Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week Series: Day 3 – Previous Posts: Introduction to Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week Series – The Excitement and Frustration of Being “Alone” – Actual Love
by Julia W.
Looking back on the earlier elementary years, I was incredibly aromantic. I mean, I remember picking a boy to crush on because I thought it was a choice, and I remember thinking specifically “I just want to be his friend.” I remember finding common interests with a boy and not understanding why the other girls would tease me about it. I remember others talking about boys in hushed voices while I just wanted to talk about horses or something.
Finding the label didn’t automatically tether it to me. At first I was certain I was straight because being LGBTQIA+ was a big thing that certainly couldn’t apply to me. It took me a while to see that it was normal and common, and at that point I eased myself into identifying on the aromantic spectrum.
Now, in high school, I’m aware of the incredulous amatonormativity and heteronormativity present everywhere. It’s hard, because something that you really can’t bring yourself to understand, no matter how hard you try, is always there. It’s always reminding you that you’re different.
You can’t escape the media either. All movie plot lines have at least some romance. There’s always that girl who ‘doesn’t believe in love’ who then meets the guy and they fall in love “despite the odds” and yadayadayada. Hello heteronormativity.
One of the hardest things about being aromantic is the difficulty explaining it. I mean, you probably barely understand what you’re trying to explain. How do you explain how you don’t feel something when you don’t know what it feels like to actually feel it?
It’s even harder when your deep affection for friends isn’t reciprocated at the same level. Sure, they may mutually like you, but you know that friendship runs deep in you, and for them romantic relationships are the highest level. Hello amatonormativity.
Relationships become difficult if you’re an aromantic that likes to date. Avoiding all evidence of romance is difficult if you’re romance repulsed. Sometimes, even though you’re romance-neutral, it all gets a bit tiring.
There aren’t many of us but our community screams with silent pride. Spreading the word about us aromantics is important. You never know who might over hear and you never know who you’re going to help.
From one (proud) aromantic to another, to an ally or to another queer/questioning LGBTQIA+ member, I hope you have a great awareness week and a great life with a void of heteronormativity. Let’s be honest, we all deserve it.
Julia W. is a high school student and an aspirational writer looking to open eyes and minds to the aromantic spectrum. She hopes to help by increasing awareness and representation among the community and in everyday life. Find her on Twitter.