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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Pressure from family- advice?

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Author Topic: Pressure from family- advice?
a-starlit-crimescene
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Member # 95393

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Moderators, please feel free to move this if I'm posting in the wrong section.

I'm 19, female and asexual. I'm Asian Indian, and tradition says I must marry in the next decade, meaning my parents will look for available grooms starting next year. I will also be expected to have a child within a year or 2 of marriage.

I've tried to come out multiple times, but I've been taken seriously exactly once, by my cousin who is 4 years my junior. Her reaction was a solemn nod and the words: "Yeah, I knew you were something like that". I know that asexuality is a little-known orientation, and I'd assumed my parents would understand when I explained it to them at an age where they considered me mature enough to make such decisions about my identity, but now I'm scared. What age is old enough to know? I'm sure of my sexual identity now. And what are the chances that my future husband will be as asexual as I am? And my family wants a flippin' legacy. I can't have sex or be pregnant! It's not even a little plausible for me!

I tried to break this gently to my dad, who is open-minded and usually very understanding. He listened quietly, and when I'd finished, asked me with a heart-broken look if I was never going to give him grandchildren, and then what would become of our bloodline? I didn't know what to tell him! My dad is one person I've always been able to count on. He's always had my back in any disagreements in the family, and he's the second most practical person I know. It will already be a battle with the rest of my family to be accepted for who I am, and I'm crushed to think that I'll be doing this alone.

What am to I do if they force me into a heterosexual marriage without hearing me out(or worse, in spite of it)?

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"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams.

Posts: 8 | From: India | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Hey there, starlit. You're not the first user who has posted about a situation like this. I'm so sorry you find yourself in this spot.

So, before anything else, and before we go to worst-case scenarios, can you give me an idea of how likely it is they can and will force you into a marriage? In other words, are you somewhere where you would have no community or cultural support in not marrying (or having kids) if that's what you want to choose?

I don't think there is any one age, ever, where we can say a person can or can't know their own orientation. I think at any age we can, and at any age we can't, and no matter what we know when, that's something that could stay the same throughout our lives or could also change, because not only can sexuality be fluid, but so can our feelings when we're faced with how they appear (or don't) for unique individuals.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
a-starlit-crimescene
Neophyte
Member # 95393

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Thanks for the reply, Heather!

That this is going to happen in the next year is inevitable, meaning you can only mentally prepare yourself from this point on, say my parents.

And I'm not opposed to the idea of marriage- if I had someone who understood my sexuality(or lack thereof) I'd be fine. It's just that over here, marriage is something of a universal goal and there's a lot of stigma attached to remaining alone and/or childless: people think there's something wrong with you, which is why no one wants to marry you. The heat would be on me mostly, but my parents would get some of it too as it'd be their fault they apparently didn't raise me right. I can brush it off, but they care very much what society thinks.

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"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Heh: people think that here, too. I'd agree, it's certainly different in a very culturally-mixed culture, but as someone who decided not to marry or reproduce and who also has breasts, I certainly understand what it can be like living with those choices being stigmatized.

I wonder if maybe it might be best to start a big conversation about this by hearing you identify what you'd want if it was 100% up to you, AND if you felt you could be supported in whatever those things are. In other words, not what you're not opposed to, but what you think, now and in the near-future, you yourself truly want and don't.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
a-starlit-crimescene
Neophyte
Member # 95393

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Okay, as I've said, I wouldn't mind being married. As in, it's not vital or necessary to me; I'd even go so far as to say I'm happier alone. Two reasons:
~ I'm selfish in certain ways, and I wouldn't like being obligated to share my day-to-day with another person.
~ As a woman, I'd be expected to take the submissive role in the relationship, which, after tying the knot, I wouldn't even be allowed to protest. This is definitely going to cause problems, since I'm practically a militant feminist.

Living in a fairly conservative culture, my sexuality hasn't cost me anything so far, but I know that's because I haven't come out. I do often say things like "NEVER getting married" and get indulgent smiles and the occasional "you'll change your mind, you'll see". I think this reaction is due to my age? I know my family considers me very immature.

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"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Right, but what I'm trying to get at isn't what you wouldn't mind, but what you really, really want.

Can we have another spin, where you just kind of envision your life for me in, say, the next ten years, and what you want it to look like? If you could have all of what you wanted, just what YOU wanted, not family or culture, what would that look like?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
a-starlit-crimescene
Neophyte
Member # 95393

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In 10 years, I want to be:
~ independent(with my own income and a flat or house of my own)
~ single
~ happy

I'm not sure if you mean something different?

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"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams.

Posts: 8 | From: India | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Those are certainly starting places, especially since you've made clear that ideally, you'd like to be single, which sounds to me like what you don't really want is to be married.

So, if that's not something you want, how do you feel about what going for what you do really want could mean for you, especially with your family and community (particularly if you physically stay in an area or country where not being married in the next ten years will be frowned upon by some)?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
a-starlit-crimescene
Neophyte
Member # 95393

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I could stand it.
I do care what people think, but I don't let on that it affects me, and I try hard not to let it affect me. It wouldn't be ideal, I'm definitely going to have a hard time, and my family is going to hate me for it(my mother especially, she's very traditional and she wouldn't bother with preliminaries like discussions- she'll bring the big guns right from day one), but this is what I want for myself. This much, I will not compromise on.

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"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams.

Posts: 8 | From: India | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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