You Only Realize When You're Actually Looking - Julianne Vork

One of the arguments against homosexuality, and anyone else who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community, is that it’s only a trend, another tumblr thing someone created that people went on the run with, something else people call themselves for the aesthetic. The haters say when celebrities started coming out of the closet, that’s when everyone else did, too. It does have to do something with those celebrities coming out, yeah, but it’s not a trend. It’s not something people call themselves for awhile until it’s old news and they’ve found something new. Because representation is important; It’ll give people the feeling they’re not alone, and it  shows the world there are actually a lot of people who are part of our community. It’s not entirely true, but seeing gay people can, in some way, make you gay. Of course, you were already gay, but without representation, without knowing what being gay means, how can you be gay? As soon as people learn about the concept of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, etc. they start questioning themselves. Where am I on the spectrum? Seeing people who aren’t cishet won’t make you gay, it just makes you look at yourself and question if you are.

Around 1 ½ year ago, I met someone that would become one of my best friends. He had already come out, and at first, he preferred to be called a shorter version of his birth name, but later he got a name he felt better with and which suited him better, too. Let’s call him J.

He is a transgender male, and I didn’t really care, and I still don’t. It was just another thing about him, and it didn’t make me like him more or less. He had a shared instagram- account with someone else, a girl (H).  That’s when I started asking him questions. On their account it said cisgender behind H’s name, what did that mean? And pan, which stood behind his name, next to Ftm? What did Ftm exactly mean? By that time, he and I had already become very close friends. We had 2 a.m. talks about his dad, who didn’t accept him, about my aunt who died because of an illness, and who I still think about everyday. We told each other our biggest secrets, and we could talk hours about stuff that didn’t make sense. So he understood that I asked out of curiosity and he tried to explain everything to me, while for the things I still didn’t understand he recommended some LGBTQ+ instagram accounts. As soon as I got into everything, everyday I started learning a bit more about the community. I then started to think of myself as pansexual. Before, I had never really thought about it. I knew what transgender meant; I knew some people that are bisexual and some that are homosexual. They were just like me, and I’d never really thought about it. Now I did, and I started thinking about where I would fit. Was I cishet? Or gay? Maybe transgender? I started looking around, thinking about what I felt towards other people, but they were all the same to me. Pansexual it was, then.

It’s over a year later and I lost contact with J around 9 months ago. During the last year, I thought about many different things. Agender? Lesbian? Bisexual? I thought so many different labels through and ended up deciding I wasn’t Ftm. That didn’t suit me. What now? Over a year has gone by, and I still had thousands to choose between. I’d have to choose, didn’t I? Then, finally around a week ago, I knew it. Reading somewhere about how ace didn’t necessarily mean “not wanting any touch, no hands, no hugs.” No. It means not being interested in touching in a sexual way, but rather in an affectionate way.  A romantic way, too.

Around 2 at night, Sunday the 14th of January, as I felt a wave of energy going through me, I finally knew I wanted to identify as asexual. It suited me, and unlike the last few times I thought I knew it, this time it made me so excited. I want to jump, I wanted to scream it out. I am asexual. The first 2 weeks of 2018 I had been feeling rather down, but now I had found a new kind of happiness. Just thinking about it makes me feel all giddy and smiley.

Next up is my gender identity, which is even more confusing to me than my sexuality used to be. But that can wait for another year. I still have a lot of time.

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