Anonymous said: I'm asexual, but I hate myself for it. I just want to be close to someone, to be one with them, but of course I can't feel anything. It hurts, I'm frustrated, and I feel broken. I feel like I'm missing a huge chunk of what it means to be human. How are all of you so positive and so accepting? How can I learn to accept what I am? Please help...

First of all, feeling broken is something a lot of aces experience, so what you’re feeling is definitely understandable. Just like you’re not alone in being ace, you’re not alone in that, either.

That said, I’m not sure what you mean by wanting to be close to someone but being unable to feel anything. The only thing I’m personally incapable of feeling is sexual attraction. Some of us are also incapable of romantic attraction, but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel things. We can still feel love (romantic love or otherwise), we can still care for people, we can still feel happy and sad and enjoy the company of others.

Being “one” with someone is about so much more than sexual attraction, too. It’s about understanding, love (of whatever kind), acceptance, communication… You can feel all of those things, and experience all of those things, whether you’re a romantic ace or an aromantic ace.

Aces get crushes and squishes; aces form relationships; aces love deeply; aces participate in every aspect of what, to me, being human means: caring and learning and discovering the world and the people around them.

Also, to me, at least, sexual attraction doesn’t have anything to do with being human. Yes, it can be alienating to be the only ace in a room full of sexuals. It can make you feel like an outcast and like you don’t belong. I get that. I’ve been there. But for me, it’s like- I feel the exact same way when I’m in a room full of math majors, all getting super excited about math, and I just don’t get why they all think numbers are so great. I felt the same way when I moved continents when I was 7 and suddenly found myself in a new culture.

Lots of things can make you feel like an outcast, but the important thing is to remember that your experiences are no less valuable and unique and human just because you might not experience something that a lot of other people do. Everyone has their own reality and their own truth and this is yours.

As far as actual advice goes, I’d suggest trying to find some meetups in your area, or to make new ace friends. It can be very soothing and comforting to be in a room full of people who share this in common with you. At most meetups, in my experience, people don’t even talk a whole lot about asexuality. It’s just something about knowing that everyone’s ace that’s so lovely.

Something that helped me learn to accept myself, too, was coming out about my asexuality. I don’t know your age or life circumstances, but while I was in college, I joined my campus’s LGBTQA organization. Mine happened to be very ace-friendly (not all of them are, though, so be warned) and the sexuals in my Pride office never disrespected me about it and accepted me with ease. We even organized several events around ace visibility to help others understand us better. I find it’s easier to accept yourself when you’re around people who accept you in return. Coming out is scary and hard, though, so if you’re not ready for that, then that’s okay! Only come out when you’re ready or want to. :)

A last note: Asexuality might always be something you don’t LOVE being, and that’s okay. Accepting yourself, especially things you don’t like about yourself or things that hurt you, is really, really hard. For myself, and a couple of other mods (I can’t speak for all of them, though), we never struggled to accept our asexuality. On the contrary, finding there was a word for what we experience and that we’re not alone was a relief to a lot of us. So for us, it’s a lot easier to be positive and accepting. The last thing I’d want you to do is to hate yourself more for not being able to be as positive as we are!

Good luck in accepting yourself! <3