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Why being disabled affects me more than being gay (even inside the community)

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Creativemind, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Creativemind

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    This also applies if you are black and gay.

    So hi,
    I am moderately autistic, meaning half high functioning and half low functioning. I am also gay. I feel like a double minority. The LGBT community frequently does not accept me for being disabled and the disabled community doesn't accept me for being LGBT (they also don't fully accept my disability either since being moderate level functioning is like the bisexuality of the disabled world). Abled straight people give me double discrimination.

    It sucks because our communities need to do better if we want people to be accepted. I am at the point where I feel like I have no place anywhere in the world.

    It can be hard to be gay since so few people are, which is why I join lesbian groups. I am shocked at the amount of ableism I see. Not only have all the lesbians (in the group) said they would never date a disabled person, but they also gave verbal insults and treated us as less than human.

    Ableist remarks have also been worse for me than homophobic remarks. At most I might have someone tell me I'm unnatural, "not really gay" or some stupid thing like that. But with the ableism, there's a lot of natural selection jokes and people believing that you're better off dead than disabled, because we are a burden to others. MANY of these statements are inside the LGBT community. If a straight person came in to say that gays should be wiped out because we can't reproduce...or that HIV is "natural selection" or whatever, they'd instantly be banned and vilified. Yet people can get away with saying similar things about the disabled, forgetting that some of us are actually inside the LGBT community.

    I also hate being in lesbian communities and hearing people talk about age related things, because when they say stuff like "I would only date a specific age because they have this life experience", it's almost hurtful to know you are never going to be an option when your age doesn't match your experience. You're not a potential partner to anyone.

    I can also sympathize with how hard it is to come out to family and friends, but as a disabled person, I never had the choice to come out about my disability. I was visible from day one and dealt with all the bullying and abuse that came with it. There was no safety of the closet for me, which was an easier part of being gay for me. The abuse of being gay is very very real, but I also feel thankful that I get to choose when to reveal it. Disabled people have been killed and disowned by parents as well, but the parents usually get more sympathy and support for doing so. I don't feel like I'm in physical danger for being gay, but I frequently feel like that for being disabled, especially reading the articles that sympathize with the killer.

    I am not trying to say that disabled straight people have it harder than abled gay people, but for people who are a double minority, we long to have a community. We don't have a place in the world anywhere, and it's hard to feel like you should feel welcome in a community, but instead are hated. You kind of get the feeling of "others wish you were dead" wherever you go. All I'm saying is that I hope we find a little bit more compassion in the future. I have frequently had to take breaks from LGBT communities because the ableism gets to me there. I know this is also true for bisexuals and trans people, but I feel this one is talked about a bit less.

    This is not going to be anonymous because I feel like it needs to be said in the open.
     
    #1 Creativemind, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  2. Lin1

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    Lol I see what you did there.


    It sucks but I totally see where you are coming as I find the lesbian community to be one of the most judgmental communities within the LGBT community and the amount of lesbians with a ''better than the" attitude is appalling, on top of being a massive turn off.
    I am sorry you had to face verbal abuse and such mistreatment in what's mean to be an inclusive community, if that's of any help, I would date someone with Autism, in fact I have.

    I hate this kind of attitude as this type of statement is ridiculous. You can be 36 and be a virgin or having had just one partner who was pretty crap in bed so never orgasm and be 20 and have had more sex and life experience than someone who is double the age but has lived a secluded life. There are many criterias on which I base myself when it comes to meeting people but "sexual experience'' isn't one of them.

    I fully agree that the LGBT community ought to be more inclusive, nicer to each other and should stop creating ridiculous internal wars when much more important fights are needed.


    Sorry you have been given what looks like tough cards in life but with your personality and the kindness you have showed on this forum along the years, I have no doubt that you will eventually meet someone worthy.

    Good luck in your journey and thank you for speaking up! x
     
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  3. Suomi

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    I'm black and gay and autistic, so it's tough.

    I think the worst is I'll have episodes to where I'll research stupid useless trivia for no reason.

    I think the worst part of it, was when I was in school.

    I'm sorry, I can relate.
     
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  4. HerRainbow

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    I am really sorry that you have had to go through all of that. I actually could cry because you pretty much sum up how I've felt along.

    Being a lesbian already makes me a minority but I triply in the minority as I am black, gay and disabled. In a lot of ways, the disabilities that I have are 'hidden' so people don't realise until they pay very close attention that there is an issue.

    It makes me really worried because I would like to meet more LGBT people in real life but I know that there's a lot of ableism and ignorance going on and quite frankly I doubt I would be accepted.

    I only said this because I'd like you to know that you're not alone.
     
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  5. Justinian20

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    I actually relate to this a lot since I do have a disability and I am gay, For me I mostly dealt with being disabled at a younger age and then the gay feelings came. I split my life into two parts based off of this, as a child I dealt with my disability and as an teenager it was sexuality. But a lot of the time people do discriminate because you are disabled and I sometimes feel like I have way less chance at finding a boyfriend or Lifetime partner because I am disabled but some guys in the kink community have definitely made me feel like I can find a guy who is really open minded and would be with a guy who is disabled.
     
