Discovering Diversity

Selina Fluty, Columnist

If you’re my friend, or somehow our conversation turns in this direction, you may learn that I am not straight. I identify as an aromantic-asexual, or a person who does not want a romantic relationship, or the more heated actions in a relationship. It was a weight off my shoulders when I finally found an informational web comic that explained asexuality, and I related to every description they discussed. With some more research on my part, I found that I felt also like an aromantic. There was a surprisingly large weight off my shoulders when I discovered my sexuality and preference, which is simply that I prefer no one at all.

Except for the fact that I feared what others would think.

Many people who aren’t straight are often made fun of and insulted, even though we aren’t really looking for any trouble. I’ve heard sad stories of bullies taking advantage of these people, and the consequences were often awful. I was scared what others would do, if they really knew this big part of me. What people would say, what they would think.

When I straight up told my humanities class, in an acrostic poem of our names, that I identified as an aromantic asexual, they simply asked, “What does that mean?” There weren’t any weird looks. They were simply curious as to what my orientation was. After I explained, very briefly, all of the seventh graders’ attitudes in that class didn’t change at all towards me. They didn’t make fun, or laugh, or tease me about some cute guy I’ll never date or whatever. It didn’t change a thing.

Even as I started to become more comfortable with telling people, the conversations I am in often tilting towards these things, no one discriminated against me. I was still Selina, Lennie, whatever you call me. I was still a writer, still an emotional fangirl, still me. And people didn’t think otherwise. I had just discovered another part of me, and they learned about a part of me as well.

I really think the only way diversity can thrive is if we simply acknowledge and accept peoples’ differences. It’s so rare these days to find a school that wouldn’t judge or hurt others, that would accept people who aren’t like them. This school is a safe haven, where the teasing isn’t here, and I hope never will be. It’s great that people here are starting to come out about their sexuality, and for someone to feel so comfortable as to show people who they really are, the place this is happening in must be doing something right.

Congratulations, Horizon Honors. You’re doing magnificently well.