Why I’m Not Out to my Father

Currently, I am not out as an ace to my father.

Why not?

I don’t think he would react badly, in fact I suspect he would react to it better than my mother did. But that’s part of why I felt that I had to come out to my mother. My father has generally regarded my romance/sex life as my business, whereas my mother has felt some personal investment in it. Given that, I felt that it was best for our relationship for her to know that I am asexual.

However, since my father’s position is that my romance/sex life is my business, coming out to him would feel even *more* awkward that it was with my mother. I cannot think of an appropriate way to open the conversation with my father. Okay, maybe when I was still living with him, he would give me an opening once a year for that kind of conversation – but I don’t live with him now, and the last time I had a real-time conversation with him was almost four months ago, and that was also the only time I’ve had a real-time conversation with him since I started this blog. And, surprise surprise, we had so much to talk about that the issue of relationships with my peers didn’t even come close to being a topic.

And that raises a question – why *should* I come out to somebody who generally has not shown an interest in my romance/sex life (or lack thereof)?

I don’t buy the argument that I should come out to him just because he’s my father. He’s my father, so what?

In addition to being my biological father, he has been one of the most important people in my life. But I feel that even that is not a reason to come out.

There is pressure in the GSM community to come out to all of the important people in your life, unless there is a risk of harmful rejection. I don’t think there is any risk of my father rejecting me just because I’m an ace … but I also don’t get why I *have* to come out to him.

I think this is just another way in which romanticism/sexuality is privileged. Society says sex and romance are SO IMPORTANT that one’s orientations should be announced to everyone important in your life unless there is a powerful reason not to. I, however, do not put so much weight on sexuality and romance, and I only want to come out when I have a reason to come out, not just because I lack a reason to not come out. I know coming out is a powerful tool for visibility purposes, and that’s why I won’t hide my orientation without a compelling reason, but not hiding it is not the same as shouting ‘HEY EVERYBODY, I’M AN ACE!’.


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8 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Out to my Father

  1. I haven’t come out to my mother, either, and we’re incredibly close. It’s sort of the same reason – she’s supportive of my apparently not wanting to date, and never really pries, so I don’t have a need to tell her anything as explanation. I’d have to bring it up out of the blue, which, as you said, is super awkward. I agree that you shouldn’t feel compelled to come out to people unless you really want to.

  2. I feel the same way about it. I’m very lucky in that my parents have always accepted that I don’t have, and have never had, romantic or sexual relationships, and they have never pressured me about it. I don’t see the need to “come out” as a specific label if I can live honestly the way I am and they accept me for it.

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  5. “And that raises a question – why *should* I come out to somebody who generally has not shown an interest in my romance/sex life (or lack thereof)?”

    If he isn’t interested, then there’s no meaning in informing him. He wouldn’t get any benefit in knowing. But, how about you? Would you feel better if he knew it? Do you think he could give you some support? If it would benefit you, it could be worth a try, but respecting his limits.

    • This post was written years ago. Now, I am 95% certain that he knows, even though I have not talked directly to him about it (I’ve eavesdropped on a conversation where he strongly implied that he knows that I’m ace). I doubt he understands it, but I do not think it is necessary for him to understand it.

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