“I am asexual.”
He looked at me in disbelief, turned towards his friends, and they all broke out into laughter. “So, what? You reproduce by splitting yourself? I’ve never heard of this! Look, if you don’t like me you just have to say so. You don’t have to make shit up. Just say you’re a lesbian or something.”
That was 2011. In that moment I swore to myself that I would never utter those words again. Life would be easier if I just pretended, right?
Hurt, and mostly annoyed at the ridicule I was facing, I decided that when I moved to a new city, I would pretend. I took to wearing a wedding ring to imply I was engaged. It was a five-dollar princess cut ring from a vendor at Habourfront. It was outrageously fake. However, if no one looked at it closely, I was able to pass it off as real, with the bonus of pretending to be Beyoncé in my very own “Single Ladies” music video.
In some cases, if a guy were too persistent I would pretend to be gay. I found it easier to explain to a guy that I wasn’t attracted to his gender, than to explain that I am naturally not interested in him.
My hypothesis at the time was based on a 2012 article in the National Post. A study found that approximately 74 per cent of Canadians know someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, while only one per cent of the population identified as asexual. By exposure, my excuse of gender-attraction preference should be easier to understand. They may not agree, but they might understand.
It is the misunderstanding that is the hardest part, and something many people under LGBTQ umbrella also face. As a result of my sexuality, I have been called a tease, frigid, broken, repressed, traumatized, beauty-in-vain, a waste of good looks, in need of saving, in need of therapy, and most recently after a two-year relationship that ended in infidelity, worthless.
Heartbroken, I travelled 3,000 kilometres back home to my family that I hadn’t seen in 981 days. I wanted to remember what it was like to be considered worthy, and my loving family would be just the cure.
Shortly after my arrival my mother stole my ring and tossed it. I smiled because I knew she was right, “that ugly ring is a lie.” After a week of island sunshine, I returned to Canada refreshed, and still touching the area where the ring once was, attempting to spin it.
On the plane I made myself a promise to try to be true to myself. I have never cared to be agreed with, and I realized that I no longer cared to be understood.
This is who I am, take it or leave it. I am asexual.