Sexuality Takes a Back Seat to Mental Illness

I have a mundane, boring fact to share about myself:

I am gay.  And most likely asexual.

I say that it is boring, because I am not suddenly gung-ho to hit the Cubbyhole bar  downtown to get me some tail.  I don’t want to go to the Gay Center in the village and join a social club dedicated to leather lesbians.  All of this is as unappealing as asbestos.

Perhaps this is my asexuality talking now.

As far as how lesbianism and asexuality intertwine… that is a complicated affair, and there are as many concepts to this as there are people.  As to my own experience, I will describe it here:  I find women attractive, but I have no desire to date anyone or go further than cordial friendship.  I also have no desire for intimacy.  Of course, for me to say “no desire” is perhaps an exaggeration of the truth.  Sexuality is a spectrum, many of us know.  We fall in between the extremes.  Sexuality also evolves.  Perhaps my own status will reveal itself further over the coming months and years.

For such a long time, it’s been so hard for me to accept my own orientation.  Since high school, I had an idea that I was a lesbian, but I was so afraid that people would know of it.  Even though I was surrounded by completely accepting people, I was still ashamed.  So ashamed, that once a fleeting thought entered my mind, I immediately squashed it like a bug.

And then I was struggling with that little thing called mental illness.

Going further back in time, to my childhood, I had perhaps innocent admirations of attractive females.  But as this emerged within me, so too did mental discord develop.  My father was a frightening person to live with, so there was trauma brewing within me.  This then “blossomed” into depression at the age of ten, and only worsened with every year.

When I started therapy, still a child… sexuality was the last thing on my mind.  I didn’t even know it was a concept at all.  It was the mid-90s, so sexuality was not a topic so prevalent among youth as it is today.  There was no internet for me to utilize as a research tool.  There was nothing except a filtered, childish world that the adults around me created.

When in therapy, the overall goal expectedly was to help me deal with my depression.  I applied in this task quite well.  I explored my thoughts and emotions, and I learned how to process the world around me.  I also developed a vocabulary to express myself to adults.  Never for one second did sexual attraction enter my mind.

I realize now, that much of my anxieties related to sexual orientation are the result of… my not talking about it to anyone!  As eloquent as I am in many things, I find myself at a loss for words when describing my sexual self.  I don’t like to think about it or talk about it much.  I even feel like there’s not much for me to say.  That’s “private stuff.”

But my attitude is old hat.  I must realize that I live in a sexually free society, mostly.  It is not old times… But why am I stuck in the past?  I have no idea.

At the age of thirty, I am now chipping away at this boulder.  One of the biggest fears I’ve had, is that I’m totally afraid that I will transform into some hulking beast with a buzz cut if I come out.  I’m afraid that I’ll transform into a person that I don’t want to be.  This is most likely the greatest fear that has kept me in denial.

Just recently, something in me clicked.  Accepting my sexuality will in no way change who I already am.  I will not magically transform into something else.  Instead… I will be exactly the same as I always was.

To describe my coming-out experience thus far, it is as mundane as a birthday.  Sure, it is celebrated at the time it arrives.  But then it passes, and one forgets about it as the year rolls along.  Our age is only a mere number, and that number doesn’t define who we are.  Granted, a low number would indicate immaturity and physical while a higher number indicates a wizened attitude and physical decrepitude.  But what does the number indicate about personality?  Absolutely nothing!  And certainly there feeble children and vigorous adults.

So too it is with sexual orientation labels. They are only markers.  Tabs on folders stowed away in a file cabinet.  The labels of “lesbian” and “asexual” only serve as a benign convenience, and nothing more.  To judge a folder by its label… such an attitude makes one not an expert of its contents, but a mere secretary at best.  (I mean not to disparage secretaries.  I attempt to draw an analogy.)

I hope to investigate my own sexual status with full confidence.  As I forge ahead, I want to become increasingly more confident and grounded.  And as for coming out to everyone in my life?  I’m not too keen on it.  I will simply write of it for now.  Those who read me will find me out, and word will spread like an internet virus.  Oh happy day.

Sexuality has become a hot topic during these early years of the 21st century.  Hopefully by the 22nd, it will have become as fully mundane as a brushing of the teeth.

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2 thoughts on “Sexuality Takes a Back Seat to Mental Illness

  1. Labels are handy, as you say, like on folders that may not tell much of the contents. Knowing how well you investigate the rest of your being, I think you will succeed in this area. I do hope people do come to find other people’s sexuality mundane and boring and pay more attention to their own. However, I’m sure you will write irresistibly of your exploration.

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