I Want to Know

Greetings, happy 2019! While I have made many resent attempts at blog posts, the thoughts just aren’t flowing. I have been feeling very poetically inspired these past few months, however, so in the spirit of not going three months without posting, here is a poem. 

 

I want to know you,

Your thoughts,

Your wants,

Your needs,

the sound of your heart beating,

Heating me with hope as we explore book hoards.

I want you to know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I want you to push away the external doubts that clog your well rounded mind and see that we are not meant to be uniform.

I want to know your darkness,

I want to know your pain,

I want to know how it feels to hold your hand and dance in the rain.

I will support you, I will accompany you as you forge your trail, even if it leads you away from me.

Come from Heaven you are, for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I pray with all the piety left in me that it’s the third, because I want to know the brush of your legs against my legs as we cradle each other on a chill fall morning.

I want to know the feel of your lips on my cheek,

I want to know how it feels to walk with you every Saturday, twin souls seeking peace in a hectic world.

Your pupils wide, your irises silver-blue-green in the sun, I remind myself not run forward, but to enjoy the stroll, no matter what path we embark on.

I fawn over you in my mind,

and the truth is that I have never felt so nauseously, nervously, euphorically alive.

I want to know what it is to love you,

and I think I’m halfway there.

I want to know what it is to be loved by you, to be held by you and to haunt your dreams,

But if our paths were to split

if you were to choose the one more often traveled, I would make myself be okay,

remembering that solitude has been my ever-constant companion.

If you love me,

if you want me,

if you need me,

I would never abandon you.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Community is Vital: Why I Started Blogging

Community (noun) – 1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I recently discovered a new ace blogger, Alice Ajisai, and was inspired by her post, “Home on an Alien Planet” in which she shares her experiences growing up in a small town, feeling like the odd one out for her love of Japanese language and Asian pop culture, to moving to San Francisco where her interests were considerably more mainstream, but still feeling like an outsider, to discovering her asexuality and the ace community. The post is heart warming and well written, if you would like to check it out, here is the link: https://lifethroughthelookingglass.home.blog/

If someone ten years ago told me how much comfort the internet would bring me, I would tell them they were insane.  Ten years ago, I only used the internet to occasionally Google a topic and to access Webkinz – today, it is where I find the reassurance that I am not alone in the world – that I am not the only asexual pescatarian progressive feminist Christian that lives on planet earth. I shutter to think of how lonely I would feel without my various online communities – if not for the internet, I would definitely think I was zedsexual, would possibly still think I was straight, and undoubtedly would have a much narrower world view.                                                                                                                            The first mentions I heard of asexuality were in person, but my process of discovering the nuances of the word and where I fit happened on the internet – not literally, I was lounging on my couch while I did the majority of my early asexuality research, but I think what I mean is understood. Even if I somehow did identify as asexual without the use of the internet to lead me to my conclusion, and more importantly to the online ace community, discovering why identifying as straight never quite fit wouldn’t have been a freeing experience. It would have been an isolating experience full of mourning.                 I have yet to go to an in person ace meetup – the nearest one to where I live is an hour and twenty minute drive and it is in danger of shutting down – but the online community I have found has provided me with irreplaceable joy and comfort, allowing me a place to rejoice in this part of myself and celebrate others in the process. It is often gut wrenchingly terrifying not only to come out to non-asexuals, but simply talking about asexuality can illicit cricket chirping. Never mind actually celebrating it. I suppose the reason I started blogging in the first place was to add on to the ace community – to add my own shade of purple to the flag, so to speak. Also, I suppose starting the blog was motivated by frustration that the majority of the time my experiences as an asexual were immediately shot down by those close to me (excluding my best friend, who miraculously came out as asexual a year after I did) and wanted to create a place where I could safely share, and where others might even appreciate my sharing, find comfort in knowing that they are not alone. Thank you to all the ace bloggers I follow for sharing your experiences – I hope you can find some comfort in mine and the knowledge that you are in no way broken or alone.

Fun fact: did you know a community of meerkats is often called a mob or a gang?

cutest gang ever

Happy Ace Week! Are you doing anything special to celebrate/ anything to spread awareness? Would love to hear in the comments. 🙂

Until next time,

Keep ooooooon Aceing It!

