“I'm not gay! I don't know what I am”
oops Title amended !!
Time to leave the nest.. Home didn’t fit me any more. But ….. I couldn’t guess my future.
“No, Dad. I’m not gay. I know that. One of the out-guys tried to flirt with me once – and it was just not for me.”
“But you have so few friends. Don’t friends and, erm, ‘close-friends’ matter to you?”
“Of course. But I have friends – girls mostly as you know. I just can’t turn them into girlfriends. The idea of moving past friend to close to intimate to sex just doesn’t happen.”
I could see the concern on his face – not just that I’d used the ‘sex’ word. I’d done some research. ‘Asexual’ was one box that seemed to fit me – but not accurately. I knew I needed to dig deeper, open up, find a friend to listen and give me feedback. But none of my friends seemed able to take on the task – or maybe I wouldn’t let them in. And who can actually talk to their parents.
“Really, Dad, I need to move away. I know it’s not to ‘to find myself’ but somehow there’s a hole in me that I can’t find how to fill. I’ve got this job so perhaps new things to do will help me find other new things.”
Dad looked sceptical. Mum sat on the sofa, interested, always listening but not often contributing.
“I’m still not sure I understand. But I agree if you say that you’re not sure where you fit in. School and Clubs and so on – there’s always been a sort of ‘Ian doesn’t fit in with some of the others’. Even ‘Ian’s a bit weird, a loner’. Is that really how you feel, boyo.”
“I’ve never put it that strongly. But, yeah, I don’t have anyone I’d call a Best-Friend. I’m not sure how many friends I could even ask for help. Mostly they’re friends-to-do-things-with or good acquaintances. Pathetic really.”
“Don’t Josh and Annie count as good friends. You do enough listening to them. And you’re not pathetic – just uncertain."
“Yeah, but – could I ask them for help? I’ve never done so. Never tried.”
“Then – before you leave this house –ask for their help, their advice. Ask them to listen not just TO you but actually FOR you – so they can help even though they’ve never been asked to. It will be a big step for all of you – I promise.”
“You make it sound really serious, Dad.”
“Chum, you’ve never asked for help much. You’re likely to be leaving these friends behind – don’t you owe them the honour of being real friends to you.”
“I never thought of it that way.”
“You don’t get love coming towards you much if you don’t give it out. And lots of people are frightened of giving love in case the target doesn’t understand the gift. I don’t ask for help often. It’s a privilege to be asked to help.”
It turns out,, they had noticed. They did care. They knew the asexual label. And said ‘not’.
But Annie wondered if …... And after a year away, I’m coming back – as a girl.
Another 500-word story for anyone to adapt, amend, expand (with proper attribution).
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