Asexuality is defined as having no sexual attraction. A better definition would be no immediate sexual attraction. There is a whole spectrum under that label, however. Asexuality does not mean that people cannot enjoy sex, nor does it mean that they cannot, at some point, be attracted to a specific person in some way. It does also include people who are repelled by sex, or romance, or even both.
Some of the spectrum isn't interested in sexual intercourse but may be very attracted to the romance that comes with a relationship. The spectrum is massive and not as limiting as many make it out to be. But there are a number of issues that come with identifying one's self as this.
Identifying as asexual is a constant struggle between not being considered as part of the LGBT+ community, as well as not being understood or accepted by societal norms. It's a double whammy, especially since only 1 percent of the population identifies as asexual. Not only do our fellow LGBT+ family not consider us a part of the community, but society does not either.
Explaining to people that I am asexual has produced some very amusing reactions from strangers that I've met as well. It's not as if I go up to them and say, "Hey, I'm asexual!" out of the blue, but it generally does come up in a conversation at some point. The initial reaction tends to be, "So you, what, go through mitosis?" And I can't help but cringe and laugh awkwardly simultaneously.
We Don't Fission
The amusement primarily comes from the fact that people don't stop to think what the label means. Humans are not capable of undergoing asexual reproduction, which is what these strangers more commonly refer to. Because of this, my mind is always blown when that is the initial response that I get from people.
The equivalent to that for those that identify as heterosexual would be, "So you do reproduce by conjugation?" It sounds ludicrous.
There is a whole list of very offensive, and rude, remarks that come from both those not in the LGBT+ community, and those within. A few remarks include, "You just haven't met the right person," or even, "I can change that."
Hearing these things every day gets old very fast. If other sexualities expect society to at least be open-minded to their differences, then should asexuals not be included in that?
It's a common theme from other sexualities to listen how we may be "broken" because some of us may not have any sex drive. There are a lot of hurtful remarks that come from the ignorance, and I believe it is important to reach out to our fellow LGBT+ members and educate them on what is fact and fiction.
That is what it is like to live as someone that identifies as asexual. Without a supporting community, it can be a rough and lonely rode. One does not have to suffer alone however. Though few in number, there are asexual communities out there that are willing to reach out and help those that are within that LGBT+ spectrum, especially if that person may be in a bind where they have no support. It's merely a matter of seeking those communities and saying a simple, "Hello."