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enz
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18 Mar 2022, 2:03 am

Coming out of the closet is a big thing for some of gay people, whereas people on the spectrum are told not to disclose because someone might use that against them. Why is that?



munstead
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18 Mar 2022, 4:06 am

That's a really interesting question.

My simple and immediate thought is that in a work environment being gay can't objectively be used as a basis of discrimination by bigots - and therefore existing legal protections for people that are gay will actually bind. By contrast, it is a much more grey area when it comes to autism in my experience. First, there is huge misunderstanding of autism by the general population, and that alone can lead to unintentional discrimination and missed opportunities at work. Second, even if there is good understanding of the condition in the general population there will still be bigots who will use this information against people in subtle ways that are hard to prove or even identify in the first place - talking behind one's back to undermine a reputation etc. Unlike with being gay, there may be some objective reasons why we won't be able to do every single part of a given job spec well due to our autism, and so this can be used against us if you publicly disclose the fact you are autistic. Basically, it gives some people an easy out to reject us for a job or a promotion, or dismiss us from some less formal opportunity.



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18 Mar 2022, 8:50 am

enz wrote:
Coming out of the closet is a big thing for some of gay people, whereas people on the spectrum are told not to disclose because someone might use that against them. Why is that?


Firstly not every autistic person has the luxury of being able to mask

Secondly by admitting you have autism your basically saying your mental judgment may not be at the same level as NT.

It’s no different for schizophrenia or any other mental disorder, which is why there has always been a stigma around mental illness.

In the bad old days NT people used to associate mental illness with dangerous people, unfortunately that’s partly true.

Practically all bad dangerous people have an underlying mental disorder like psychopaths or peadophiles.

But most people who are mentally Ill are not dangerous.

It’s the way statistics are presented like the old saying nearly all rapists are men but nearly all men are not rapists.

Also in a work environment the boss will likely think you may be incompetent or at least have a blind side that prevents you doing your job as well as a NT


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18 Mar 2022, 12:30 pm

Years ago telling people you were gay would have led to huge discrimination, but these days being homophobic is more frowned upon than being gay (being gay is not frowned upon at all any more). Things tend to swing to opposite extremes in this society, instead of just remaining neutral.

Autism used to be biased as 'mental retardation' but now thanks to so many murderers and school shooters being autistic it is now biased as 'psychopathic', which in my opinion is worse.


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ASPartOfMe
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18 Mar 2022, 9:26 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Years ago telling people you were gay would have led to huge discrimination, but these days being homophobic is more frowned upon than being gay (being gay is not frowned upon at all any more). Things tend to swing to opposite extremes in this society, instead of just remaining neutral.

Autism used to be biased as 'mental retardation' but now thanks to so many murderers and school shooters being autistic it is now biased as 'psychopathic', which in my opinion is worse.

You did have gay liberation when I was teen in the 70s but that was in certain neighborhoods in major cities and Androgynous Rock stars were accepted but elsewhere it was a career killer. Gay teachers were thought to be pedophiles indoctrinating kids in the “gay agenda”. This lasted into the ‘90s.

A couple of times I guess because I was alone a lot gay guys hit on me. When they found out I was straight they begged me literally shaking not to tell anybody. In college/university word got around that a gay club was meeting and people watched them going in whispering and gossiping.

This hate was mostly directed at homosexual males. The women physical education/coaches of girls teams were believed to be “lesbos” and outside of a snide joke or two among the guys not much. It was quietly accepted.

The “retard” autism stereotype is still very much around but weirdly and frustratingly concurrent with the socially awkward with “superpowers” stereotype.


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18 Mar 2022, 9:37 pm

Most murderers and school shooters are not autistic, but they love to use autism as a "get out of jail free" card.

And many people are still very homophobic mainly due to their religion. There are countries in the world where being gay can get you the death penalty, and in many other countries homosexuality is not illegal but still socially frowned upon.

The human race is still in its infancy and it looks like we're going to have a mass infanticide on our hands really soon.



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19 Mar 2022, 5:35 am

lostonearth35 wrote:
Most murderers and school shooters are not autistic, but they love to use autism as a "get out of jail free" card.

