but it wouldn't necessarily be universal. Even I have lots of moments when I simply accept being trans. It's what I am, so I just get on with it and I don't mind it too much.

    I think if anybody, cis or trans, wanted to write about a trans character, they'd have to base their writing on real experience. Get to know one transperson (or more) and base your fictional character on that real person. After all, that's one thing that makes a good writer good: they know real people.

    I see the problem here. In Murakami's novel, the transman mentioned at one point to another character that he was "different", without specifying what that difference was. It was only later that he opened up and told him he was trans.

    That strikes me as a pretty genuine experience, one I've had myself. I meet somebody, become friends with them. But I don't actually tell them I'm trans until I feel there's a need for them to know. E.g., one woman I knew began asking questions about my past, "my girlhood", etc. At that point (since we were friendly enough) I told her I was trans so that I could be open and honest about my past. If I was going to keep her in the dark, it would involve me in all sorts of problems trying to figure out what I could say and what I couldn't. It's much easier to let her know so that I can speak openly. And you can't truly be friends if you're keeping them in the dark about such an important factor in your life.

    A problem that I haven't had and don't think I ever will would be if a man wanted to start dating me. I don't really think I'd allow that to happen without telling him I'm trans. I think I'd prefer to be up-front about that, and if he decided he was no longer interested, then so be it. If he's going to reject me on that basis, better that he does it right at the start.

    I suppose what I'm saying is that the way to reveal that a trans character is trans is by basing the "revelation" on real life experience. Again, it would be a question of getting to know transpeople and their experiences.
     
  17. Nina Zenik
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    You're obviously quite a bit older than me, but I can say I never understood how people spent so long on that kind of thing. I remember when if dating came up in conversation in my mind I was like URGH because my friends would talk about it for ages lol.

    I guess it's a thing with the internet too, being anonymous and everything. Plus, I think some people are just nasty online for fun. Not that that makes it any better.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions about being trans, too. It's something I've never known that much about- the 'experience' side of it, at least. What you said makes a lot of sense, though. I suppose that's the great thing about forums like this, though, being able to hear about real people's experiences. It's a lot different to actually chat to people than it is to just know what something is.

    Delayed response, I know :D  I have no excuse, I spent most of the week hibernating in bed.
     
  18. Foxglove
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    I'm well up in my 60's now, and back in my day things were very different. No internet, e.g., and hence no real way of getting good information. Back then I never heard of "asexual". But if somebody had told me about it and described it, then I might well have thought about it. E.g., when I was dating--or trying to--I might have asked myself, "Are you really interested in this scene?" Because looking back on it now, I can see that I wasn't. I was just going with the flow.

    It's also obvious to me from talking to you and some others on this sub-forum that I wouldn't qualify as out-and-out asexual. Maybe "gray-ace" would be a better descriptor.

    At any rate, the internet made a huge difference. All of a sudden you can meet people, talk to them, share experiences, compare notes--in a word, you start learning about yourself. That's what finally got me out of the closet and into the world. Other people were doing it. Why not me?
     
  19. Nina Zenik
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    I guess that's one of the awkward things about labels, wondering which ones you fit into. I know some there are some people who aren't attracted like that until they're in a relationship, and I've never had one, so while I think I probably qualify as just asexual now, who knows? I suppose labels don't really matter that much, though.

    I know some studies show maybe more people than we realise are ace/gray ace or somewhere on that scale, but they just don't know it. I mean, it makes sense it's going to less obvious to work out than which gender you like. Plus, it's definately a lesser known sexuality or whatever you'd call it. It would be cool to start seeing lesser known sexualities in books/tv shows or whatever so people knew they were a actual thing more.

    At this point I can't really imagine not having the internet haha. All the things I would never have known about! And there's no judgement on the internet, either, in that you can chat on forums like this without actually 'coming out' in real life. Definately useful to work stuff out :) 
     
  20. Foxglove
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    I'll tell you a true story about the way things used to be. This would have been right around 1970 because I was still living at home and hadn't had a driver's license for very long.

    My dad often played golf at a course about 20 miles from home. One evening, as it was beginning to get dark, he finished his round and was preparing to come home. He put his golf bag and shoes in the trunk of the car and then closed the trunk--forgetting that his car keys were still in his golf bag. In other words, he'd just locked himself out of the car.

    What to do? The only thing he could do was to phone home to get me to come out and bring him a spare set of keys. But it was getting dark, the club house and pro shop were closed, he was about the only one left around the place, so there wasn't a phone available. How far would he have had to walk to find a phone? At least a mile or two. In other words, he's in a bit of a tight spot.

    Well, it just so happened that among the two or three other people still around, one of them was a rich guy who actually had a phone in his car. In those days that was virtually unheard of. It was the first time I myself heard of it. You could actually have a phone in your car. It probably wouldn't have been but 5 or 6 guys out of a million, but it was possible.

    So my dad got extremely lucky. The man let him use the phone, I drove out with a set of keys, and he eventually got home, a bit late, but without mishap.

    True story. Now you know.
     

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