10 Authors Discuss Asexuality, Immigration, and More on December’s YA Open Mic

10 Authors Discuss Asexuality, Immigration, and More on December’s YA Open Mic:

Erica Cameron, author of Deadly Sweet Lies

I am asexual. It’s a fact of my life now, but it’s one I didn’t discover until I was 29 and trying to recover from an emotionally abusive and manipulative marriage.

I grew up in a liberal, diverse city in South Florida and the available spectrum of sexual orientations was always pretty clear: gay, bisexual, or straight. I could be attracted to anyone of any gender, and that was okay—it was something I knew both in theory and from watching my childhood best friend try to figure out her own sexuality as we grew up.

No one ever mentioned that being attracted to no one was an acceptable option.

Parents, teachers, and even friends told me over the years not to look for too much external validation. Or, at least to avoid letting that validation impact my self-worth. Sometimes, though, something has to be verified, labeled, and categorized by someone who isn’t in my head for my experiences and emotions to feel real and acceptable. That is especially true when the word I was looking for to describe myself didn’t exist in my vocabulary. Not outside the context of the short section in my freshman biology class about the asexual reproduction of amoebas, anyway.

It’s why I vacillate between the urge to laugh and cry when someone questions the need for diversity in books. I was a voracious reader as a child. How different would my life have been if I’d known at 9 or 19 what I discovered at 29 about the sexual identity spectrum? I won’t ever know the answer to that question, but I will try my hardest to be the voice that tells teen readers what I never heard. What I would absolutely love is for my asexual spectrum characters to provide the “Oh my god, that sounds like me” moment for at least one person. Not going to lie; it’s kind of a life goal.

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2 thoughts on “10 Authors Discuss Asexuality, Immigration, and More on December’s YA Open Mic

  1. Michaela W

    I really want to thank you for speaking about asexuality, and for doing so so articulately. I was extremely excited when I was reading something and realized a YA author had spoken out about asexuality! It is so important to get visibility for the orientation–like you mentioned, so much suffering could be avoided if people were even aware it was an “option” for them. Thank you for writing asexual characters and for speaking out about your experiences. I sincerely believe there are people out there who will read your words and see themselves in it.

    1. Erica Cameron Post author

      Thank you! I’m definitely trying in all the ways I can to help the movement gain momentum. Whether it’s someone discovering the identity for themselves or simply spreading understanding of a different viewpoint, it’s so important. Thank you for dropping by to let me know you found the article! That means a lot to me. ?


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