 

History of Asexuality

Reliable sources about asexuals in history are scarce, depressingly so, but I just stumbled across this video by Amelia Ace on -you guessed it- asexuality before AVEN. I had no idea that as early as 1896 not only was the word “asexual ” being used to describe people, but that in 1997 an article was published online titled, “My Life As Amoeba”. It was one of the earliest instances of an asexual person talking about being asexual, and not only that, but other seeming aces were engaging with the author in the comment section, and all of this was a good for years before AVEN. Here is the full video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA6UHhJMLyU

Happy Asexual Awareness Week! Here is devilishly cute kitten in honor of spooky season:

Until next time,

Keep oooooon aceing it!

There’s Sex Without Love, Why Not Love Without Sex?

Just stumbled across this lovely article on an ace-centric page I follow on Facebook: https://fit.thequint.com/let-us-talk-sex/asexual-woman-love-and-relationships-without-sex?fbclid=IwAR28p5wfMMaLzhDSP0rgUKjdR9zyqPt8-EifZXKKmyQ86gZ9p7SUq-k3b48

I can’t help but feel incredibly sorry for the author, being sex repulsed and pushing herself into uncomfortable circumstances in relationships simply because of the ignorant attitude of society that love can’t exist without sex. I know the best way to spread the knowledge of asexuality and all its nuances is by being patient, but honestly, a part of me lately just feels like shrieking, especially after reading stories like this where people go through so much discomfort and are made to feel broken just because society hasn’t caught up yet/ just isn’t willing to grasp. In my limited experiences with coming out, once people get over the gag reflex response, ” You just have t found the right person yet”, ( I can’t type that without rolling my eyes) most people don’t find the concept of asexuality so hard to grasp. Whether or not they believe it to be real is another matter completely. It seems to be when a romantic ace brings in wanting romantic love without sex that things get complicated. Love without sex is every bit as deep, as valid as love with it, and yet for so many people, sexually attraction is the defining value of love. I just find that really sad, honestly. There definitely is sex without love, why not love without sex? In my view, love without wanting anything in return, feeling nothing for a person but overwhelming joy being in their presence, seems like the most valid kind of love.

It’s so odd. I see such mixed attitudes when it comes to romantic asexuals. So many people find us perplexing, but there are also a handful of people who look at us and say, “Oh, thank heaven! You’re not a robot after all, you can feel!” I find the second attitude absolutely disgusting. While the confusion perplexes me (really, how complicated is it? Take the butterflies, flirty feelings and deeper affection, subtract sex, boom) the second attitude is the more toxic one. What those people are really saying, I believe, is, ” Well, at least you’re somewhat conforming to how you should be” – particularly if said romantic ace is heteroromantic. I find myself so incredibly grateful for people like the woman in the above article who are sharing their experiences with the broader world, but I find myself infuriated with the broader world simultaneously.

Happy Asexual Awareness Week! Romantic, aromantic, or somewhere in between, you are valid, beautiful, and no where close to an unfeeling robotic or a sociopath- and if you do happen to be a sociopath, it has nothing to do with your orientation(s).

Until next time,

Keep oooooon Aceing It!

Valid: A Poem

Happy Asexual Awareness Week! This is my submission for October’s Carnival of Aces, hosted by Constance004. 

 

You just haven’t found “the one”,

Go out and mingle in the sun, you’re young, they say, have fun.

It would be such a waste not to give away your pretty face,

your appealing exterior.

It’s what grown ups do – feel inferior.

Maybe something horrible in your youth keeps you from seeing the truth –

if not damaged, you’re an alien,

frigid.

Sub human.

The undeniable urge to physically merge is so engrained in all living things,

go check your pulse, you can’t know until you try.

You don’t want to die – gasp – a virgin!

It’s all a lie,

You are not less, do not stress.

The haters just can’t give aces their spaces.

Beware the enticing trap of heteronormative conformity,

dare to stand tall and wave your flag.

You will not die a bitter hag, and virgin is far from a dirty word.

Under no circumstances should you follow the earth-bound, dismal herd.

Chisel away your fears.

They were right about one thing, but no, wait, dry yours tears!

You are not normal.

Spot your majestic kind soaring in the sky,

You are a dragon,

and only your reservations, your anxieties keep at bay your ability to fly.

 

Thank you for reading this horrendously cheesy poem! I had so many things I wanted to write about that just weren’t coming out poetically, and so I decided to take a humorous turn with it. In all seriousness my fellow aces, don’t listen to the ignorant haters, you are valid and beautiful.

