Asexual Awareness Week: My Story

So this week is Asexuality Awareness Week and I decided to share my journey into realising, understanding and accepting my asexuality.

I’m going to be honest it took me a really long time to even figure out I wasn’t straight. The main reason was because I thought sexual attraction was aesthetic attraction. And the fact that I had never heard of asexuality before not until I really got into Tumblr and saw more LGBTQIA+ posts. I had only really known of three sexual orientations, which were gay, straight or bisexual. It wasn’t until Tumblr that I discovered the wide range of sexualities.

I realised I was asexual around the age of 17. It was end of 2014, beginning of 2015. During this time I had been in my first ever relationship for at least 2 years. I won’t go into much detail about the relationship, it’s over, we don’t talk anymore. I’ve moved on. For a while I had seen a few asexuality posts on my Tumblr Dashboard. I read them as I scrolled past but I never really took much notice in them. But then I started to become uncomfortable with things in my relationship that I used to be okay with. I became uncomfortable with kissing, cuddling, just any forms of PDA.

I remember when I started questioning my sexuality, I’m not going to lie to myself anymore back then I pictured myself kissing both boys and girls. But I never really saw anything sexual (or even romantic, which I would discover would mean me being aromantic) in it. The moment I truly questioned myself was when I discovered the definition of aesthetic attraction. Me, being the uneducated naive 17 year old I was, sent an anonymous question to one of the asexuality blogs on Tumblr. Thinking back to it it was probably one of their frequently asked questions, which I’m sorry about. But I was nervous in discovering who I truly was. I guess my main question was can I still maintain this relationship I’m in even though I’m asexual?

I remember the moment clear as day when I accepted myself as asexual. I was walking to school one day and I got about halfway down the hill that’s just outside and I was thinking about things. And I suddenly went (to myself in my thoughts) “I’m asexual”. I have a terrible memory but this is one that is etched into my brain. And then comes the struggle of maintaining the one and only relationship I ever had. As days went on I grew more confident with myself as an asexual person. I’d even had the courage to come out to one of my closest friends at the time (long story). And it was this moment my relationship went downhill, in my opinion. Of course it had it’s ups and downs before but my coming out I think really hit the mark of where our relationship wasn’t working. Because in that respect we were totally different people. And because of it we slowly fell apart.

Now I’ve accepted myself as asexual 110%. I realise now that everything I felt towards someone else was aesthetic attraction. That I appreciated their looks and that was about it. I own my asexuality and I hope to help people in discovering their own. Finding other asexuals is a rarity to be honest but when you find another one it’s such an amazing moment. Because you finally realise that you aren’t alone, that there are people like you, and that you aren’t broken.

So happy Asexuality Awareness Week to my amazing aces and acespec. I hope you have a wonderful week. And you embrace your ace. Also eats lots of cake and have a party with some dragons.

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Book Review: Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan

29847102Title: Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2)

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Mythology

Description: Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon – the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki – and the price he wants is very high []

                                                                Rating: ★ 

Disclaimer: Review contains spoilers

I’ve probably said this before but I’m going to say it again, I don’t think Rick Riordan will ever write a book I won’t love. It’s surprising because I love every character in this book (well maybe except Randolph and Hearthstone’s father). Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series in general is probably my favourite Riordan series. There’s just something about the Norse mythology that I just really love. And the characters within this novel are just phenomenal.

This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. The minute it arrived I started reading it and I found it really hard to put down. Magnus Chase is such a wonderful, and funny character that I find myself actually laughing out loud. I love especially that Riordan explores Magnus in a way that he has to change his way of thinking, especially when it comes to new character Alex Fierro.

All of the characters in this book are so diverse and so well written that I just want to recommend it to everyone I ever meet. And I don’t care that technically Riordan’s books are aimed at “children” I love his style of writing. I love how easy it is to dive into the universe he’s created and explore this wonderful world. I’m not going to lie I did picture certain characters from the Thor movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but seriously I cannot fault this series, this book. It’s easily one of my favourites.

I want to thank Riordan especially for the character of Alex Fierro, who was the first canon genderfluid character I have ever read in a book. It was such an amazing feeling to have this representation in one of my favourite series. A character like me (explained more in my previous blog post). It is very rare to find a genderfluid / non-binary character in fiction so to have this character who appears and immediately reveals themselves as genderfluid and transgender really warmed my heart. It’s the representation that I really needed. And to have Alex written so beautifully I could thank Rick more. On page 270 of my version of the book Alex says “I identify as female, but sometimes I have very male days,” and I just want to thank Riordan for this line. I can’t speak for every genderfluid person but I connected to Alex’s character on such a deep level. Yes our genders are slightly different as mine is fluid between female and agender. But much like Alex this is how my gender is. I feel mostly agender but sometimes I have female days.

