DiversifYA: Nathan Scott
|October 26, 2015||Posted by Lucinda under DiversifYA, QUILTBAG|
We’ve got a bit of a special diversifYA interview this week, because it comes from one of my (Lucinda’s) students. I’m lucky enough to get to teach on writing courses with some truly incredible teenagers, and I’m really excited to be able to introduce one of them to you today.
Nathan Scott is a fantastic writer, last seen working on a novel that challenged every big question I could think of, and is already designing his own writing courses. He’s dropped by today to talk about being an asexual teenager in an (arguably) hypersexual world…
1.How do you identify yourself?
I identify as a Bi-Romantic Asexual. For those unfamiliar with the Asexual Spectrum, it means that I am romantically attracted to both men and women, but feel no sexual attraction.
2. What did it feel like growing up as a Bi-romantic Asexual?
Growing up I didn’t really question how I felt until I was 17. I got really worried because, it just seemed as if nobody was attractive to me. Without any knowledge of Asexuality, all I could think was that I was broken. I felt totally removed from something everyone else seemed to inherently understand and be a part of. I did some web searching and found out about the ‘Kinsey Scale’ and did a quiz. Generally I’m very skeptical about online quizzes but I was extremely confused when the result was [X] or ‘Non-Sexual’.
After that I did more searching and came upon this http://www.
From that I felt relieved. I wasn’t alone and I certainly wasn’t broken. It was nice just to have an explanation for how I felt.
3. What are the biggest challenges? Conversely, what are the quirks/perks?
In terms of challenges, I haven’t really had too many. My mum was very supportive when I told her, she’s always been very supportive of me so I had no fears when coming out of my Asexual closet. Ignorance tends to be the big challenge. I gave up trying to explain what Asexuality was to some of my guy friends, they really just couldn’t process the whole thing. We’re all good friends, my orientation isn’t the sum of our friendship,
The perks? Immunity to most advertisements is pretty cool, “sex sells” doesn’t quite work on me. That said I am totally blind to any and all flirting attempts, it all just flies right over my head.
4. What do you wish people knew about Asexuality?
I wish people simply knew about Asexuality, a lot of people just simply haven’t heard of it. My college had a diversity survey at the start of the year and when it asked what orientation I identified as, Asexual wasn’t an option. It’s frustrating to not have any representation anywhere.
5. What are the biggest cliches/stereotypes you’ve seen?
Nothing really, but then, I’m usually quite private about my Asexuality. I know of the cliche responses but never encountered them personally.
BONUS: What is your advice for writers writing diverse characters?
Show some flare, some consideration, some respect to the people you want to be able to identify with your character. Make them human, make them flawed, selfish, brooding, excitable, brave, cowardly, flamboyant, introverted, whatever their race or orientation.
Don’t make them perfect, don’t make them pointless.