Apparently, so they say, the best way to begin a blog is to introduce yourself.
As someone who has no talent at discerning societal rules and conventions, I’m going to bow to the Inimitable Collective Them (please note that I did indeed steal that from the veritably awful film, Elizabethtown) and begin my blog by introducing myself.
To start at the very beginning (I also quote lyrics from musicals): yes, I am queer, and yes, I am autistic. It might be a little crass to begin an introduction with the primary ‘labels’, but these form a huge part of my life and the directions my life has taken in the past few years. Labels can be empowering, comforting and wonderful, as long as we have the power and pride to define our own. Coming to the realisation of self-identification, after an awful lot of years flailing in the dark trying desperately to grasp hold of something that fitted, was a hugely defining moment. In regards to labels, I feel comfortable in addressing myself as queer, but I also use the identifier bisexual (as I know that some people are uncomfortable with ‘queer’ as a label) to describe myself.
And now to my autism, which I know will form a huge part of what gets written on this site: I, like many women, self-diagnosed in adulthood and was eventually able to pursue an ‘official’ diagnosis when I was 23. In just over two years, I have been introduced to a fabulous world of autism and autistic people. I learned to be proud of a part of myself that I had previously learned to mask, and I have moved on to places in my life that I never thought I would reach. My autism itself is not a problem – the problem lies in the fact that the world we live in is not friendly to us. There’s a kick in my gut every time I think about another little girl going through what I went through as a child and teenager, without having the language to explain it, and there’s a passion in me to push forward people’s understanding of autism and autistic women. If I am able to prevent one person getting lost in the crowd like I was, then I’ve done something worthwhile with my life.
Aside from this, I still live at home with my family and my two utterly fabulous dogs (my ‘untrained helper dogs’ as I like to call them). The boys (the ones with tails, that is) will be a main feature of everything I write, as my world revolves around them; I love them utterly and completely, in a way I never knew I could love anything or anyone.
I work full time at a charity, so have the good fortune to be able to earn a living whilst feeling as though I am making a difference in the world around me.
(in an ideal world, of course, we would have no need for charities, but this is neither the time nor the place for my Strident Socialist Self to make an impromptu cameo appearance)
I am also a seasoned fandom dweller. It has been scientifically proven that it’s impossible for me to like something ‘just a little bit’. As a result, we do ask that riders please fasten their seatbelts and be prepared for sudden instances of excitement, criticism, and frenetic headcanoning. There may also be random bursts of song (forecasts predict an 87% chance that this will be Disney related), so please also keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.
I have a relatively well-formed plan for this blog. I have things in my head, I have ideas, I have experiences, I have stories, and I want to parent these growing buds and send them out into the world. I have passions, I have concerns, and I want to put my stamp for change and acceptance into the world. I also find the world desperately annoying and infuriating, and hope to make a space to explore (hopefully with a certain degree of humour – I personally think I’m hilarious) these things. Writing is something I have done for as long as I can remember; for the majority of my life, it has come as naturally to me as breathing. But, in the whirlwind of adulthood, I have sadly neglected this part of me. I am hoping that, as well as throwing my inner dialogue out onto the page, I will be able to sharpen my writing skills, embrace a hobby I have desperately missed, and, in the process, maybe make a few connections along the way.
So there we go. An introduction to the ever-spinning, not-altogether-coherent world of Me. Hopefully I have quenched any thirst the Inimitable Collective Them (again, I quote terrible films, and I can offer no apologies for this) has for socially acceptable blog introductions, and They will now leave me to dance off in whatever little jig takes my fancy.
Disclaimer: the author will not actually be doing any jigging, as she has no sense of rhythm, time, movement, or flexibility, and will definitely cause major offence to anyone who has ever had a mild liking for dance should she make such an attempt.