And many people are still very homophobic mainly due to their religion. There are countries in the world where being gay can get you the death penalty, and in many other countries homosexuality is not illegal but still socially frowned upon.

The human race is still in its infancy and it looks like we're going to have a mass infanticide on our hands really soon.


I mean like in western society among people who don't have a certain religion.

Also it seems that a lot of murderers/school shooters are diagnosed with autism or at least had autism traits as a child and teen. So it makes me ashamed of autism even more.


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19 Mar 2022, 1:38 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
You did have gay liberation when I was teen in the 70s but that was in certain neighborhoods in major cities and Androgynous Rock stars were accepted but elsewhere it was a career killer. Gay teachers were thought to be pedophiles indoctrinating kids in the “gay agenda”. This lasted into the ‘90s.

A couple of times I guess because I was alone a lot gay guys hit on me. When they found out I was straight they begged me literally shaking not to tell anybody. In college/university word got around that a gay club was meeting and people watched them going in whispering and gossiping.

This hate was mostly directed at homosexual males. The women physical education/coaches of girls teams were believed to be “lesbos” and outside of a snide joke or two among the guys not much. It was quietly accepted.

The “retard” autism stereotype is still very much around but weirdly and frustratingly concurrent with the socially awkward with “superpowers” stereotype.
I was 11yo when Stonewall happened. I remember a neighbor/friend talking about seeing it on the news and was happy with what the police had done. I hadn't noticed it on the news and don't remember have any feelings either way about it.

I remember in high school, a speaker from a gay rights group was actually invited to talk to students. I don't remember if all the students were expected to hear him but I remember his talk. He described it as a continuum (or spectrum maybe), which made sense to me, even though I had only been seriously attracted to girls. I was kind of surprised the school would invite a gay speaker. It seemed to me the school seemed more open minded than the students, but of course the anti-gay students would have been most vocal back then.

I was never hit on by another male student. Damn, I guess the gay kids didn't like me either :lol:. While working a summer job, I had a situation that demonstrated the fear of gay disclosure back. A coworker who thought I might be gay, disclosed that his brother was gay. I was angered by insinuation and threatened to disclose his brother to the other workers, if he ever called me gay again. He turned white as a ghost :oops:.

Remember Anita Bryant, I remember thinking she was making a fool out of herself with her ludicrous ideas. Here she is now :lol:
Will infamous anti-gay Anita Bryant attend lesbian grandkid’s wedding?


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ASPartOfMe
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19 Mar 2022, 8:10 pm

CarlM wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
You did have gay liberation when I was teen in the 70s but that was in certain neighborhoods in major cities and Androgynous Rock stars were accepted but elsewhere it was a career killer. Gay teachers were thought to be pedophiles indoctrinating kids in the “gay agenda”. This lasted into the ‘90s.

A couple of times I guess because I was alone a lot gay guys hit on me. When they found out I was straight they begged me literally shaking not to tell anybody. In college/university word got around that a gay club was meeting and people watched them going in whispering and gossiping.

This hate was mostly directed at homosexual males. The women physical education/coaches of girls teams were believed to be “lesbos” and outside of a snide joke or two among the guys not much. It was quietly accepted.

The “retard” autism stereotype is still very much around but weirdly and frustratingly concurrent with the socially awkward with “superpowers” stereotype.
I was 11yo when Stonewall happened. I remember a neighbor/friend talking about seeing it on the news and was happy with what the police had done. I hadn't noticed it on the news and don't remember have any feelings either way about it.

I remember in high school, a speaker from a gay rights group was actually invited to talk to students. I don't remember if all the students were expected to hear him but I remember his talk. He described it as a continuum (or spectrum maybe), which made sense to me, even though I had only been seriously attracted to girls. I was kind of surprised the school would invite a gay speaker. It seemed to me the school seemed more open minded than the students, but of course the anti-gay students would have been most vocal back then.

I was never hit on by another male student. Damn, I guess the gay kids didn't like me either :lol:. While working a summer job, I had a situation that demonstrated the fear of gay disclosure back. A coworker who thought I might be gay, disclosed that his brother was gay. I was angered by insinuation and threatened to disclose his brother to the other workers, if he ever called me gay again. He turned white as a ghost :oops:.

