Are You Straight or Are You Gay? Pick One

By Ruth Dempsey All Rights Reserved ©

Other

Chapter 1

“Are you straight or are you gay?”

This is something people ask themselves when they’re kids after they find out what the words mean. The question is usually answered very quickly as they start to develop feelings for people and discuss their crushes with their friends.

But what about the people who can’t join these conversations? What about the kids who don’t have any crushes to speak off? As all my friends go in a circle asking everyone to name their crush I sit awkwardly in silence dreading my turn.

“You can’t not like anyone. Why won’t you tell us who it is? Do we know them?”

The lies roll off my tongue. I make up stories of the perfect person from another school but they quickly get bored as the next person takes their turn. Maybe I’m just not ready to like anyone. Maybe when I’m a little older. But as the years go on I’m still lying about the same prince charming to avoid suspicion but the questions keep flowing.

“How come you’ve never kissed anyone? Why won’t you date them? Are you gay?”

People always have a one track mind. I get into a relationship to get people to leave me alone. To make the questions stop. But nothing ever changes. I still feel nothing. I just feel empty. My hands flinch away from theirs. Their lips feel wrong. They lose interest quickly and break up with me. I wasn’t interested in the first place.

“Are you straight or are you gay?” PICK ONE.

But what if you can’t pick one? What if you’re neither? What if you just can’t relate to your friends as they have multiple relationships and come back bragging about their sexual conquests? What if you’re not interested in sex even though it’s all anyone talks about?

Is there something wrong with me?

Why am I the only one who seems to feel like this? Why do I feel so different to my friends? How would they react if I told them? They refused to believe I didn’t like anyone when we were kids so why would they listen now?

In class we discuss relationships and sexuality. I already know all about straight and gay but what am I? It’s getting harder and harder to keep pretending I’m the same as everyone else. I can’t be the only one. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

I scroll through the internet and a word in a text post catches my eye.

“Asexual”

In the back of my mind I remember a biology lesson about strawberrys but that why would someone be talking about that? I stop to read the post.

“Asexuality refers to someone who doesn’t feel any sexual attraction to either gender. Demisexual refers to someone who only feels sexual attraction after forming a strong emotional bond with someone.”

Could this be it? The answer I’ve been searching for since I was a kid.

“Are you straight or are you gay?”

I am neither. I am in this gray area that no one ever talks about about. Even though no one ever gave the option.

Why did it have to take me so long to figure it out though? Why did I have to wait so long to discover these options? Why weren’t they discussed at school? Why did I have to be made feel alone and broken?

We’re ghosts. According to media we don’t exist. No one is aware that there are more than those limited options you’re given.

“Are you straight or are you gay?”

I say straight because I don’t want to have to explain myself. I don’t want to argue that it’s real. I know what I am. I no longer feel alone. There’s nothing wrong with me.

My confidence grows. I feel whole.

“Are you straight or are you gay?”

I am neither.

And that’s okay.

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