Just like with other sexual orientations, demisexuals may want to come out to friends and family. It can be an awkward experience, but being prepared can make the whole thing go over more smoothly.
Should I come out as demisexual?
That is up to you. Do you want to come out? If not, then don’t do it. You’re not hiding anything or keeping a secret, you just don’t see the need to come out. You’re not obligated to tell anyone that you’re demisexual because it’s personal information. If you do want to come out, then go for it. If you’re not sure, maybe give it some time and see how you feel in a week or month.
How should I prepare?
Because many people don’t know what demisexuality is, you might be asked questions and you might have to explain. Reading websites like this one and those in the links section can help you be well-informed so you can answer questions people may have. If you don’t feel like answering questions, then that’s fine too. You’re not obligated to educate people. You can direct them to a website like this one if they want to know more.
Be sure to consider the person you’re planning to tell. Will they respect your wishes to not tell anyone else, if that’s what you want? Will they make fun of you? Will they stop being your friend? It can be hard to know the answer to these questions for sure, but hopefully you have a good idea of the kind of reaction you’ll get. It might be good to choose a supportive person you’re very close with as your first person, so they can advise you on how to tell others.
What are the risks?
The worst cases of gay and lesbians coming out to their parents end up in them getting kicked out of the house or sent to damaging therapy sessions. Demisexuals are unlikely to get these sorts of reactions, but there is some level of risk, so be sure to consider that. This is not to scare you—it’s just to let you know what could happen. If you are reasonably sure that your parents or guardians won’t do this, then you’re probably right.
If the person you chose doesn’t believe you, then you might experience feelings of disappointment and betrayal. You might reconsider your relationship with them. This is a risk to be aware of as well. You can test how the person will react by bringing up demisexuality as a topic unrelated to you, though if they react poorly, it can also be disheartening.
Even if the person is well meaning, they may say hurtful things out of ignorance. It’s important to remember that even the most understanding and supportive person may unintentionally upset you simply because they lack knowledge.
How do I come out as demisexual?
One of the most popular methods is to just slip it in to a normal conversation when the topic is already somewhat related: relationships, sexuality, something like that. Most people won’t know what this means, so be prepared to provide a brief explanation, and then answer further questions if you’re comfortable or direct them to another resource.
Other methods include a text or phone call with the news (which can seem more momentous), bringing up demisexuality as a general topic first, and then explaining that it applies to you, or posting the news on a social media site (be very careful and check who can view your posts if you do this). You can also ask someone to tell people for you, but make sure this someone will convey the news accurately and tell only people who you ask them to tell.
Another thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to use the word demisexual. You can explain that you simply don’t feel sexual attraction until you develop a close bond with someone. This can be a way to ease into the conversation without bringing labels up right away.
How do I explain demisexuality?
It can be hard to explain demisexuality simply because many people haven’t heard about it, so they don’t have a basis for understanding what it is. Start off with the definition: demisexuals are people who only feel sexual attraction after they form a strong bond with someone. You could try saying that just like how hetersexuals and homosexuals are attracted to one gender, and bisexuals are attracted to two (or more) genders, demisexuals are attracted to no one until they form that bond. It might be helpful to explain it as a subset of asexuality, which can be explained as the “opposite” of bisexuality, as asexuals are attracted to no gender.
At this point, the person may want to know more. The other articles on this website provide answers to other questions you may get. If the person is trustworthy and caring, and you feel comfortable, they might appreciate hearing about what demisexuality means to you specifically and how you experience it.
Remember that you are not obligated to explain. If you don’t feel comfortable explaining or sharing, it’s totally okay to point the person to this website or another resource so they can do more research on their own.
What if it didn’t go well?
If the person doesn’t seem to understand no matter how much you explain, you can direct them to a website like this which will do the explaining for you. You might need to think of different ways to explain the concept to them, and maybe one of them will get through.
If it went poorly, I recommend giving the person some time to mull it over. If they seem amenable, send them links to more information so they can continue thinking about it. Especially for parents, news like this can be a shock, so they might need some time.
After some period of time (a week or month, maybe), you can try bringing it up again, if you think the person has had time to cool off. You could try recruiting an ally, like a sibling or mutual friend, to help out. Ultimately, you should use your best judgement, and remember that your identity is valid regardless of what anyone says.