I love how this book just flat out tells you not to trust Loki no matter what he’s always got something up his sleeve and even then there’s probably something else hiding up there. Yet the characters seem to forget this and it’s so funny and shocking when Loki reveals a twist to the original plan. All of the Norse characters are so wonderfully diverse as well I love how funny and dramatic Thor is. I’m glad that we got to see Sif. And how different she is compared to her husband Thor.

I’m really happy that Riordan decided to divulge Hearthstone’s backstory, and explained exactly what a brutal life he lived. There were moments where I wanted to some how enter the book’s universe and kill his father. Because poor Hearthstone needs to be protected and his father needs to suffer. Hearthstone’s childhood was so awful it was worse than I could imagine. I hate how his father hated him not just for being deaf but he also hated him because he blamed Hearthstone for his mother and brother’s death and it’s just awful. #JusticeForHearthstone.

Can we just talk about that ending? I’M YELLING. How dare you end it on a cliffhanger like this. Here I was thinking that I still had 100 pages or something left to go. I turn the page and it says “Glossary”. It’s 1:00am and I’m here trying not to do the reenactment of the scene from Silver Linings Playbook where Bradley Cooper’s character throws his book out the window. I’m going to suffer for a year. A YEAR. I was thinking as Annabeth made an appearance that Magnus and Percy really need to meet up and the last line was “I think it’s time you met Percy” I expected to turn the page and they’d be talking about Percy’s pen sword. And how Magnus doesn’t like the colour blue. I feel betrayed.

Rick Riordan please never stop writing. Your books are a blessing.

 

To Hell With Your (Gender) Binary

I think it’s quite funny for me to be writing something like this and not for the reasons you think. Back in my first blog post “Take Back The A” I said and I quote “As I am cisgendered and not very educated on the agender community…” just nine months on I’ve discovered that is not the case and I’m in fact not cisgendered, and my gender is fluid between agender and female. Or otherwise known as genderfluid / Non-Binary

So I guess this is my coming out post part 2. With “Take Back The A” being part 1 (well kind of, the only places I’m “out” are online). Discovering that I was Non-Binary came when I sat down with myself and thought “what does it feel like to be a girl”. Because I honestly couldn’t answer that question. I may “look” like one but only rarely did I actually feel like one. Most of the time when it comes to gender I feel like the shrug emoji…
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think a huge part of me not figuring out that I was Non-Binary (much like with asexuality and aromanticism) is that without Tumblr I would’ve known near to nothing about it. For clarification someone who is Non-Binary is someone who doesn’t fit the gender binary of “male” or “female”. I think there’s a lack of education when it comes to Non-Binary identities because there is this “gender binary”. As in a person has to fit being either “male” or “female”, which isn’t the case for some people like me. The “gender binary” is also the reason why certain toys, clothes etc have been, I guess, gendered. For example make-up is seen as feminine where as cars are seen as masculine. Why do we feel the need to gender everything? Because spoiler alert these objects don’t have a gender.

Coming to terms with being Non-Binary was different to how I came to terms with being asexual and then coming to terms with being aromantic. I think mainly because I grew up thinking I was cis. I didn’t come across as the typical Non-Binary person. I “looked” female, I always have. And by this I mean long hair, boobs etc. Even though personally I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way, maybe only rarely. I think it really hit me once that I really was Non-Binary was when I was at my old work place and one of my co-workers called me a girl and my automatic reaction (in my head) was I’m not a girl. It was really then that I truly began to accept myself, and explore my gender identity.

As I’ve come to accept myself more, even though I’m not out to my family. I’ve come to notice the more I’m misgendered the more uncomfortable I get. I’ve noticed I’m misgendered a lot with my hair down as a girl. Yet with my hair up sometimes I get misgendered as a boy. It happened at least twice at my old work place by the customers. Have I accepted myself enough to come out to anyone other than people online? Honestly no, it’s the same with my asexuality and aromanticism and it’s not because I haven’t accepted myself fully because I have. It’s because I don’t think they are educated enough on the topics to understand my gender identity. And I feel like they wouldn’t understand, and explaining it to them would make too much of a hassle. Also from personal experiences I’m not sure if my parents, especially my mum would be 100% accepting (I’ve heard conversations she’s had about bi people and I just I’d hate to hear her thoughts on people who are genderfluid i.e. me)

I’ve had to come to terms with not all Non-Binary people are androgynous because I’m certainly not. For me I look better with long hair, I’ve never in my life liked my hair short. So I guess I have the “privilege” as passing as a girl, even though I’m not one. But it doesn’t feel great when I’m misgendered as one when my gender doesn’t feel like a girl’s.

I guess you could say I’m more agender than a girl because I rarely feel like a girl. But there are days or moments during a day when I do. Maybe in the future my gender will become less fluid and I’ll be 100% agender. But for now I’m fluid between female and agender. So I guess the last thing to say is my pronouns are both she/her and they/them.

To my fellow enbys your gender is flawless, you’re wonderful, and you rock.