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Katrina Rix

My Activist Lit Paper

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Katrina Rix

We were asked to write a paper for my high school activist lit class. Here's the rough draft of mine. It's called "I'm not Broken". I'm not entirely sure it belongs here. Anyhow, it;s to be read in front of my class at Steller.

I am an asexual. The existence of asexuals is something few people have knowledge of, and fewer care about. I have due reason to know and care. Being asexual means that I do not desire sex with anybody. It does not mean that I am incapable of falling in love, or that I’m callous, or that my hormones are out of whack. It does not stem from a trauma during my youth. It is not something wrong with me. I am not the only person who feels this way. This affirmation gives me strength and hope.

I don’t know how easy it is for people to understand what I am. It certainly isn’t easy to explain. Most people seem to believe that the desire for sexual behavior is an immutable part of being human. I know better. I think that informing people about asexuality is an important thing to do. I want to inform people for the sake of about 1% of the population (if humans follow the pattern of other large mammals) that feels the way I do.

My life is not particularly epic or unusual. I must reiterate that it’s nothing in my background that makes me the way I am. I believe that asexuality is like any sexual orientation – genes and feelings. I may have always been asexual. I have never felt sexual attraction towards anyone. I have no desire for sexual activity. I can’t remember any of the emotions that correspond to sexuality hitting at any time. Instead, I plodded carefully through grade school and early middle school, blissfully unaware of the tide descending. I remember skipping over dirty bits in books, dismissing them as boring and detracting from the plot, and feeling confused as to why every movie we watched seemed to end with a smooch. It was an annoyance and a nuisance.

In eight grade, things got messier. My peers and friends suddenly acquired significant others. They began to gossip about boys, idolize movie stars, and generally conduct themselves (in my mind) like a pack of raving loonies. I didn’t understand, and I couldn’t begin to understand what process had resulted in my buddies (who’d sworn ‘til they were blue in the face that they’d never kiss or do any of that gooshy stuff) behaving in such a fashion. It was horrible. I feigned some degree of interest, but mostly rolled my eyes.

High school made matters worse. I did not have the good fortune to attend Steller at that time, but instead went to an overpopulated school where no one gave me the time of day. My friends were in the same bog, but they seemed to have the support of their partner. I decided to see if I could make myself desire a partner. I pretended I was attracted to my male peers, and tried to believe that I was, in fact, feeling a “crush”. I knew it wasn’t real, and it made me miserable. Every time some poor young man would ask me out, I’d panic and say something odd. I believe the one that caused the most mental trauma on both sides was when I pretended not to hear the question properly... Twice. The truth was, I never really thought about getting into a relationship with anyone. It felt wrong.

I spent a lot of time wondering if there was something wrong with me. I thought I might have some sort of hormonal issue. I was afraid to share too much, because I thought people would pass it off as silly or, worse yet, “a phase”. It was like smashing a wreaking ball into my self esteem. I was convinced that I had a problem, mentally or physically. My freezing up in reaction to anything sex related was not helping the matter. Frankly, I was becoming a mess. For about a day, I was convinced I was about as straight as a u-turn, until I paused, thought it over, and realized that nothing was there, either.

Finally, I got fed up with the whole lot. It was halfway through sophomore year, and I decided that I was wasting my time fretting. Essentially, I was making myself miserable and neurotic. My mind had reached the point where I couldn’t take all that nonsense. I gave up entirely on worrying about sexuality - and my lack of it. In a culture in which sex sells everything from soft drinks to magazines, I wasn’t buying it. I thought I was unique - some sort of freak. I was wrong.

I had almost forgotten about my eighth grade lottery application when I was admitted to Steller. Steller is much more open about these matters. None the less, I said little or nothing about my feelings during my first half-year and my time in Costa Rica. When asked, I frankly stated that I was not interested. It was when I returned, first quarter, that things started to change.

I was in Teen Issues class with Pamela. The students were having a discussion about sexuality. I sat quietly - quite unlike me, as I’m sure everyone knows. I began to shake, and opened my mouth several times without managing to say anything. Finally, I pulled my courage together and stood up, so I wouldn’t have the chance to chicken out. I remember that I wanted to cry - that my voice cracked like I was about to cry - while I told the class about myself. I confessed that I’d never been turned on or been attracted to either gender. I told them I didn’t know what that meant. I don’t know how long I talked for. It seemed like forever, but I suspect it was only a moment. I sat down, wondering what the hell I had been thinking, and wanting to break down. Pamela said the words I really needed to hear. “Oh, honey. My nephew’s the same way. It’s called asexual.”

It was like being hit with an anvil, like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I felt flattened, but at the same time I wanted to scream with relief. After class, I raced to the computer. Google. When I typed in the word asexual, I found a site full of people with exactly the same feelings. How can I begin to describe the knowledge that nothing was wrong with me? How can I make people understand the profound relief I felt when I realized that I wasn’t alone? Other people knew what I was.

I suppose the first thing that raced through my mind was wondering why nobody knew about this. I try to get word out - I’ve come out to my parents and friends. I left a poster in the halls. I talked to our GSA club. I can’t help but want to make people understand. I need to know that no one else will damage themselves because they think something is wrong with them. I want kids to know that asexuality is out there and that we aren’t people who choose not to have sex, but people who do not desire it. Sometimes, it’s very hard to talk about it. So few people understand asexuality right off the bat. Many people maintain it’s impossible. Others say that it’s just a phase I’ll pass through. Very few people understand that I’ve had the options, but don’t feel anything. Sex is not taboo or immoral to me, but it isn’t something I want to do. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

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Silly Green Monkey

That is a wonderful paper. Would you mind if reporters quoted it when they're trolling for raw material?

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Borrible Cal

That's a fabulous paper--congratulations. And well done for having the courage to write it. Big visibility medal for you! :vis:

Borrible Cal.

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Shivers

You call that big??

vis_icon.gif

Now there's a big visibility medal for you (-:þ

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winter

awesome job!! have you joined the ed team yet? i'm gonna keep after you because i think you would do some crazy things for it. amazing work :)

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Amcan

I can definitely see some of myself in there. Particualrly the High School bit. I never had a crush. I liked a boy because of freindship but no sexual stuff.

From my POV it's a very good paper, explains things in an easy to understand way. Hopefully it willl make people understand. :)

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Borrible Cal
You call that big?? ... Now there's a big visibility medal for you (-:þ

Pfft. I thought it was only us Stray'ns who were allowed to riff off lines from Crocodile Dundee... :)

Borrible Cal.

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Shivers
You call that big?? ... Now there's a big visibility medal for you (-:þ

Pfft. I thought it was only us Stray'ns who were allowed to riff off lines from Crocodile Dundee... :)

Borrible Cal.

*blink blink* What's crocodile dundee? (googles it) Oh.

Ummm, I actually dont watch much as far as movies go. And I haven't watched TV in over a year. So I came up with that in my own twisted little mind.

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Islander9

Really cool paper- yessa!

Crocodile Dundee: there's a line in that film that A-Zers also use:

"Call that a knife? THIS is a knife!" As Paul Hogan whips out near -machete against that feeble wee blade the NY punk was flourishing-

cheers from Islander who always carries a crocodile-

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Katrina Rix

Okay, sorry for not replying for so long. I'd like to join the ed team. How? sure, reporters can quote it. I wrote the paper to be read, and the more people who see it, the better. Wow, that is indeed a big medal. Thankees!

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hafnium

Good to go!

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