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  6. Lin1

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    Definitely go and give your closest LGBT meet up group a chance, you never know. There are some bad apples out there but also lots of nice non-shallow people. Why limit yourself when you could easily be pleasantly surprised?
     
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  7. HerRainbow

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    Thanks Linning, that's very true. Obviously a lot of kind and genuinely nice people exist as they are right here on EC :slight_smile: and that's one of the main reasons why I've plucked up the courage to go to an LGBT meet in the new year.
     
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  8. Loves books

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    I'm disabled and gay. I have a degenerative muscle condition. I don't tell people because it's my business.
     
  9. Jackie Ray

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    The first part, I know its serious but your analogy to bisexuality was hilarious, but also sad and true.

    The second part, What sort of crowds do you run in? Where I grew up and where I live now there are only two groups you need to respect unconditionally, the troops and the handicapped. People that bully the handicapped are scum.

    The third part, unfortunately eugenics is coming back in a big way masked as progress. I think disabled folks will face very real dangers in the not so distant future, any imperfect fetuses will likely face abortion.
     
    #9 Jackie Ray, Nov 27, 2017
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  10. beenthrdonetht

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    Creativemind, you said this recently in another thread: "Likewise, even someone who slept with a lot of people can find the first time special with you because there are actually feelings involved that were not there in the promiscuous stage." I would call that high-functioning empathy. Or just "being thoughtful" in both senses.
     
  11. Secrets5

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    CreativeMind, I might use your analogy in a book, if that's okay.

    Disabled and bisexual. Really don't care for relationships so really not bothered, although that's partly due to the reasons behind and as a result of the disability so maybe if I can work through some of the psychological effects then maybe I could. There's a woman I like (mildly autistic if you'd like to know) and I would love it if I could hug her - even just as a friend - but since I can't even do that as a friend, I can't date her. Oh, and she's bisexual too - so that's a plus. [Okay, I keep going on about this woman, tell me if I'm annoying any of you.]

    I don't really have any negative effects for being bisexual, I mean, some people won't date me because they think I'll cheat on them and some lesbians think I'm being "homophobic" if I choose a guy over them but I can roll my eyes and move on - I don't want to date individuals like that anyway. Disability, mostly people don't know because they're "invisible" so I don't really have any negative effects with the public.The medical condition, I really only get the secondary affects of it now, it's partly what caused the depression as well, and sometimes I find it hard to walk long distance and stuff. With the mental conditions, I try not to talk about it because I think if I talk about with anyone other than the therapist then I make it worse in the sense I have to continue talking about it and I wouldn't want to hurt that person mentally with emotions I have.

    If you want to know, I wouldn't date someone with a condition that allowed them to 'get away with' abusive or generally hurtful s----, I've already been in that "relationship*" and I don't want to go there again. Depending on the type of OCD we might not get along as I don't have a perfect cleaning ritual, and if they did I would annoy them. I probably also couldn't date someone with CF because my condition (bronchiectasis) if I get sick then I can't be around them due to passing infections - not good for either of us. But really, if I don't want to date you, why would you want to date me? (when I say 'you' I'm talking about a group, not 'you' as an individual).
    *Parental, mother.

    This probably changes nothing, but CreativeMind you sound like a lovely person and you're always really helpful with your answers, and you're good at wording what you want to say. I'd probably date you (y'know, if we met, if I didn't already have a crush on someone I could date, if I wanted to date and if there wasn't an 8 year age gap).
     
    #11 Secrets5, Nov 28, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  12. Creativemind

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    Autistics don't lack empathy, that's a misconception.

    Technically we lack cognitive empathy, which means that we can't understand body language or read subtle cues when you're upset. We feel affectional empathy, which means that we can see ourselves in your shoes and cry for you, but you need to be blunt when you're upset for us to know. People only write us off as non-empathetic because they expect us to have a psychic ability and be able to play mind games.

    We are not sociopaths. Sociopaths have cognitive empathy (the ability to read body language and understand when someone is upset), but they don't feel affectional empathy (ability to see themselves in your shoes and cry for you). We are the opposite.

    This is especially true for women with autism, they have higher emotional intelligence than men with the condition- to the point they can change their own behavior to fit in.

    Severely autistic people as a whole lack empathy, but that's also because they have the brain of an infant. I'm not severely autistic though, I'm closer to moderate level.
     
  13. Jackie Ray

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    @Creativemind how autistic is too autistic? I mean if a person with average mental faculties were to get involved with an autistic person, where is the line between dating and abuse?
     
  14. Creativemind

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    It depends on the type of autism. Autism has three types, mild, moderate, and severe.

    Dating someone mildly autistic is fine, because they function the same way as anyone else mentally, they just have issues with socializing, body language, and repetition. Mentally, there isn't a power imbalance.

    People with severe autism permanently have infant brains, even in their adulthood. I don't see how it would work because they can't legally consent.

    Moderate autism is the iffy one because it has traits of both. It refers to a person who's psychological age is always going to be younger than their physical age, BUT the brain is still capable of aging (just slowly). Unlike severe autism, their brain can reach an adult functioning level, but unlike mild autism, their chronological age is probably going to be older than the norm once their brain is at this stage. As long as their brain is at an adult level, I think these people are fine too, in fact they need love because the discrimination against us is higher than for aspergers.

