There is no rush to figure yourself out

I consider myself pretty lucky.

Throughout my life, I’ve encountered many people, both in and out of the queer community, who struggle to understand themselves. But I’m not here to talk about that now, I’m here to share a bit of my life. I know how self-centred of me, but it’s the only story I feel I have the right to tell.

Growing up and going through primary school I always heard the same question: “so, who do you have a crush on?” My answer to that was always “uh, no one?” to which many giggles would go around as I was obviously hiding a crush, and then I’d forget about it and go on my way. I was completely oblivious.

Then came high school, and by this point I’d caught on that I was supposed to have a “crush”, but every time I thought about dating I just went, “nah, maybe later though, like around Uni or something.” This was also around the time someone first confessed they had feelings for me. She was a year older than me I think, and after weeks of her friends telling me that she had a crush on me she texts me saying it’s true. Now, this freaked me out. Someone having a crush on me? I didn’t (and still don’t) even know what a crush felt like. I was like, 14 and scared out of my mind by the prospect, I couldn’t commit to that, I really did not want a sexual relationship (we’ll touch on this later). So, in one of the moments I most regret about my life, I ghosted her and that friend group. I’d always drifted anyways, wouldn’t be too hard to fit in with a new crowd.

The next year starts and I’m with a new friend group, but now I’ve learned, I’m perceived as male and I must be extremely interested in sex so I learn as much as I can about it. I still am mostly apathetic about it at this point, but if I know about a lot of contraceptive methods and how different genitalia works then I can at least convince everyone that I’m like them. I’m pretty sure I was the only AMAB (assigned male at birth, we’ll come back to that one too) person who could point out what a clitoris was during some kind of sex ed presentation. This act lasted for a few years, until I realised, “huh, I might be asexual.”

The revelation that I might fall somewhere under asexual wasn’t a shocking one to me. I’ve never felt broken or lesser because of it. It was just, another thing about me that made me, well, me. For me, being asexual, I never look at anyone and think to myself “we should take off our clothes and tumble around for a bit.” That however does not necessarily mean I’m against sex, for myself or others. For me, if I were to find a microlabel to really convey what I feel to you, I’d use “aceflux.” To me, that means some days sex seems kind of desirable, for and with somebody I trust, other days I find it weird and icky and not for me. Most of the time I fall into a neutral state, where I’m not really interested in it, but wouldn’t be opposed if it was something someone I trusted wanted.

Now, that’s enough about weird gross and icky stuff (10 points if you can guess where abouts I’m sitting on the aceflux side of things as I write this), I’m pretty sure I promised an explanation about why I use terms like AMAB to describe myself. Oh I didn’t necessarily promise that but I’m going to share anyways? Okay. 

So, I’m not sure how many reading this would know of the Magnus Chase series (amazing books by the way, do totally recommend them for the following) but with minimal spoilers possible, there is a gender fluid trans character who makes a debut in the second book. This representation wasn’t necessarily an ‘awakening’ for me, but a lot of the things this character was sharing about their experience really resonated with me. This lead me to research more about non‑binary gender identities. I don’t really have a label for my gender, I feel like society makes gender up if I’m honest, but trans femme enby (enby is slang for non‑binary) probably defines me most and honestly I look pretty badass in a skirt if I do say so myself. I’m not particularly bothered by pronouns, call me he, she, or they it doesn’t really matter, but in all honesty ‘they’ is particularly nicer.

I think the important thing about all of this is there is no rush to figure yourself out. I don’t think a single person on this planet has figured it out. I was lucky, I always had the representation I needed on hand, and never thought it weird. You however might not. You are constantly changing, you might go from bi to lesbian, or gay to straight during your lifetime, and you are no less valid for that. No one can tell you what you feel, and you are never defined by your identity. Asexual person who enjoys sex for the intimacy and to make your partner or partners feel good? Just as valid as an asexual person who never wants to have sex. Felt pretty solidly cisgendered for most of your life, but now that’s changing? That’s cool, let me know your pronouns and take as long as you need to figure it out. We’re all human, no one knows what’s going on, so why don’t we just live in the now, being who we are and loving who we love.

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