For as long as I can remember, I have been considered odd. Not the sort of odd that makes me unlikable, but the type of odd that makes it difficult for me to be understood by or understand others. My values and needs
One of the dominant characterizations of people on the autism spectrum is that they lack empathy or are empathy-disrupted. This is based on the paradigm that autistic people aren’t able to intuit the emotions and needs of others, or that
It was hard to come out as an aspie (a person with Asperger’s syndrome). I started with some people I thought would be the most safe, but I read that situation poorly. It’s a strong suit, really, almost like a superpower. I can misjudge a social situation
For someone on the spectrum, navigating relationships with neurotypical (non-autistic) people is the social equivalent of assembling an Ikea shelf with missing parts and directions that are out of order, mirror-image, and written in a different language.
They’re out there, in the brushstrokes of the original, museum-quality painting hanging in your favorite hole-in-the-wall pub, or the Louvre, or the kaleidoscopic mural painted on the shuttered, colorless foundry.
Whenever you watch an old movie or sitcom, you likely cringe at what was socially acceptable for the era—racist jokes, misogynistic epithets, blatant xenophobia… and you should cringe. For most people, it’s entirely obvious how offensive and dehumanizing it would
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