May 4, 2015
Alison Galvin (12) was born as a female, and prefers to be called by feminine pronouns such as she, her, hers. She identifies her sexuality as aromantic asexual meaning that she does not feel romantic or sexual feelings toward anyone.
Popular belief is that those who identify as asexual cannot see people as attractive. However, Alison may find someone “pretty or handsome,” but she does not desire an intimate relationship with anyone.
Classifying her sexuality has not always been easy. Starting at age 11, she first identified as a panromantic demisexual for five years. She would be willing to have a relationship with any gender, only if she had established a deep emotional connection prior to starting a romantic relationship with someone.
This identity had not felt right, and after doing research she discovered that “she was not the only one who felt confused about their own sexuality. She realized that she prefers the aromantic asexual identity.
Her mother, over time, has been more understanding of Alison’s sexual orientation compared to her father; but still believes that Alison will become lonely and “grow out of it.”
At the moment, only Alison’s mother knows about her sexuality in her family. Based on trivial changes to appearance like simply cutting her hair shorter, her father has assumed Alison is a lesbian. On the other hand, her mother actually prefers the aromantic asexual orientation of Alison because it is “less devastating” for her.
Both of her parents have thought that she is a lesbian. When Alison had a relationship with another who identified as a female, her parents automatically assumed she was a lesbian, but she knows that she does not identify with that sexuality. She has made sure that at least her mother knows she is aromantic asexual, and that while she does not think being a lesbian is wrong; it is just not her sexuality.
What they do not understand about Alison is that she “will be really happy just living in an apartment with my cats, I don’t want to share my living space with anyone, I don’t really want to be that close to anyone.”
Alison’s friends have been more accepting and supporting of her sexual identity than her family. She is open with close friends, but has faced opposition from family.
Alison has been compared to being a plant, because plants reproduce asexually. “I am not a plant,” she asserts this unfortunate comparison.
While some have gone as far as to compare Alison to a plant, some have dismissed more complex sexual orientations, and some have a preconceived idea that being anything but heterosexual is wrong.
To those who assume that Alison has made a choice that she does not understand the weight of, she retaliates with,
She is comfortable in her sexual identity and does not feel the need for approval from anyone.
Overall “I do think that we need to really get rid of these stigmas in society that every person’s sexuality can be pinned down by their looks” said Alison.