 

Until next time,

Keep ooooooon Aceing It!

 

 

 

 

National Coming Out Day and My Ever Growing Marvelous Queer Playlist

Here in the U.S., it is National Coming Out Day (and speaking of special days, yesterday was World Mental Health Day, not Mental Health Awareness Day – I hope the people of the internet can forgive my faux pas (it took me three tries to correctly spell that word)) – and I just realized I have no idea how to use parenthesis within parenthesis, but moving on to National Coming Out Day. You never owe someone an explanation as to your orientation(s), romantic or sexual, but if you chose to come out today, more power to you! And if someone came out to you today and you offered them support, you are a beautiful human being, and the person who came out to you is feeling on top of the world right now. I came out to my 65 year old, conservative, evangelical Christian father as asexual and homoromantic via a letter, and despite the fact that I have midterms approaching and a hectic work week next week, what he is doing at this very moment keeps creeping into my mind, and coming out in some way shape or form seems to be all I can think about today. Over the past week whilst writing, revising, and generally agonizing over my tell-all letter, I found myself listening to the same group of songs to calm down; this morning I compiled them into a Marvelous Queer Playlist – yes, that is actually what I named said playlist. Some of these songs have little to nothing to do with being queer, but I personally find them calming/empowering.

  1. “Girls/Girls/Boys” by Panic at the Disco

ggb

While I do not label myself as bisexual/romantic, this is still a delightful song with a danceable beat and dangerously catchy lyrics. Namely, the line, “Love is not a choice,” helps to ground me.

2. “Hey Jesus” by Trey Pearson

 

trey pearson

This one may come across as surprising. Trey Pearson was signed to a Christian rock label and he was married to a women for many years until he came out. His coming out essentially made it impossible for him to stay in Christian music, and he likely knew this was going to happen. Though he knew coming out was going to change his life, not entirely in good ways, he went ahead and did it. Whenever anyone in the public eye comes out, I am filled with inspiration, but someone working in the Christian music industry having the insane courage to come out fills me with awe. The song is a bit somber, but I, as a proud Christian and a proud homoromantic, find myself heavily relating. The song was released on Trey’s first solo album, and though I find don’t find myself listening to it as much, an incredibly catchy, considerably more upbeat song of his is “Love is Love”.

3. “Elastic Heart” by Sia

elastic heart

This is another slightly somber one, but it’s still encouraging. For me, it’s a reminder that even if not everyone is so agreeable about my queerness, I will be okay, even if it hurts for a time. “You won’t see me fall apart . . . ’cause I’ve got an elastic heart.

4. “Black Sheep” by Gin Wigmore

black sheep

Though this in no way directly relates to being queer, honestly listening to it just makes me feel like a badass. Gin Wigmore is severely underrated.

5. “Anything’s Possible” by Lea Michelle

anything's possible

I feel like the lyrics in the picture above are pretty self explanatory, but some more I love are, “It’s time to leave it all behind/ It’s time to pick up the pieces of my scattered mind/ And after all my petals fall / I can finally find beauty beneath once and for all/ I’ve spent way too long judging myself/ Running from truth into someone else’s arms/ But I’m done, the battle’s begun, the battle’s begun/ There’s fire in me, deep down in my veins/ These clouds in my head, they’re not gonna rain/ There’s fight in my heart, there’s hope in my eyes/ There’s hope in my eyes.” Those lines are pretty much perfect for my life right now. I am trying hard too move out of my passivity and fear and actively stand up for the marginalized while being proud of parts of myself that everyone seems to think can’t be reconciled – namely, my faith, the fact that I want a romantic relationship with a woman, and the fact that I do not experience sexual attraction.

6. “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel Music and Amanda Cook

brave

“You make me brave/ you call me out from the shore into the waves . . . ./ no fear can hinder now the promises you’ve made”. It has taken a lot of praying to discern if I should have come out to my parents, and this song is a great reminder that though I feel God is leading me into a dangerous ocean, he will give me the courage I need to get through.

7. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga

LGBT Gaga

This is a fun, feel good song that specifically mentions Lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender. While I am a bit sad a way couldn’t be found to mention queer people – or, in a perfect world, asexuals and pansexuals – without interrupting the beat, I still found myself listening to this habitually to help my coming out anxiety and remind me of why I have to do what I have to do.

