[CW for sexual violence, but this is a happy post, I promise.]
I feel fortunate to have gone through the channels I did.
When I came to the ace community, I sought out the places and the people who were making the most sense to me, and — although it wasn’t my priority at the time — that happened to bring me into an environment where people where challenging the idea of the Unassailable Asexual, arguing that asexuality doesn’t have to be “natural” or innate to be legitimate, and pointing out that saying “asexuals haven’t been sexually abused” is unfair to aces who have been sexually abused. I just happened to find people who were vocal about these things. And I’m fortunate to have been drawn into that atmosphere of support and inclusivity. I’m fortunate to have been taught about the intracommunity issues and instilled with the right values and taught some of the ways to explicitly prioritize survivors. I’m fortunate to have been immersed in that environment well enough to have been saying things like this…
…long before it even occurred to me that the ??? that happened to me as a kid technically fits some definitions of sexual violence.
When that dawned on me, I wondered if it meant I should reconsider how I conceptualize my sexuality and my bouts of sex aversion, but by then, I had already been assured and assured others that it didn’t have to matter. I had already read about others processing the same challenges and invalidation and considered myself thoroughly on their side.
Even before I knew that that meant I was on my side, too.
This is a love letter to all the people who contributed to making that happen.