Updated: Oct 2, 2020
I’ve been mute all my life. I can physically speak, I just haven’t spoken for as long as I can remember. I started going to therapy after several of my family members and friends passed away. I’ve gone to many different therapists, but none of them really clicked until I was tested for and diagnosed with autism last fall.
Being a girl with autism is especially hard, since girls are more likely to mask themselves in order to fit in with society. It’s also harder to recognize in girls, so most of the research done is on boys with autism. I haven’t known I was autistic for too long, so I haven’t had any affect me personally yet.
I also discovered my asexuality in my freshman year of high school. I’m not sure how I discovered the term, but it just clicked with me. When I first came out to my friends, I was at a very small school. I was called a “plant” or a “flower” often that year, as we learned about asexual reproduction in plants in biology that year. It affected me a lot at the time, but I eventually realized their opinions shouldn’t matter to me as much as my own did.
Later that year, I started questioning my romantic attraction; I first thought I was aromantic, as I’d never developed any crushes. I discovered I just wasn’t attracted to any specific group of people, so I decided that the term pansexuality fit me well.
What historical events have affected you personally?
The Stonewall riots are close to my heart, as Marsha P. Johnson has always been one of my personal heroes and icons. It also empowers me because it shows the strength of the LGBTQ+ community. These riots pushed the movement to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community would get the rights and respect they deserve.
What events do you think should be taught in schools that connect to your own personal story?
I think mental health as a whole should be taught more in schools - much more than they are now. I wish they would address disorders like autism besides for learning that they are genetic disorders in biology class.
What does the American Dream mean to you? How does it differ from what you thought it would be?
As I was growing up, I thought America was one of the best countries to live in. I thought it was far more advanced and socially accepting than other countries. But as I grew up, I realized that America is a really messed up place - the world is in general. I always thought the American Dream was being able to have freedom and choosing what you want to do with your life. My perspective has changed over the past few years as I’ve come to realize the truth through my own family issues and through the media.