Colleen De Neve
Happy Pride Month!
This year is my first pride as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community!
I wanted to do something special so I decided to tell my story, as a closeted member! And I’m already celebrating to the best of my ability, by convincing my family to wave pride flags in support and reposting a butt load of pride Instagram posts.
It probably started last summer. I don’t even remember what I was doing the moment I learned about asexuality. I might have been reading fanfictions or watching Tik Toks.
Anyway, I discovered what being asexual meant that day. And it reshaped so much of my life. It answered many of the questions I had (honestly, most were related to fanfiction).
For those who don’t know, asexuality is when a person has little to no sexual attraction. It includes sexualities such as aromantic, grey-sexual, demi-sexual and more. I fall within the asexual – demisexual range.
From there my curiosity grew. At the moment I thought I was heteroromantic asexual, but there was so much more to the LGBTQIA+ community. What did it feel like to be romantically involved with the same gender? With non-binary people? Do I like they/them pronouns?
I started reading about it. Writing even, when it came to school assignments or articles. My Tik Tok FYP was filled with LGBTQIA+ content, the good and the bad. My Youtube recommendations were full of videos like “Are you asexual?” “This is what it feels like to be a lesbian”. Even my search history is full of sexualities quizzes and the like.
I came out to my best friends around February and March this year. It was one of the most relieving events of my life. It helped me be freer to others around me (excluding my parents, but we’ll talk about that later).
It was also around that time that I started questioning who I was attracted to. I started to realize that beyond not caring for sex, I also didn’t care what they looked like. Masculine, feminine, androgynous, or fluid did not matter much to me.
Then I started reading even more – if that was even possible at that point. I read about bisexuality, omnisexuality and pansexuality. And at this point all my research, time, and self-discovery climaxed.
And now my sexuality is (drumroll please) panromantic asexual!
I am romantically attracted to everyone, regardless of gender. “Genderblind” is fairly accurate. But in regards to sexually, I am attracted to no one.
And now came the hard part (well…. sorta?)
I had to come out (and re-come) out to people.
Honestly, my best friends were fairly easy to come out to. I sent one a text saying “EVERYONE IS HOT HELP” and the other I just sent a meme that literally just says “✨p a n✨”. And I have never officially come out to everyone I know, but I will tell them honestly if a person asks.
The hardest part of my journey is still happening – coming out to my family. Neither are directly homophobic or anti-LGBTQIA+, but they’re both very unsure about the whole thing. My mum is from rural Asia and my dad grew up in a northern, religious household, so it’s not surprising why.
But I do believe that some of my sexuality was influenced by how I was raised. I grew up with the ideology that every human being is the same – that I should pick a partner based on their personality and beliefs. And that is clearly reflective in my pansexuality.
But interestingly enough, I also grew up with the lesson that sex must be a part of a healthy human relationship. And if I believed that was true, why do I accept my asexuality?
I’ve always wondered what caused sexuality. Is there a special chemical imbalance in our brains (that’s my internal scientist talking)? How much of it is environmental? If you, the reader, notice correlations between your sexuality and something you grew up with, feel free to comment below.
Anyway, back to the subject of coming out. I’m a very anxious person. So to this day, for the better part of a year, I have refrained from being open in the larger public.
It does get taxing at times, hiding my sexuality. Honestly, there have been so many times where I’ve wanted to blurt out “she’s so hot” (I may be ace, but I can appreciate when someones hot). But I have been lucky to have my best friends to support me.
I am happy being me. I’ve fully accepted my sexuality – I cannot change it nor do I want to change it. And while I do acknowledge how lucky I’ve been situational, I’m also very proud of how much effort I’ve put into myself.
If any of you find yourself in my situation, or worse, feel free to dm the KVC Instagram or leave a comment below with your Instagram handle and I’ll message you.
Alternatively, you can call the Trans Helpline (1-877-330-6366) or the LGBTQIA+ Helpline (1-888-687-9688)