This is topic Is it appropriate to ask? in forum Sexual Identity at Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive).

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Posted by mizchastain (Member # 32224) on :
I class myself as asexual (it's complicated, but that's pretty close) and wear an asexual pride ring; a black ring on the right middle finger. This symbol hasn't been widely adopted yet - well, "widely" isn't exactly the word for a group which makes up less than 1% of the population - but it's spreading. A couple of months back, when I was trying to apply for a job in a local shop, I noticed the girl at the counter to whom I was talking was also wearing a black ring on her right middle finger. I didn't ask if it was a pride symbol or just a fashion statement, and I don't think she noticed mine. I didn't think it was appropriate to ask at the time because I was talking to her about applying for a job, but in other circumstances, would it have been appropriate to ask? If I run into her again, or someone else with a ring like that, should I ask?

[ 10-16-2011, 09:10 AM: Message edited by: mizchastain ]
Posted by RaeRay2112 (Member # 49582) on :
It's always so difficult, this, and I know how you feel, to some degree; the other day I saw a bus driver with a tattoo that suggested she was possibly both genderqueer and queer.

Your heart starts to beat faster, your pulse races; I know. However, no matter how tempting it is, it may be overstepping a boundary with these people for us to ask about orientations or identities when we are still strangers in their eyes. They just might be asexual, and proud, but very wary to speak about it with strangers, even if that person has the ring. The person could be so used the black ring not being recognised by others, but wear it as a statement to and for themselves.

However, if the opportunity comes along for you to become friends, or perhaps just a little closer, with this person, it might be okay to say something like 'hey, we have the same ring, on the same finger!' and perhaps see if they seem interested in talking about it further. Even if you don't get the job, perhaps regular visits to the shop might open up the opportunity to become hir friend on some level. This could also give you the oppotunity to see if ze always wears the black ring on the middle finger.

I can only imagine how lonely and unsupported you perhaps feel, mizchastain, thus intensifying your desire to ask the big question of this ring-bearer. Have you found the ace community online? Also, you probably have, but have you seen this thread at all?

I have a little contact with someone who has posted in that thread, and although she isn't ace herself, she has a extensive knowledge of the ace community / communities. If you would like, I would be happy to attempt to connect with her and perhaps find some resources / community support for you?

[ 10-16-2011, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]
Posted by mizchastain (Member # 32224) on :
I haven't seen her again, but if I do and she has the ring, I may see if I can broach the subject if the situation offers an easy opening.

Honestly, it doesn't really feel like that big a deal - I probably wouldn't be dating anyway, as I've been dealing with a few emotional problems and a lot of my time is taken up with university at the moment. I've mentioned my asexuality to a few of my friends, and none of them thought it was a big deal, but I do feel a little awkward about wanting to tell my parents. I have no idea how to broach the subject. They don't push me to date or anything, and I really don't think they'd be upset about it, but occasionally they've made jokes about me bringing a boy home and it makes me want to tell them. Mum's said she'd be okay with it if I was gay, and I have a feeling it might take my dad a little longer to come around but I'm pretty sure he would come round eventually if I was, but at least I know for sure they know what homosexuality is. And I don't know if I should even try to tell my sister. She's fourteen, and I'm not sure if she'd understand. (Though presumably plenty of fourteen-year-olds do, so I'm probably underestimating her.)

[ 10-16-2011, 04:52 PM: Message edited by: mizchastain ]
Posted by RaeRay2112 (Member # 49582) on :
Hmmm. Maybe approaching the situation with an opening like 'hey Mum, do you know some people very rarely or never feel sexually attracted to anyone?' That could give you some incite into her feelings around it.
Posted by Jill2000Plus (Member # 41657) on :
I wish I could offer more helpful advice, but I just wanted to say that you are almost certainly underestimating your sister, 14 year olds can understand homosexuality and bisexuality, so they can understand asexuality too, even little kids can understand this stuff, you just have to explain it in a way that they can understand.

Obviously, if you think she'd give you a hard time about it or you don't feel safe telling her that's up to you, but I don't think her being fourteen has anything to do with it.

[ 10-17-2011, 06:15 PM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]
Posted by mizchastain (Member # 32224) on :
I see what you mean. We do have a hard time getting on sometimes and she has a tendency to be intentionally contrary, so I'm not entirely sure how she'd react, but I was wrong to blame it on her age. It's probably a better idea to tell her after I tell my parents, so I have backup.
Posted by RaeRay2112 (Member # 49582) on :
Sounds good. [Smile]

Just wanted to check in with you today; how are you feeling about coming out?
Posted by mizchastain (Member # 32224) on :
I haven't exactly set a date to do so yet, but I think I should soon. Finding an appropriate time is tricky. I think coming out to one parent at a time might be easier - I can talk to my mother about these things more easily, so maybe I should tell her first and ask her to back me up when I tell my dad?
Posted by RaeRay2112 (Member # 49582) on :
Setting a date might feel as though it's putting a little pressure on you, but your plan of talking to your mum about this first is a great idea. As you said, that way you know you'll have support if and when you want to tell your dad / sister. [Smile]

One suggestion would be to choose a moment when you feel the most comfortable with your mum; maybe when you're already really open up to each other and feeling emotionally close.
Posted by mizchastain (Member # 32224) on :
I do have another complication in finding an appropriate time - during the week, I live in the city where I go to uni, and only see my parents at the weekend, which limits my time openings. I can save it for the Christmas break, but might it be a good idea to tell them via email if I can't say it face to face? It strikes me as something that needs to be said face to face, but my mum knows I have difficulty putting things into words and has previously said that if I have something I can't talk about I should tell her in writing.
Posted by mizchastain (Member # 32224) on :
Scratch that last bit - I told my mum. She didn't mind. Yay! She did remind me that it's possible my Asperger's is affecting my feelings, but also said that that doesn't make me wrong about them. It is entirely possible I'm just a really late bloomer, but it feels like the right thing right now, and she said that's all good. She says the biggest problem I'll face is making sure I don't let myself get isolated, and I need to build up a decent network of friends as support, but that applies to a lot of people anyway. Then we changed the subject and read some Hyperbole and a Half [Smile]

I think I may leave it a while before I try to tell my dad. This was kind of emotionally tiring. Mum recommended I don't tell my sister yet unless she asks outright, though - we know some young people that age would get it, but we don't think my sister specifically would.
Posted by moonlight bouncing off water (Member # 44338) on :
That is awesome that you told your mum! Coming out is usually difficult, or at least getting up the courage to do so. Having someone in your home who knows you are asexual and who can be your ally is very powerful and can lift a big weight off of your shoulders. Kudos! Being in the minority can be difficult sometimes it helps to have support.
Posted by RaeRay2112 (Member # 49582) on :
I'm so happy for you, Mizchastain! Well done! [Smile]
Posted by mizchastain (Member # 32224) on :
Thank you!

I also got back my missing scarf. My professor had found it in the lecture theatre on Friday and took it home for safekeeping. That's a relief.
Posted by RaeRay2112 (Member # 49582) on :
Oh that's fantastic! I love it when things randomly pick up. [Smile]

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