Remember Anita Bryant, I remember thinking she was making a fool out of herself with her ludicrous ideas. Here she is now :lol:
Will infamous anti-gay Anita Bryant attend lesbian grandkid’s wedding?

FYI I was not hit on in high school but once in college and once much later on.

Calling someone gay was fightin words.

If my school district invited a gay speaker whoever did that would have his home firebombed just like they were doing to the abortion clinics all the time back then.

Like “autistic” now if you were were weird and different in any way people assumed you were gay.


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02 Apr 2022, 7:54 pm

enz wrote:
Coming out of the closet is a big thing for some of gay people, whereas people on the spectrum are told not to disclose because someone might use that against them. Why is that?

Gay people have a massive, well-organized community (in the sense of subculture) and a massive, well-organized political movement that has been fighting for gay rights since 1970 or so. (The gay rights movement is actually quite a bit older than that, dating back to at least the 1920's, but wasn't able to make any really big splashes until the Stonewall "riot" of 1969.)

The autistic rights movement didn't exist at all until the early 1990's, and didn't get any significant public notice until 2008 or so. And there still is not yet anywhere near enough of an organized autistic community to give the autistic rights movement a credible voice. As far as I can tell, that's true even in the U.K. and Ireland, where, as far as I can tell, the autistic community (subculture) is better-organized than it is anywhere else in the world, yet still not anywhere near big enough or well-organized enough to support a viable autistic rights movement.

Insofar as the autistic rights movement has ever managed to make any progress at all, it has done so only with the backing of the larger disability rights movement.

Given the current weakness of the autistic rights movement, and given that it hasn't been around anywhere nearly as long as the LGBTQ+ rights movement, it's no surprise that we haven't made nearly as much progress.

On the other hand, if and when our community ever gets organized enough, the hurdles that the autistic rights movement will need to overcome are somewhat smaller, in my opinion, than what the gay rights movement was up against. Autistic people are not hated to anywhere nearly the degree that gay people, especially gay men, were hated back in the 1970's and earlier. Of course, there are also some hurdles autistic people face that gay people per se don't face, because being autistic entails disability.

In any case, the autistic community NEEDS to become a lot more organized. A better-organized autistic community wouldn't just make it easier to have an effective autistic rights movement, but would also benefit our lives in many other, more direct ways as well. (See my Longterm visions for the autistic community and Autistic Workers Project.)


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21 Jun 2022, 6:12 pm

I identified as a lesbian for a long time and was in a visibly queer relationship. I'm in California, fortunately. I managed to navigate the social world identifying as a lesbian.

However, it's likely that - since NTs never clock me anyway, unless they're VERY familiar with Asperger's/autism - I will never disclose being ND in any workplace setting. Though I am interested in getting into a field of my work that's specific to accessibility for neurodivergent users.


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29 Jun 2022, 4:59 pm

Joe90 wrote:
(being gay is not frowned upon at all any more).

In some places. Depends where you live. Here in the U.S.A. at least, this varies a lot by region and even by neighborhood.


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30 Jun 2022, 10:33 am

carlos55 wrote:
enz wrote:
Coming out of the closet is a big thing for some of gay people, whereas people on the spectrum are told not to disclose because someone might use that against them. Why is that?


Firstly not every autistic person has the luxury of being able to mask

Secondly by admitting you have autism your basically saying your mental judgment may not be at the same level as NT.

It’s no different for schizophrenia or any other mental disorder, which is why there has always been a stigma around mental illness.

In the bad old days NT people used to associate mental illness with dangerous people, unfortunately that’s partly true.

Practically all bad dangerous people have an underlying mental disorder like psychopaths or peadophiles.

But most people who are mentally Ill are not dangerous.

It’s the way statistics are presented like the old saying nearly all rapists are men but nearly all men are not rapists.

Also in a work environment the boss will likely think you may be incompetent or at least have a blind side that prevents you doing your job as well as a NT


Autism is not a "mental illness." Not even the DSM defines it that way.


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