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kmb501
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13 Jun 2015, 7:33 pm

To my knowledge, I'm not a lesbian, but I did briefly experience odd feelings toward my same gender in middle school and high school. I think I was just reacting to an example I saw on TV, though. Women, not men, are mostly portrayed sexually, so it would stand to reason, I suppose, that a person could receive subconscious suggestions that could lead her to act in certain inappropriate ways, especially if social communication is already an issue. I often took sort of a psuedo-male role in interactions with my friends. As I got older, it became a problem, and I got a lot of teasing for it. In high school, I even got called "gay" for looking at a classmate's pants (it looked like I was staring at her butt, I guess). Don't you just LOVE that wonderful world of miscommunication NTs and Aspies often get into? I shut down, denied that I was interested in the same sex, and started ignoring the vicious gossip and rumors. I had an uncommon ability to ignore things when they didn't make sense to me. I just got into the habit of not looking at anyone for any reason. Later, I developed a small puppy-dog crush on a guy who already had a girlfriend. That created more awkwardness for me, but it was probably enough to kill the "gay" rumors. I can't tell which was worse, honestly, and I was crippled by social fear most of my school life.

I only know about LBGT life from the media, mostly. The ones I've met in person were not pleasant people; they were probably NTs. One of the strangest encounters I had was with a bi-sexual woman who told the entire store she was going out with another girl but not to let anyone know. How on Earth did she trust all of her coworkers with such an important secret and feel safe? I didn't like her. She promised to help me find a good place to live in front of everyone and then was no where to be seen when I came looking for her to make good on her word; NT to the core, probably, doing everything to see and be seen.

That said, though, I've gotten the impression, mostly from the media, that gays and Aspies have a lot in common. The difference, though, if I'm to believe the hype, is that gays and lesbians have an arm in media representation and have many many advocates in very high positions. Talk to the average person about gays and lesbians, they know what that is. Talk to someone about Asperger's, though, most won't be able to explain it.

What are your thoughts on this? I know I've rambled, and I apologize. I guess I really shouldn't compare the two, but I've was tortured at the hands of ignorant people as a teen, as well as most, and I think I can definitely relate to being an outsider, to a profound degree.



kmb501
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13 Jun 2015, 7:53 pm

Also,

I feel safe here, so I guess I will also mention this. I was raised Evangelical and / or Non-Denominational, and they have a lot of not-so-nice things to say about gay people. My upbringing has kept me from feeling like I could reach out and find friends among this group. I mean, most people expect you to be like who you hang around with. It stands to reason, then, that the gay people in my town will probably think that I'm homophobic just because of the people I hang out with. Oddly, though, the churches around here are probably the most tolerant places to be. I question if a lot of the people who go to my church aren't Aspies. They always talk about being "peculiar people" who "couldn't fit in the world" no matter how hard they tried. They're also really nice people once you get past the Hell fire and brimstone messages they preach and seem to believe. I don't know what to make of it. Oddly, these are the people who tolerate people the most. They're always going out of their way to help people in need. For that reason, I feel like inviting the whole town to this place. I think it is rare to find people who seem to put up with you regardless. I think most people would have a hard time getting over the rhetoric, though.



yellowtamarin
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14 Jun 2015, 9:12 pm

Hi kmb. I'm not quite sure exactly what your questions are but I'll have a go at responding.

I'm a bi female aspie, and in a way I would say that yes, there are similarities between LGBTI people and aspies. I've held the belief for a while now that my autism is very closely tied to having heightened levels of testosterone, and that that is closely tied to my sexuality.

Are you familiar with the Extreme Male Brain theory of autism (Wikipedia link)? It gets a fair amount of criticism but a lot of the time that is due to people misunderstanding what Baron-Cohen means by a "male brain". His theory is basically about cognition - that autism is related to having a brain that focuses on systemising a lot more than it focuses on empathising. I'm not completely sold on the theory, as it doesn't explain homosexual males with autism, but it's an interesting one to ponder.

An alternative theory, which relates more to sexuality than cognition, is that autism is a gender defiant disorder (article link). Put the two theories together and they start to paint a picture that makes sense as to why there would be similarities/links between aspies and LGBTI people.



kmb501
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10 Aug 2022, 11:16 pm

Re-reading this post in 2022, and I apologize. I shouldn't have info-dumped like that and made certain assumptions. I do/did feel safe here, but that was too much information, and I might have made some people feel uncomfortable. I apologize again. I didn't mean any kind of offense. I was just wondering what the similarities were. Thanks for the response.