Sunday, March 9, 2008

Am I Blue?

If I ruled the world, I wouldn't let anyone declare their sexual orientation until they were at least 18. But I don't rule the world (except if Ilytopia counts), and in the one we live in, our orientation is already chosen for us-- heterosexual. Bah.
Paging through a Seventeen magazine the other day, I came across an article called "Could I Be Gay?" I couldn't find the article on Seventeen's web site, but I did find the statistic (from PFLAG) that between 1990 and 2000, the age at which most gay and lesbian people come out dropped from 22 to 13. I guess the reason I find this shocking is because I couldn't have possibly known what my sexuality really was at 13. But this might have been because I wasn't yet aware my sexuality existed-- not because I wasn't capable of knowing.
I decided I would try to write a similar article about asexuality. This seems hard to do, because when you're a young teenager, you could really be a late bloomer instead of asexual. But it just seems awfully sad that all the gay kids can figure it out in their teens while we A-s would have to wait until our 20's, when any puberty-related sexual awakenings have safely passed.
The Seventeen article is written as 4 questions and answers (how very Passover) from teenage girls. Here's the comparable ones I could come up with for asexuality (based on what people on AVEN say):
  1. I've never had a crush on a boy. Could I be gay, or am I asexual?
  2. My friends are always saying that this or that girl is hot, but I just don't understand what they're talking about. What's up with that?
  3. I had sex with my boyfriend, but I just found it boring. Is there something wrong with me?
  4. How can I know if I'm asexual or just have issues?
Here's what my intro would be:

In a society where we're pre-conditioned to be heterosexual, it's healthy and normal to question your sexuality. But that doesn't mean it's not scary or confusing, especially when your orientation might be one that's lesser-known, like asexual. Asexuals are people that aren't attracted to either sex, and studies have shown that they're at least one percent of the population. Asexuality is just as valid an orientation as being gay, straight, or bi, but can be a little harder to figure out. The biggest advice I can offer? Remember that there's no black and white when it comes to sexuality, and don't rush to label yourself just because you feel you have to. Now, here are some common questions:

And on to the questions and answers. Yeah, I know it's pretty simplistic (and you could certainly argue that my definition is incorrect), but I didn't want to confuse already-confused people too much. What questions would you have want answered as a teenager? Or if you're a teenager now, what kinds of questions are you asking?

And I have to say, Am I Blue is my all-time favorite short story (the subject is a teenage boy trying to figure out if he's gay), and I was able to find it online in it's entirety here.


Mary said...

I liked "Am I Blue" a lot when I read it as a teenager (yey Bruce Coville). Now for a reread . . .

Ily said...

Yay! The story compilation it's in, also called "Am I Blue", is interesting as's kind of dated now, but trying to figure out why it seemed so dated was kind of intriguing.

Mary said...

At a guess, it was very contemporary when it was published (early 90s?) . . . and just look at the hair from then.