I believe we can learn a lot from listening to each other, so when I learnt about ASpec April I offered to write a post to share my experience with figuring myself out.
First, let me introduce myself. My Name is Laura, and I’m asexual and aromantic. I’m also a writer of queer romance. And last but not least, I’m Spanish.
The first time I saw the word asexual was in fanfic. And I think I was lucky enough to be able to read in English, because until two years ago, I hadn’t ever heard the word asexual in a Spanish conversation. It’s still pretty unknown in Spain, except for very specific queer circles. To give you an example: two years ago I was studying for a masters in teaching, and I offered to do a presentation on queer identities since none of our teachers had even mentioned them. Out of a 70 people class, no one but two people had ever heard about asexuality or aromanticism, and I had been the one who had talked about asexuality with them before.
Up until I was 27 years old, I didn’t have that word to describe myself. I never knew why I was different. Conversations about sex made me uncomfortable. I could joke about it, when it wasn’t personal, but conversations about the sex my friends were having made me feel weird and like I wanted to hide under the table. My friends thought I was a prude and they would tease me about it, which let me tell you, didn’t feel great.
But still, I didn’t think the word asexual could apply to me. Not until I first saw and interview and someone talked about being autochorissexual. Because that label, that one was exactly me. That one described exactly how I felt. Everything around me shook and it felt like sliding into a well-worn jumper: warm and soft. Because I was not alone, there were more people who felt like I did, I wasn’t just “weird”. Ever since then, I have worn that label with pride.
But it wasn’t until two years later that another label surprised me, that I felt I could also identify as aromantic. Because I do like the idea of romance: I love reading romance novels, and writing them. And I love the idea of having that close relationship with something, of having that *someone*. But I examined how I really felt, and while I did love that idea, I had never felt romantic attraction towards anyone. So there I was, 29 years old and identifying as aroace. And everything clicked into place.
And you know what? I’m almost 31 years old now, and I have an amazing partner in life and in crime. I love him to death, I am just not in love with him. And I couldn’t be happier.