In Siggy’s piece ‘Many Ways to Be Between’, he defines gray-As and demisexuals to be people for whom ‘asexual’ is not an an accurate description, but still find asexuality a useful idea.
In the same sense, I, as someone for whom ‘asexual’ currently is an accurate description, find the idea of grey-(a)sexuality useful.
First of all, I think, from the age of 15-19, it would have been more accurate to label myself as ‘grey-asexual’, and when I first considered self-identifying on the ace-spectrum, I considered calling myself ‘gray-asexual’. However, over the past five years or so, I haven’t really experienced sexual attraction, so for my current state, ‘asexual’ seems to be the more accurate label/identity. However, having a word for my situation as a teenager makes it easier to understand my own experiences, and to see that there was a change.
However, I think the most useful thing about the concept of gray-Aness is that it frees me to be whatever I am.
I haven’t had any encounters with external asexual-police (probably because I’ve never joined AVEN or Tumblr, the two centers of online ace-spectrum communities), but I do have an internalized asexual-police officer, who sometimes questions whether I’m really asexual enough to be ‘asexual’. Did I think about sex for a minute? INFRACTION OF THE ASEXUAL CODE!!!!
Of course, any definition of heterosexual beyond ‘heterosexual unless proven otherwise [with ridiculously high standards of evidence]’ (aka heteronormativity) does not fit me either – it didn’t even fit me as a teenager. So if my internalized asexual-police officer declared me unfit to be asexual, well then, I would be erased from the map.
Ah, but I can’t be erased from the map, because of the buffer-zone of gray-Aness. If, somehow, I do get disqualified from the asexual-club, but am not still qualified to enter the heterosexual club (and I seriously doubt I will ever qualify for that membership), that’s okay, because it just means I’ve become a gray-A (again).
In short, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m ‘asexual’ enough or not because, no matter how my sexuality (or lack thereof) expresses itself, I know that I will always fit in somewhere. So I can just chill, and be myself.
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