Four years ago, my abuser of (then) eight years came out to me. We were walking on the sidewalk, and she told me that recently, she’d been wondering if she was asexual. And wanted my thoughts.
I was . . . less than accepting then. I was a hardcore Christian with the rooted belief that queer things were Bad and Not Of God. So I told her that God made man and woman for relationships through sex, and eventually she’d find someone for whom she’d want to do this with.
Terrible, I know.
Around a year after, I remembered that conversation. And realized my response was regrettable. So I approached her and apologized for what I’d said, and told her that whatever identity she found herself to be, I would accept her.
But by this time, the script had flipped. Now she was the hardcore Christian with black-and-white beliefs about queerness, and I was the one exploring and accepting queer identities.
You were right to say that to me then, she told me. And I didn’t have the courage to say, No, I wasn’t.
The script did not flip again. I stayed the queer one, she stayed the non-accepting one. We had another sidewalk conversation one day, with her having a screaming fit that I, a nonbinary trans Christian, have trans friends.
By the time I accepted that I was asexual, I’d cut her from my life.
I’ve never experienced sexual attraction. Ever. The closest I’ve ever come was a strong, uh, kinky fixation on Lord Shaxx from Destiny (who, to be fair, is extremely hot with those horns).
But I’ve always looked for personality first—I’m attracted to kindness, nerddom, confidence, honesty. Never how fuckable they are. Never sex.
At first I mistook this for Christian purity. Something implanted in me by my upbringing, of precious sex and purity culture, of tsk-tsking at high school kids who do it for the first time. But I later realized it was more than rooted religious ideas—it was something innate about me.
And that made it scarier.
“I don’t want you to die and not go to heaven because of this,” my abuser said, commenting on me being queer. “Or finally see God and have him say you were wrong. You’re choosing empathy over doing what’s right”
She constantly said things like this to me when my queerness reared its head, or when I expressed sadness for the oppression of those in the LGBT community. How it wasn’t right, wasn’t Christian. How I was Wrong and just needed to pray it away—and because it wasn’t gone, it was a sign I wasn’t committed enough to Christ.
If she had changed, why couldn’t I?
Was I being tested by God? Was I selfish? Broken? Brainwashed?
I was told over and over that I had to choose a side—God or queerness. One side was the right one, the other would corrupt me for life.
Am I making the right choice by “staying” queer? By “staying” asexual?
. . . You know what?
The Christian discussions I was exposed to about queerness always made my identity seem like a choice. But it was never a choice.
And after hearing LGBT people put down all of my Christian life, and being held captive by an abuser who wants to put out my queer flames . . .
. . . maybe I’ve earned the right to be selfish.
Maybe I’ve earned the right to be myself, religiously and, uh . . . queeriously.
I’ve changed a lot since that sidewalk conversation with my abuser. Now, I’d say that she’s ok if she’s ace, like me. Now, I’d say that saying that she’d “find the right person” was bullshit that shouldn’t have spewed out of my mouth.
And now, I’d throw her out of my life long before she gets to scream at me on the sidewalk.
I’m an ace dude with boobs, holding onto my religion by a thread. It seems like every Christian in my life wants me to let go of my queerness. And I have no doubt that if I came out as ace, they’d want me to let go of it too.
But for now, I’m holding on. Because there’s nothing wrong with me.
And there never was.