1 - it’s been weeks, months, maybe years since you’ve started doing research on sexualities. you’ve finally come to terms with the fact that you are ___-sexual. you’re maybe not 100% sure, but pretty sure. you feel somewhat happy, excited, relieved. you understand yourself better.
2 - you see the ___-sexual flag come up on your dash. it is so beautiful, you’re so happy, you almost want to cry. you feel relieved. you see your identity represented. you understand yourself better.
3 - weeks later, you come across a post claiming that the way you identify is x-phobic. you are confused. you read up on the issue. you understand the argument. you also understand the counterarguments. you are confused. you are no longer relieved.
4 - a month later, someone you’re close with makes a casual comment about your sexuality. the comment seems to fall under the argument that the way you choose to identify is x-phobic. you are confused. you feel hurt, seeing as it came from someone you are close with. you’re not sure what to say, so you distance yourself from the conversation. you’re nervous to talk to this person about sexuality again, but you remind yourself that you know the arguments both for and against the statement. you are no longer relieved.
5 - for weeks, months, you read up on ___ discourse. everyone’s words are very strong. many people seem to believe that their argument is the only right way. you are confused. you are upset. you understand the arguments both for and against, but you can’t position yourself within the debate. you wish you could go back to the time when you first discovered your sexuality, when you were so excited to understand yourself better, when you were relieved. but you are no longer relieved.
6 - you spend hours a day scrolling through these discourse tags, purposely seeking out the posts that victimize your sexuality. you don’t know why you do it, but you can’t stop. some people tag random pictures with these discourse tags to try to pause your hurting. it makes you upset, you came here for the hurt. you want to better understand your own exclusion so that you can understand yourself and your peers better. you are no longer relieved.
7 - weeks go by. you become busy with school/work/another commitment. you forget about these discourse tags. life doesn’t necessarily get better, but maybe it does. you are not relieved. you are distracted.
8 - months later, you’re back in the discourse tags. you can’t understand how people can be so hateful. but you can understand where they’re coming from, you’ve seen people in your community perpetuating x-phobia. maybe you’ve called it out a few times. you want to go back to identifying for yourself, not for others. you wonder what took you away from this place, but you can’t pinpoint it.
overall, you do not feel relieved. you feel wrong.
9 - time passes, you’ve moved on from the discourse tags and have found others who share or support your identity. life isn’t easy, but it isn’t worse. you have hope that it will get better. for once in a long time, you finally feel relieved. you almost forgot what that felt like.
this post isn’t to shame anyone, it’s just a reflection of my own thoughts and what i’ve personally been going through since coming out as asexual (and possibly biro/panro). i think many people can relate to this timeline, regardless of the identity.
where are you in this timeline right now, and how long until you reach point 9?