This is a late contribution to the August 2021 edition of Carnival of Aces, whose aim was to give a second chance to a past topic at the voice of the contributor. I chose Gender norms and asexuality.
I discovered asexuality terminology in June 2008, but I didn’t question my sexuality until October 2008. Fortunately, I knew of asexuality before, so it was an option to consider. I immediately identified as aromantic, but for identifying as asexual I had to figure out what sexual attraction was. By March 2009, I had already identified as asexual and attended my first meetup. I learned a few models and tools, especially splitting what we have been taught to be monolithic, and I incorporated them into my mental tools and my relation with sexual diversity would never be the same.
I had a long-distance queerplatonic relationship that lasted about two years and a half. There, my partner encouraged me to question many things, including gender, but I was still not prepared to apply my acquired tools to explore my gender. Some years later, I would identify as demiguy because I still haven’t split sex and gender and I was doing like an average of what I felt with respect to to my body and to my gender.
The key that sparked definitively my realization was an odd term listed in AVEN list of gender terms, cis-genderless. I immediately identified with the term and it made me definitively split sex and gender in my identity. I could definitively identify as agender without any burden of what I felt about my body.
I came out inside the asexual community and expressed my interest to contact the non-binary collective, but the curtain of the pandemic fell and I had to wait. Regardless the delay, I was put in contact with the non-binary community and they were very welcoming. So, now I am present in the asexual, aromantic and non-binary communities.
Summarizing, if I hadn’t had the terms for asexuality in 2008, I would probably not have realized my actual orientation. And if I hadn’t acquired the tools for exploring asexuality, I would probably not have realized my actual gender identity. It took years, but I did it thoroughfully and I don’t regret having explored my orientation and my gender.