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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Is it appropriate to tell my dad I'm asexual?

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Author Topic: Is it appropriate to tell my dad I'm asexual?
mizchastain
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I came out to my mother some time ago, and that went fine, but my thoughts on whether I should tell my dad are different. When I told my mum, I was single and had every expectation that I would comfortably remain so for the foreseeable future. If things tank with my current long-distance boyfriend (fingers crossed they won't) I would be unlikely to seek out another, but may run across someone else while not looking. If I was fully aromantic I'd tell my dad because I wouldn't want him to be concerned - I do have some social anxieties, and I wouldn't want him to think that was preventing me from seeking someone out. Since I do have a boyfriend, my asexuality doesn't really affect my life in any way that's visible to my parents.

On top of that, my mum has said that my dad is not entirely comfortable with discussing sex-related matters with my sister and me, and mostly left it to her. If I was a boy it may be a different matter, but I'm not, so it's not. I wouldn't go out of my way to tell my dad about sex I was having, so I'm not sure if I should tell him that I never plan to have any or if that falls under the heading of TMI. On one hand I don't want to keep secrets from him, and this is an important part of my identity which may or may not complicate my life in the future, but on the other, I think family members have a right not to be told excessive details about each others' personal lives.

I'm leaning towards not bringing it up but not denying it if he ever asks. Does my reasoning sound sensible?

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Robin Lee
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Really, it's whatever feels comfortable to you. I think there's a difference between keeping secrets and having a life that is separate from that of family members, with details that aren't shared just because they aren't, not because it's good or bad to share them.

How would it feel to you either way? That is, how would it feel if you told him, and how would it feel if you didn't?

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Robin

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mizchastain
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I'm not really sure. It's an important part of my identity, and it may potentially complicate my life in the future, but on the other hand it's not complicating it now and it's not affecting me in a way that's really relevant to my interactions with my father. I usually find it easier to talk to my dad than my mum about most things, but sex-related questions have always been directed to my mum. I wear an asexual pride ring (black ring on the right-hand middle finger, not a very common sign but I saw somewhere it's coming into use) but most people, including my dad, don't know what it symbolises. If I was gay I'd have very little problem telling him, but I'm not sure if this is different - being gay affects the public part of one's romantic relationships, whereas if I was dating someone in meatspace there'd be no real public difference.

To be honest I suspect not telling him would be a better option. I just feel a little guilty that I told Mum and not Dad.

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Karybu
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As Robin said, it's perfectly fine not to share details of your life with family members, or to share them with some people and not others, and there's a difference between that and keeping secrets.

What if you think about it this way: what would be the benefits versus the drawbacks of telling your dad? What would you get out of sharing this with him? How would not sharing it impact your relationship with him, versus sharing it?

[ 01-31-2013, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: Karybu ]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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mizchastain
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Thought about it, and I decided not to say anything for now. I think it is an important part of my identity, but it's a part that's not affecting my daily life, and it's certainly not affecting my dad. Since this conversation would probably make both of us uncomfortable and not saying anything isn't going to cause any harm, I don't think I should say anything. I might bring it up at some point in the future, but not now.
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