Haha, so you’re like a plant?

“Haha, so you’re like a plant?” (2018, 18×24 inches, Acrylic on stretched canvas)

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As if explaining every detail of your orientation wasn’t hard enough, it’s unfortunately not the only roadblock that would prevent someone from coming out. Reason number two that coming out is hard: you have no idea how the person you are coming out to will react.

For a lot of aces, they’re usually met with confusion from a lack of understanding. People will try to make jokes from their own confusion, but I assure you that calling me a plant, or a robot, or asking if I reproduce by mitosis is not very funny. I’ve already heard them all before. Other common comments can be much harsher. No, it’s not celibacy. Yes, I can still love. I’m not trying to be a “special snowflake”, you cannot “fix” me, and don’t look at me with eyes full of pity.

Enduring jokes is the easy part though. It gets serious when you have to tell a person you’re on a date with, or someone you’ve been in a relationship with for a while. It can get angry, or violent. I’ve heard countless terrifying stories of people in this position: threats, manipulation, guilt trips, abuse. Just please, I beg you, be kind to people, and believe them when they tell you who they are. It’s okay to be confused and it’s okay to ask questions. But please think about what you are saying, and please don’t turn my existence into a joke. Don’t take your lack of understanding and turn it into hate. No one should have to go through that.