I’ve been out as queer for twelve years now but it took me much longer to understand my asexuality. For a long time I thought I just wasn’t meeting people I wanted to date, or attraction never aligned (I liked people who didn’t like me, people liked me who I didn’t like back). I thought maybe I was more interested in an intellectual and emotional connection, but I always felt like there was something wrong with me and I was missing something that my other friends had. The word asexual kept coming up, but I had this perception of ace people as being socially awkward and completely uninterested in being attractive and that didn’t fit how I saw myself. I was lucky that I decided to start talking to my friends about how I ‘thought I was asexual’ which led to a friend introducing me to an out ace person. When we met and started sharing our experiences, it was such a validating experience. I realized that asexuality is an entire spectrum and that I definitely fell somewhere on it. It’s been such a relief realizing that I can communicate what I want out of interactions and relationships and not feel ashamed for wanting or not wanting certain things.