Thoughts on Asexuality & Pride 2022

Representation in STEM fields matter

I was always interested in mathematics and science from a young age. I really didn’t see anyone like me though. Women are under represented. There are still a lot of gate keepers that prevent and discourage women from pursuing STEM fields. There is still harassment and obstacles for those who do pursue degrees and those who pursue Phds.

I know because I follow these ladies on Twitter and hear their experiences. It is a problem still.

We still also need representation for transgender, non-binary, and all those who identify as LGTBQIA+. That is why I want to talk about myself today and my identity specifically as someone still interested in pursuing a mathematics undergraduate degree. Even if that is delayed.

Queer from a Young Age

I would say before I was ten, I knew that I was attracted to men and women. Though, I did not share this with anyone at that time. I never thought my sexuality was anyone’s business. As well as not wanting to be discouraged by my parents or society. Even then there is an acute awareness that the world is hetero-normative and that deviation from that needs to be protected.

I think the other reason why I kept it hidden from others was because I was already bullied and harassed for being different my whole childhood. I didn’t need one more thing to separate me from other children. Another thing to be laughed at and derided for.

I kept my identity as bisexual a secret until college when it became more important for me to be out. By that time, my family had already figured out that I wasn’t straight. Little did I know, that I would find out later in life that my romantic attraction and physical attraction were different things.

I discovered in my thirties that I was asexual. One of the most misunderstood identities. I met a few asexual people in university who were surprised when I accepted them right away without question. I knew from psychology classes that sexuality is on a spectrum. If there are people who are hyper sexual then there must also be those who find it less of a priority.

I discovered that I was one of them when I felt something that I labeled lust for the first time. It took me a year of pursuing this individual to realize what I was going through. I had never felt that way about my previous romantic partners and I realized that is most likely why those relationships didn’t last. I liked my partners but I did not desire them.

That’s a weird thing to discover when you are the most sex positive person you know!

Split/Attraction Model

The easiest way to understand this is to learn about the split attraction model which is often employed when talking about aromanticism and asexuality. Essentially, romantic and sexual attraction are two different things! You can experience one without the other. Or neither at all. Aro Ace people exist and they are quite happy about it. You may find it confusing but this idea made it easier to understand my own sexuality.

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Asexuality in the Sciences

If you are asexual or questioning, I highly recommend getting in touch with Sarah Cosgriff of Aces in STEM. She runs a discord server that I was part of in the early days. The only reason why I left was due to my social anxiety. It grew really quickly and I felt like contributing less and it became harder for me to keep up with people.

When it comes to historical figures, I count my favorite mathematician, G.H Hardy, as head cannon asexual. He was described as a non-practicing homosexual by his frequent collaborator Littlewood. As far as I am aware, there is not anecdotal evidence that he engaged in any romantic or sexual relationships. Although, he did have a string of platonic relationships with young Cambridge men.

I also wonder if he could be considered Aro Ace as he said that Ramanujan was the only romantic incident of his life. I don’t think that I could claim that as I am not Aro myself. I do engage with and want romantic relationships. It is a thing.

Further Resources

Honestly, I don’t think that I am the best advocate. I can only talk about my own experiences. I’m very lucky in that I have found acceptance among my family and friends. Though, I still have to explain myself a lot. Here are more resources if you are interested in learning more or are questioning.

Twitter

For websites check out AVEN.

I want to leave with a thread of some of the crap and BS asexual people have to put up with. Some still don’t see it as a valid orientation. Or even part of the LTBQIA+ Rainbow even though we are clearly the A along with agender and aromantic people.