8. “Be Still” by Hillsong Worship

Be still

Psalm 46:10 is my favorite Bible verse, and its not surprise that I would love a song based off it. In this crazy, anxious world, the reminder to be still and trust that my God is in control is incredibly soothing. The live version of this song gives me goose bumps, and was perhaps the most calming song to me this past week.

9. “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves

KM

Hearing an LGBT supportive country song is so incredibly refreshing, and not only is this song queer friendly, but it points a finger at societal hypocrisy with lyrics such as, “If you save your yourself for marriage you’re a bore/ If you don’t save yourself for marriage you’re a whore-able person” and encourages freedom of choice in just about every area of life; all this, not to mention it’s chill beat, make it a gem of a song.

10. “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music, Jonathan David, and Melissa Helser

no longer a slave

Same may think it odd that a Christian song has become my coming out anthem of sorts. The above artistically rendered lyric connects with me on a personal level; I will no longer hide my sexual and romantic orientations from those I care about to avoid conflict, and I am as much a child of God as any straight person. I remember the morning before I came out to my mother as homoromantic, when I was shaking with fear and doubting my decision to follow through, this song came to mind, and I was soon sobbing while choking out the lyrics, “You split the sea so I can walk right through it/ My fears are drowned in perfect love/ You rescued me so I can stand and sing/ I am a child of God”. It was so, so therapeutic, and restored my resolve. No more shame, no more hiding, no more fear. I am not meant to live a life ruled by fear.

11. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert

ML

Known as the “Queer Anthem of 2013”, this song combines reconciliation of spirituality and orientation – “I’m Not Cryin’ on Sundays” and a breathtaking chorus of, “Love Is patient, love is kind” – with pride in ones orientation, “I can’t change, even if I tried/ Even if I wanted to” and is just generally a beautiful work of art. Not to mention the music video is adorable – and yes, the featured image is a shot from the video.

 

Well, that’s the musical encouragement I have been receiving this week. Hope everyone can find at least one song they enjoy in the list. Feel free to mention in the comments what songs you find encouraging, or any songs you know that specifically reference any/all things LGBTQIA+. Just because National Coming Out Day is coming to and end doesn’t mean you can’t still come out to someone you’ve been meaning/ wanting to. Timing is everything, and if the timing wasn’t right today, don’t beat yourself up. Again, if you offered someone who was making a big jump today a soft place to land, thank you.

 

Until next time,

Keep oooon Aceing It!

 

 

 

Mental Health Awareness Day: 7 Things I Wish I Had Known 7 Years Ago About Mental Health

October 10 is Mental Health Awareness Day, a cause that is close to my heart. Mental Health is so, so often written off, and though mental health is slowly coming to be recognized as a serious thing, those suffering from invisible diseases are still being told to “snap out of it”. With the hectic pace and isolation of modern life, it seems that diseases of the mind are becoming more and more common. My mental helath drastically worsened 7 years ago, around the time I was fourteen, and I want to share 7 things my own struggles have taught me.