    I am moderately autistic. Chronologically, I'm 27, but mentally probably somewhere between 19-21. When I was actually 21, I functioned more like a 15 year old. It probably would have been difficult for me to consent at age 18, but now I know how to consent.
     
    #14 Creativemind, Nov 28, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  15. Jackie Ray

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    This is just an example, I dont think this guy is gay and I dont really know him well, let alone try to date him but he is the only autistic person I know of.

    He is in his early to mid 20's maybe, his company does like light landscaping at my apartment and other places in town, pretty simple tasks. I have talked to him a couple times and I know he lives at home with his dog and dad, he likes talking about his dog. He does use weed whackers and stuff but he doesnt drive. He speaks well enough as most people. The other landscapers seem like average guys, so I dont think its a day program job. So he's what mentally 12 you think? not okay to date. Im not planning on dating him I am just using him as an example.
     
  16. Creativemind

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    This is more clarification for anyone who is wondering why I wrote this post:

    I feel like the issues of me being autistic have more to do with being on the moderate part of the spectrum. High functioning/aspergers people seem to have it easier. They have problems with socializing and cues, but their brains still match their bodies, and they can easily find love since they know what age they're allowed to date. When people say that autistic people don't have it as hard as gay people, they are usually thinking of aspergers. Not a lot of people know about us of moderate level.

    In my case, it's like I'm a 19-21 year old inside a 27 year old's body. It's not a "trans" thing (I don't believe trans age exists, and I don't identify as a younger age), but more of a medical condition (I've had psych evaluations, and this has proven to be true). So there becomes a problem of who I can date (if I even can at all). Mentally, I CAN consent. Neurotypical 20 year olds can consent. But if I were to date a 19-21 year old, it is a huge stigma because I am 27. So I should date other 27 year olds, right? Except mentally, we don't match. They have college degrees, well established careers, children, and have had experience of being independent for a long time. For me, I am a college freshman who is only recently becoming independent for the first time. I have a friend with high functioning autism who is 23, has a college degree, and a good job. I am behind her on my accomplishments. When I was 22-23 ish, I was still basically a teenager and my parents were still caring for me.

    I can understand why people don't date severely autistic people because mentally, they can't really consent and never will. Being moderate is sort of different. We eventually grow. We have sexual desires and want to find love once we are capable. But our real age works against us. It's the feeling that you'll never find love because even though I'm 27, I'm not "really" 27 mentally or experience wise, so that age group doesn't want me. I feel 20-21 years old and ready to face life at that age, but a 20-21 year old wouldn't want me either- I'm too old and it's weird. Moderate autism is rare, so I won't find someone my age with similar experience...I either find autistic people who are too high functioning to want to date a late bloomer at my age, OR someone too severe that I'd feel like a pedophile dating them.

    If I were abled and gay, I'd face hardships for being gay, but at least finding love could be possible. If my brain matched my body, I'd know what ages I am allowed to date and what ages I am not. The split between mental and chronological age of moderate ASD is something I'll always have to explain, and it will turn most people away.

    And it sucks.
     
    #16 Creativemind, Nov 28, 2017
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  17. Jackie Ray

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    I dont get it as long as you are at 21 mental age, I wouldnt personally care if you were 27, 35, or 40
     
  18. Jackie Ray

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    Look at these rich guys with young wives.
     
  19. Secrets5

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    Then I would like to clarify the women I like has aspergers, not autism (I thought mild autism was aspergers) sorry. Her mental age is 19 but may just have some scripted behaviour (she's good at sociolising but I think it's how she's been taught to act, not natural for her).

    As long as their mental age is 18+ and their biological age isn't over 22 then I may date them (I don't want to actually date right now). Sorry, but if I were to date my mental and biological stage is a both 18-22. I'm not sure why it is abelist for me to have this. Providing you're nice and everything, I'll date you lf you are ASD. It's not about the dis ability, it's about the whole 'picture'. I'm 19 by the way.

    Sorry you're finding it hard to date though. Maybe try an ASD dating site. If you're in the UK there is a dating service for mildly disabled people.
     
  20. Creativemind

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    I don't think it's ableist for you in particular, I wouldn't want to date an actual 19 year old. It just sucks because if I were to find another nice 27 year old, they would all reject me because "You haven't accomplished this, you have no degree, you haven't done this or that". So it's not necessarily about you or your age, it's about the fact that nobody my own age would ever want me or consider me an option because my brain doesn't match my body. I feel really awkward dating someone 19 and feel like there'd be a maturity mix match, but even 22 year olds tends to have more life experience than I do, so even younger people (that are appropriately young enough) think I am too "young" despite me being five years older.

    Also, the reason most people wouldn't want me is because I'm not completely independent.

    Even though I wouldn't want to date a 19 year old, I envy 19 year olds. You guys have more independence than me and have a better quality of life. I don't feel like I'll ever reach that.
     
    #20 Creativemind, Nov 28, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017