Sunday, March 20, 2011
Self Imposed Asexuality
A person who is asexual does not experience sexual attraction. The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) indicates that unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who some people are (sounds familiar, no?). AVEN website
I don't believe that I'm asexual. However, as I've learned more about the lives of young LDS gay people I've wondered if many of us didn't pass through a period of self imposed asexuality. I know that I did. When I was in high school I was not interested in girls. I was most interested in the cute guys.
But, I knew from what I'd learned at church that homosexuality was incredibly evil. It was not possible to live with my feelings of attraction to men and at the same time to live the life of an active LDS church member. I knew I would go to hell if I was gay. Obviously, I did not want that outcome. As a result, I buried my true feelings so deeply that in fact I became a self imposed asexual person.
In other posts I've mentioned that I've wished I had been more outgoing, more social, more wild, had more outrageous fun, and been more experimental during my high school years. I could not relax, be me and enjoy life. Along with being incredibly shy, I think one of the main reasons why I could not relax and be young and passionate was this self imposed asexuality, which was my constant battle to keep bottled up inside.
I am only now really understanding the damage that I did to myself during those years and the walls I built by not being true to myself. Also, as I've mentioned before, I believe the LDS church was complicit in this harm.
Fortunately, I am healing and I'm grateful for that. Hate and anger are very corrosive. Part of that healing for me needs to be forgiving the church. I think I'm making some progress in that area as well. I'm enjoying life as never before but I still feel that I probably missed out on some important things along the way. I believe that God intends for young people to be happy and enjoy the gifts of youth. I don't think my experience is unique.
In case you're wondering, below is the generally recognized symbol for asexuality.