An Aro in a Love-Struck World

Lu | they/them | grey-panromantic, greygender, asexual

GREY-PANROMANTIC & ASEXUAL

Lu
One of my identities is grey-panromantic, so that’s sort of an amalgamation of panromantic and grey-romantic. Panromantic being: you can experience romantic attraction to people of any gender. And grey-romantic is on that… unsure side of the aromantic spectrum? Between “no I don’t experience romantic attraction” and “yes I do experience romantic attraction.” So for me – I’m somewhere along that sliding scale, but it doesn’t matter what gender a person is, I’m gonna still fit on that sliding scale.

Nathan
Yeah, ok.

Lu
So in terms of day-to-day life, I don’t typically get crushes? And celebrity crushes was something that didn’t happen to me at all growing up. So that was something that I didn’t understand at all. Everyone else was going “oh, this guy’s so hot!” and I’m just sitting there, wondering what they’re seeing that I’m not. [pause] The exception to that is, of course, Natalie Dormer, because she’s amazing –

Nathan
[laughs]

Lu
– but that’s pretty much the only exception?

Nathan
Yeah.

Lu
And I don’t know, for some people that might feel really weird, but that’s just – yeah. I just don’t easily experience romantic attraction, I don’t want to be in relationships with people. There was a time when I thought I was aromantic, uhm, then I got my current boyfriend – that’s why I’m now sticking with the grey – probably suits me a little bit better!

[pause] It’s interesting, with the world as it is – being so focused not only on sex but also relationships. It’s a massive, massive part of the world, of marketing, of sort of any medium.

Nathan
It’s very much expected that a romantic relationship is going to be the centre of your entire life.

Lu
Yeah!

Nathan
Of what you’re going to be build everything around – and like, the best part of your day or whatever. [Nathan, a fellow grey-aromantic, has Feelings™ about this]

Lu
Yah! And – I guess when I was growing up I did dream of that wonderful wedding, and settling down with someone, and having that someone that’s always going to be there?

To me I guess that wasn’t always in a romantic sense? I just wanted that person, that – essentially like a best friend. And it terms of a wedding, now, growing up and looking at it – yeah, I’d like to get married. But all that expense – it’s gonna have to be someone I’m really sure about? I’m probably not going to walk down the aisle in white dress – because that’s not really me? Whereas toddler me would have loved it!

Nathan
Haha, yeah…

Lu
Probably because that’s what we’re taught, when we’re growing up. We’re taught, as females, to expect to have this man sweep us off our feet and whatever. And all this – movies and stuff, are pushing this ideal of having “a man save you from yourself” and… I don’t need a man to do that!

Nathan
It’s treated as such a happy thing, and realising that maybe you don’t want that is so weird!

Lu
Yeah! Yeah. It took me a long time to… to work it out? Cos my identity comes in loads of different forms: there’s the romantic side, but I’m also asexual and non-binary – I identify as greygender. And those little bits came in so many different stages? So in the beginning I thought that I must be pansexual, because looking at people of any gender I was thinking “yeah, they’re someone I would like to cuddle with.” And it took me a while to realise that you could have this difference, this divide between romantic identity and sexual identity. And so I could say “yes, I want to cuddle with them, but I don’t wanna sleep with them”.

And having that difference really just opened my eyes to the whole community, and feeling more involved and accepted within it.

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