  1. When you are a young person experiencing health problems of any kind, particularly invisible ones, you must fight to be taken seriously. People over forty seem to, for the most part, have an incredibly romanticized view of what the teenage years and early twenties are like. 2017 tied with 2012 for the most difficult year of my life, and I was reminded yet again of the fact that the struggles of young people are all too often covered by a gossamer netting. I was dog sitting for an 75 year old acquaintance of mine, and before she was going to leave, we met up and talked for a bit. It was typical small talk, how’s school, to you have any plans for the summer, etc. The semester had just ended and my twentieth birthday was in about a week, I told her. “Oh, these are the best years of your life!” she exclaimed. My father had just been diagnosed with cancer, all of my friends had moved away for college, my social anxiety was worsening by the day, and sometimes I felt like my loneliness was going to suffocate me. Unbeknownst to me, my circumstances were only going to get worse that year. I almost literally had to bite my tongue to keep, “If these are the best years of my life, someone please shoot me now,” from spilling out.  Depression in teenagers is so, soooo often just written off as typical moodiness, and this is incredibly dangerous. It pains me to think of how many teens are suffering because authority figures refuse to take them seriously. For me, it took revealing that I was cutting myself to even be able to get access to therapy. For the love of everything good in this world, if you see a sad, moody teenager, do not ignore them, and do not simply tell them, “Oh, it won’t always be this way.” We all know adulthood just makes things harder. Sit down with the suffering young people in your life parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and truly listen to them and find them effective coping mechanisms.
  2. Depression isn’t Just Sadness  Perhaps the most profound form of depression is the inability to feel anything at all, and though numbness is preferable to crippling sadness, walking through life like a zombie is no way to live. Numbness is sometimes due to a build of emotions, and if you can’t find the motivation to journal, simply talking to a camera about what’s going on in your life currently – or about thing’s that have happened in the past that you’d rather not think about – can break the dam keeping you emotionally constipated. If you can’t find the root of your numbness or your mind simply refuses to form coherent thoughts, so for a walk, surround yourself with nature, go to a new restaurant, do something that reminds you of the beauty in the world. Yet another symptom of depression often written off in young people which can make the aforementioned tricks for numbness impossible is lack of motivation, and having no energy can make the black hold of depression seem that much deeper, which leads to point three that I wish I had known seven years ago.
  3. Going to Therapy Does Not Make You Certifiably Insane! It Only Makes You Crazy Smart and Crazy Brave! It is an incredibly good idea to talk to someone about your feelings or lack thereof, but family isn’t always the best choice. They may be supportive to a point, but there are simply certain things that are best dealt with by professionals. Family, parents in particular, are going to take your depression personally. Am I doing something to make them feel this way? I am a great provider to my child, a great friend. They’re just being ungrateful. Comments like these are born of fear and self-centeredness, and are clear signs that you need to talk to an outsider. This is not weakness, but strength. You are going to a stranger and essentially saying that you are stranded in a dark forest full of wolves are being eaten alive, yet all you are asking for is a stick to ward them off with. This will to fight is the definition of bravery, and once someone else is there fighting off the wolves with you, you have double the chance of making it out alive. And for heaven’s sake, make the most of therapy by not hiding problems from your therapist. Never leave a session early. Negative emotions are incredibly healthy, they are alerting you to something that is wrong; do not push them down, talk about them when they are annoying flies, not when they are hawks trying to maim you.
  4. There is a big difference between mere shyness and social anxiety. Shyness is apprehension, social anxiety is people induced terror that you can’t just “shake off” or “power through”, and it can’t be cured by making yourself socialize more. If you isolate yourself from the outside world completely, of course it will worsen, and you can’t let it keep you from doing things you truly enjoy, but it is unrealistic to expect that exposure will make it disappear, which connects to number 5.
  5. It is okay to take medication. Some people’s brains are wired differently, and in order to life the best possible life,  a little assistance is needed. Like going to therapy, this does not make you weak. It is you asking for another stick when your brain is assisting the wolves in devouring you alive. Getting help at a biological level is wise, but do your research as to what medications are incredibly addictive, take the lowest effective dosage, and don’t expect your life to magically be perfect.
  6. Take Care of Your Body. We hear it so often we automatically tune out, “Exercise and eat your vegetables!” Seriously, though. A body in motion helps a burdened mind, and sacrificing fast food can only be beneficial. It is so, so easy convince yourself that you’re too busy, but even ten minutes of yoga, five minutes of mediation, can do a world of good. Give yourself permission to make your well being a priority; self care is more than bubble baths and Netflix. Astonishingly, you’ll be able to be twice as productive if you are in a good state of mind. I am going to shameless rip of Nike: Just do it! Value and take care of yourself, dammit!
  7. Talk to your peers. My fourteen year old self – and fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen year old self – was incredibly afraid of judgement from my peers because of my mental health problems, and so for the most part, my high school friends had no idea I was suffering until years after the worst of it ended. A close friend of mine was experiencing problems incredibly similar to mine, and we were both lost in our lonely miseries because we were too afraid of judgement. I still haven’t told my best friend that I engaged in self harm because a paranoid part of me is terrified she’ll be judgmental, which is not at all conducive to her personality.  We have been friends for fourteen years, and I am still terrified to tell her. The worst thing about the stigma surrounding mental health is that it makes people suffer in silence, and so we remain unaware of how connected our pain makes us. Talk to your friends, you have no idea how much they may be able to relate, how you may be helping them by sharing your pain.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope a couple of these things I wish I had known long, long ago were helpful, or at the very least thought provoking/ entertaining.

Until next time!