Coming Out as Single

I’m just 1 person who does a lot of coming out. In today’s society, it isn’t just those in the LGBTQ+ community who find themselves in the position of deciding whether to come out or not. When we meet new people, those people make certain assumptions about us partly based on context and partly based on society’s norms and expectations. 

One thing I learned during the stretch of unemployment I was forced to have this past year was that often times we’re defined by others by our profession. Upon meeting someone, it’s typical to ask “what do you do for a living?” and “I’m an unemployed cat mom” isn’t what they’re hoping to hear to further the discussion. They want to know what field you’re in and what type of work you do. Here in Washington, DC, where many people have government jobs with high clearances, not everyone is able to answer that question with much detail. And, yet, it is still asked frequently.

We might find ourselves needing to come out about our religion or hobbies. Maybe we have to come out about a fandom we love or sports team we follow. I have friends in my Harry Potter meetup group who don’t often tell other friends or coworkers about that interest, worried it will make them appear childish or worried that people will see it as a waste of time. What we choose to share and when we choose to share about what makes us tick and what brings us joy should be up to us. And that should be respected, though we all know it isn’t always.

I often find myself having to come out as single. I’m at an age where people assume I would (or should) be married with children. When they ask and I tell them I have neither a spouse nor children, their reaction is almost never upbeat and positive. They might react with sadness or give me a look of sympathy. Sometimes they are disappointed because it means I won’t be able to swap stories with them about kids or it means fewer things we have in common and a possible end to the conversation. And anyone who has been in my house and sees the number of stuffed animals in my living room often looks confused when I say I don’t have children.

I understand all that, but I am happy with my lifestyle and decision to be single. I brace myself for a reaction (or sometimes a lecture) when I come out as single to someone. What I don’t often do is mention that I’m asexual. I don’t mind if people know this about me; I wear a black ring on the middle finger of my right hand, and there’s an ace pride flag on my car’s bumper. But not everyone knows those symbols and not everyone understands what asexuality is, either.

The two are separate and, yet, linked for me in a way I don’t acknowledge even to myself at times. I don’t have any interest in seeking a partner right now, despite people’s comments like “I just don’t want to see you closing yourself off from something wonderful” or “you’d better find someone to marry because when you get older, your parents will be dead and you’ll be all alone.” Yes, I’ve had people I loved say both of those things to me, and there’s been much more. But I’m not broken because I’m ace. And I’m not single just because I’m ace either. Plenty of people I know through asexual and aromantic groups are happily dating or married. And I’ve had relationships in the past as well.  I’m single because I want to be single. I live alone because I want to live alone.

It has taken me many, many years to love who I am, but I’m at a point where I enjoy being me. When I’m alone with myself, I’m happy and contented to be in my company. Because of that, and because I’m ace, I don’t feel any need to seek out a partner or partners. I already have relationships that are meaningful to me, just not with people I want to marry. I have family I love. I have the most amazing friends anyone could ask for. I have cats who are great companions and wake me up in the morning when there’s a problem with my alarm clock.

So I’m happy being single, even though it means having to endure “that look” when I tell people about it. I am out as a single person. I’m out as asexual and genderqueer. I’m out as a fangirl (even though I’m genderqueer, the term “fangirl” fits me better than just “fan” or “fanboy”). I’m out as a cat mommy, a website administrator, a blogger, a Hufflepuff, a hockey lover, a BookCrosser and avid reader, a writer, an AFOL (adult fan of LEGO), a vegetarian, a liberal, and a UU. I am proud of who I am. 

We’re more than just our jobs. Or one hobby. Or one interest. We’re more than our gender or our gender expression. We’re more than the way we vote or who we love or how we choose to live. Throughout life, we come out about so many aspects of ourselves, sometimes without realizing that’s what we’re doing.

What reactions do you get when you come out as single?

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash


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