My beautiful, big-hearted baby sister and her valiant, generous hubby, and my most loyal and supportive friend YS – thank you for helping me eat better, look beyond my feet, reach out, live my dreams and keep on keeping on, knowing always that I am loved.
My canine angel, Lucy Like a Charm, who shares this wonderful journey.
Once upon a time, there was this damn test invented by the Baron-Cohen Lab meant to measure an individual’s ability to read emotions from facial expressions. It was kind of a silly explosion. It’s real-life name is the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test,” and as of right now, GoogleScholar says that it has been cited over 2100 times since the “revised” edition was published in 2001. I have always been somewhat skeptical of this test, which 1. Contains only photos of white people, and 2. Includes only photos of young, heavily made-up, conventionally attractive women, whose expressions (according to the test) are “flirtatious,” “fantasizing,” “desire,” or “interested.” In case you aren’t familiar with the work of the Baron-Cohen Lab, they’re responsible for everyone’s favorite “Extreme Male Brain Theory” of autism.
So Dani and I thought it would be fun to get a few snarky/funny autistic women together to…give…
I don’t mind Diva personalities, so long as the Diva knows her boundaries of propriety. I am all for drama with flourish, poise and elegance. My own parallel existence in this neurotypical dominated world hinges a lot on performativity anyway. Bring on the Diva, I am happy to embrace all hues and textures with open sensitivities. However, I draw the line at blatant disrespect, callous abuse, pushy bullying and gossip mongering. Well, I should, anyway, draw the line, that is. I must confess that I am still struggling to acquire a goodly level of skill in this area, to my own detriment. Continue reading →
My Facebook feed is awash in rainbows. I am happy about this. I am heterosexual, but I embrace diversity. I celebrate Beingness, acceptance, care and due respect for a peaceful, loving, unprejudiced diversity.
Bigotry is too alive and far too robustly well in our lives. I want the haters to go away, but hatred is a very cogent stalker. And sometimes, extremely subtle and insidious. Continue reading →
When I was a preteen, I dressed like a boy, just because boys’ clothes were more comfortable, and I was at the time exploring my own personal concepts of gender and identity. I faced some really terrifying and nasty confrontations in ladies’ toilets as a result. I was, and still am, a tiny, slight and fragile figure, and I behaved myself, minding my own business, but was verbally harassed by adult women, belittled and even shouted at. It was extremely traumatic. At the same time, I would see mothers bring their preteen sons into ladies’ toilets, badly behaved boys, and nobody said a word. I now realise that the abuse I encountered was less because they thought I was in the wrong toilet, but more probably because I just did not fit people’s physical-visual stereotypes, and they were somehow taking out their prejudicial rage on me. They identified me as ‘weirdo’ and unleashed their bigotted fears upon a hapless child because they were cowards, and too afraid to look into the mirror of their own unhappy anomalies.
This post by Alex not only resonates in the context of gender / identity, but also contains reverberations in many more dimensions – wherever there is stubborn ignorance and prejudice, wherever people use subtle subversive tactics to belittle what and who they do not know, and do not wish to find out about.
I’m lucky, I guess. When I am out and about I usually get gendered correctly. Shop staff call me madam, a dad called “Mind out for that lady” to his young children who were running about as I walked past, colleagues at work use the correct pronouns to refer to me. I still feel happy when I hear it although the degree of pleasure has diminished as it has become my normal experience.
I realize this experience is not typical for a trans woman. A big factor in my favor is that I don’t pay much attention to people around me: I have no idea if people are looking at me and rarely will I notice if they are talking about me. It’s a facet of my autism; I’ve never been particularly aware of other people unless I’m interacting with them and I can hardly begin to guess at how…
I read this article this morning: “Gaslighting is a Common Victim-Blaming Abuse Tactic.” The issue of emotional and mental abuse has been very present in my thought-scape lately. I been wrestling with slippery little grinning social-relational trolls dressed up in glittering couture – conceptual ones and palpable corporeal beings – and simultaneously worrying haplessly about the well being of someone near and dear to my heart.
My mind, senses and emotions are inundated by deluge of thought trajectories, morsels of visual animations, suspended word stims, clashing warring smells, and aching stabbing weariness.
Wading into the world takes achingly long when comparing the expectation with the reality. Vibrant expectations swirl and dance a tempting flurry of ease and take no time to build the skills needed in real life. Disappointment embraces ecstatic expectation when stories walk along a more difficult path. Finding the wonder and natural tempo in working to achieve shimmers and eventually outlasts fleeting expectation.
Ah, what a stage life is, and what a grand operatic theatre of absurdity! Today was one such day where I am reminded of the bizarre nature of my own social experiences. I finally worked up the courage to rid myself of an increasingly difficult connection, just as the sunshine began to spread its glow across the cold wintery sky.
The autistic person is often very painfully slow at navigating neurotypical social minefields. Well, some of us may be more adept than others – but I most definitely am one of the slower ones to grasp the craziness of social fluidity. Continue reading →
My latest contribution to the TONGUES magazine blog is “Social Language” is about the confusing minefields of social linguistic calisthenics and the difficult that literal thinkers like myself have in navigating this landscape of lies, half-truths, hot air and… just simple gas.
It was a crazy week. Beware, this is not going to be a particularly eloquent post. My mind is still in sticky marshmallow mode.
Babysitting my friend’s little dog, falling ill, polishing up my presentation for the annual review conference, putting the finishing touches to my miniature installation (part of the conference), and battling the effects of the wet weather on my fraught senses. Anxiety levels were raging, and it was an intense struggle to maintain sufficient equilibrium to continue functioning. I am so grateful for my Angel. Just waking up every morning to her beautiful face makes getting out of bed such a happy event. Continue reading →