When I was fourteen years old, I saw the word asexual on a forum and instantly knew that’s what I was. I had spent the last year or so completely uninterested in the idea of sex while most of my peers talked about it like it was the most interesting thing in the world. I was more concerned with figuring out how I was going to pass all my classes while maintaining a decent sleep schedule.

So when I was cruising the forums of a writing site I belonged to, and found posts about Asexual Awareness Week (which typically occurs in late October/early November), I immediately connected with it and only days later I came out to my parents.

They, like the majority of people I have come in contact with (though I feel the internet community has done a lot more to spread the word about asexuality since then), did not entirely understand how a human could be asexual.

However, they came around to the idea of it. They educated themselves, which I feel is something every family member and friend of someone who has come out should do. My dad even went so far as to watch the 2011 documentary (A)sexual to learn more about his only child’s newfound sexuality. I remember opening up our Netflix account, seeing that in the recently watched list, and crying because I was so happy.

Just when my parents were practically waving around tiny black, gray, white, and purple flags for me, I came to the conclusion that I was no longer asexual.

They may have been disappointed, but if they were, they didn’t show it. I stopped wearing a black ring around my right middle finger and took the word asexual out of my bio on Tumblr. Life continued on around me.

But a question still occupied my mind: if I wasn’t asexual, what was I exactly?

I knew I was bi/panromantic all throughout the time asexual described me, but now that my sexuality had changed, what did I like?

This question still occupies my mind a full year and a half later. It used to irritate me to no end that I didn’t know how to convey to others the confusion I felt inside.

Some people find comfort in labels, and that’s good for them. I’ll keep searching for the right one for me, but until then, I’ve found peace with not having a label.

Sexual and romantic orientations, like a pencil on a piece of paper, is not set in stone.

It’s just a variable.