A short post about (not) coming out.
Here I am, wading through the internet, and I see a comment mocking the idea of telling your parents that you’re asexual because “why would you need to tell them how much sex you’re having.” I brush it off.
Here I am, several days later, driving my car through rush hour traffic with my coworker in the passenger seat. We’ve been carpooling for maybe a week now. He’s friendly, mild-mannered, and openly gay. We may not know each other well, but we snicker at each other’s jokes and we have the kind of rapport that sets the groundwork for a friendship — and sometimes, we talk lgbt stuff. Casual stuff — stories, comments, complaints. Not much, but enough for him to pick up on how I talk about it.
Enough for him to say, “I don’t think I ever asked: are you… gay, or straight, or…?”
Here I am, monitoring the other cars on the road and being directly asked to state my orientation to my cowoker.
I’m thinking, he’s nice, he’s gay, he’s polite, he’s almost a friend, he should be safe. He’s out to you, why shouldn’t you be out to him?
I’m thinking, he’s your coworker, he’s your carpool buddy, and if something bad happens you can’t easily cut your losses and run. This is a relationship with a financial incentive to be maintained. You’re going to be seeing this guy every day. You can’t ruin it.
I’m thinking, it would take so long to explain, and by the end he’d still have unspoken questions, and you know it never goes well when you come out to men.
I’m thinking, it would be too much information. It would be Too Much Information. You don’t tell your coworkers things like that. He’d think to himself, “why do I need to know how much sex you’re having?” Or, even worse, he’d take it as a cue to compare notes and start telling you more about himself and his sexuality than you want to know.
I pull a face, hesitate, and tell him it’s complicated.
Even before I say anything, he sees the expression on my face and starts backpedaling so fast I have to reassure him it wasn’t wrong to ask, it’s just… complicated.
He accepts that. He understands; he draws a parallel to complicated things in his own life. He’s so nice about it that I wonder how it might have gone if I’d just told him.
To the people who snicker about asexuals coming out to anyone but their romantic partners: congratulations. You got what you wanted.