it’s always humbling (for me) to be told by someone that something i made / did / said matters to them, but for whatever reason it feels especially… significant? when i’m told it out of the blue offline. i mean, the last thing i expected to happen going into work today was for a coworker, who happened to be in town for an in-house training event, to approach me about having seen me in a BuzzFeed video about asexuality…
it’s not the first time that someone that i know offline has come across that particular video and told me about it, but it was the first time that it’s happened completely ‘out of context’ in a place like the workplace. not only was it a welcome distraction from the presentation that i would have to give later in the day, it was a much needed (and appreciated) reminder that even the small things that i do can and do affect not only ‘people’ in a more abstract, impersonal sense, but even ‘people’ in the more ‘“real”’, closer-to-home sense… if that even makes sense.
by the end of the day it was almost surreal, sitting in an izakaya (pub-like restaurant) during a company dinner with drunk, rowdy coworkers all around, listening to someone talk about how much discovering the word “asexual”, saying the word aloud in relation to themself for the first time in that very moment, and meeting an asexual person meant to them. at one point i wanted to offer tissues and a hug from across the table, but settled for a verbal approximation and an encouraging toast instead.
it takes random happenings like that to remind me just how fortunate i am. how seemingly unreal the position i increasingly often find myself in is. a year ago, i would have never imagined i’d be talking about shared experiences growing up ace with a coworker. i would have never imagined i’d have casual conversations at my desk with yet another coworker about the lack of aromantic allosexual awareness, all because i commented that the color scheme of her outfit that day reminding me of a flag, to which she nonchalantly responded “oh, the ace flag? i mean, i do like purple, but i’m more of a green person myself.” to which she equally nonchalantly said that she isn’t asexual but is aromantic— all without me having so much as supplied her with any of the terminology she was using. never would i imagine that i’d be sandwiched between two coworkers openly talking about breast reductions that they both had had and to have my cautiously vague joke about taking notes for future top surgery to be met with offhanded validation.
and yet here i am.
can’t help but wonder how it is that i even got wherever “here” is, but i do not want to ever (but all too often do) take it for granted or shrug off whatever little power i have to help someone else reach “here” and the responsibility that i personally feel comes with that… at times it is a heavy weight to bear, but i’ll keep giving it my best anyway.