Elsa is Gay and So Am I

So I wanted to venture away from my usual neurodivergent topic and talk a little bit about being queer.

Although! I have noticed an interesting amount of queer folk turn out to be neurodivergent as well. Whether that is from the difficulty of being gay in this society, so the neurodivergence is more trauma based- like Attachment Disorders, PTSD or BPD. Or just that our wiring makes us more open, not sure. It’s a super interesting topic that I want to follow up with but that is not what I am writing about.

I am here to tell you my “coming out” story.

Continue reading “Elsa is Gay and So Am I”

Who Am I?

While being sick in my bed, I don’t have a lot to do but daydream. Sure, I’ve watched some movies (Oh Greta Gerwig, your Little Women makes my heart ache it’s so good.) I’ve listened to a lot of ASMR. Done some writing, of course.

But mostly I’ve slept and daydreamed.

And in all this dreaming I’ve begun to wonder, Who am I?

No, the coronavirus does not also include amnesia now in its list of symptoms. No, just now that I am post Autism diagnosis so late in my life and I am living without a mask for the first time in years…so I’m wondering who I am, for real.

Well, for that, I think I should start with what I was. I was definitely a performer. First in the theatre itself. I spent a lot of years in semi-lead roles and secondary parts. Nothing to sneeze at. Performing throughout high school and the years in college before I dropped out. Then after I dropped out, my mother’s school failed to pass a referendum. So they cut the middle school play due to financial reasons. This didn’t sit well with my mother, so she brought me in as a ringer to direct a show. When I say ringer here, I mean “for free.”

But that decision turned into a program between my mother and I that spanned almost two decades. I wrote and directed several shows, published one with an international publisher and continued to publish the rest on my own. I’ve created online courses on directing, costuming, and set design. My shows have been performed by schools all over the world, and I don’t mind saying, have made many, many children happy.

So, I’ve done things. I was successful despite my difficulties. But I was still not completely myself. Part of that was being queer, but by in large, it was because I knew I was different.

And because I was different, I was also just a little bit lying. That’s why the subtitle to my blog is “honestly.” Because even before my diagnosis, before I knew what I was, I knew that I was tired of hiding who I was. Tired of performing a reflection of what people thought I should be.

That kind of performance, that kind of masking, it tears you apart. You begin to fracture your personality for the consumption of others. Carve away at your soul, just to make sure that you are palatable to everyone. So no one sees the truth. So no one is angry with you, for being yourself. (It’s a lot like, a less evil version of horcruxes, only the person you are murdering is yourself. You do it to protect yourself, but in the end, it destroys you.)

But that kind of brings me to a different, more hopeful thought. Once you reach the realization that you have been masking for a very long time, or in my case, three decades, you start to grieve for the time that you lost. (It’s interesting that parents often grieve an Autism diagnosis, not knowing that without that diagnosis, their child could be grieving a misspent life. Maybe if they knew that it wouldn’t be so hard.) In grieving the lost time, you can go down a really dark hole. I was really starting down that hole when I came upon a post from Autistic Women and Non-Binary Network, it was a quote and a link to a blog from another adult autistic woman.

 “Despite my late discovery of being autistic, I am learning to flick on the switch of possibility and reinvention, instead of obsessing over lost time”

Possibility. It was so simple. Now that I was aware and open about who I was, everything seemed possible. I could be who I really wanted to be, an open, honest, person, who helped others by example.

It is literally all I have ever wanted. To help others. It is my calling. More than theatre, more than writing, I want to help. All the children, my students, that I failed to connect with on a deeper level because of my mask. I will devote my life to overcoming that regret.

I will still honor the person that I was, the innocuous nuggets of truth that managed to surface over the years. Like the fact that I am a huge Harry Potter nerd (see horcruxes above) or my love of science fiction and comic book movies. My years teaching in theatre. My love of writing and reading.

But I will also eat more pineapples. And wear more tights. I love tights. I might even perm my hair. Color my hair more! Pink! It’s gonna get wild folks. More than anything, I’m not going to live afraid.

Because this is a rebirth. This is who I am.

I weigh…

As you know, I’ve recently started exploring the wonderful world of Instagram. Yes, I’m in love. Not just with the platform, but with several new faces and hashtags that I am following. #effyourbeautystandards is both delicious and nutritious for my mental health. That’s where I found the downright glorious Tess Holiday. (It’s also where I have had to practice my “no flame wars” rule, because damn, people are mean.)

But it’s also where my love of one Jameela Jamil has been forever cemented in my heart.

I did not find Jameela on Instagram, though. No, I first really heard of her, Jameela Jamil, the person, not just a character on “The Good Place”, because people were being so damn shitty to her. Oh, and that hasn’t stopped by the way, just look at what her boyfriend James Blake had to say recently…

Good man, James. Good man.

No, the first time I heard her name it was because the LGBT+ community was outraged that she had been cast on the HBO ballroom show “Legendary.” For those not in the know, ballroom does not refer to the dancing you are picturing right now. This is not dancing with the stars. It’s referring to the ballroom culture started in the 1980’s (check out the documentary Paris is Burning, then you’ll know.) Now this is not my scene so I am not going to say that she was the right person for the job, that’s not what drew me into this particular media splash.

No I came in, when a lot of people basically decided to “cancel” her as a judge on this show because she is not LGBT+… BUT SHE IS… She’s queer. And after being forced to correct a lot of misplaced anger, she decided to come out as queer, even though she shouldn’t have had to do it at such a time. Did this appease the community? NO, they turned on her more. A large portion of them pointing to the fact that she was dating a man, again erasing bisexuals from the “authentically” LGBT+ community.

As a queer woman, madly in love with her cisgender husband, you can bet that this put Jameela on my radar. I decided then and there that I would go to war for this south asian queer goddess, any day. (That’s how you know I love something, my loyalty is unparalleled.)

So to find her I_weigh movement on Instagram, well, my pledge for war in her honor went from a skirmish to a full-body measure of devotion.

The I_weigh movement is about “body neutrality.” Trying to turn the focus from bodies and looks to interior beauty. I know, I know. She’s not the first to do this. But I think that she might be the first to have the tenacity, and the platform, to really take it somewhere.

She has a new podcast by the same name coming out on April 3rd and you better believe that I will be listening.

Just like Jameela, I had some health problems that made me gain A LOT of weight. (I also fell in love with a man who introduced me to the idea of takeout. So it wasn’t all side effects.) Then like most women I had a tough time with yo-yo dieting. I lost weight when I worked for Jenny Craig but then gained it back when I left to start writing full time. I lost weight when I started protein and LCHF diets, but then gained it back after emotional meltdowns dropped my manic ass right off the wagon. Around the same time I had a baby, and well, hormones + wrong medication + medical emergencies + carbs = big FAT mental breakdown. (You can read more about it in my post about my chronic illnesses.) I’m losing steadily again now that I have finally found the right medication, but it’s a journey for sure.

So in the spirit of I_weigh, I want to share some images of myself that I would normally not want the world to see. These particular images were taken when my body was at it’s most endomorphic, or you know… fat. (I’ve lost some weight but I’m actually not that far off from these pics, either. So these are not “before” pictures.) Like you will see on the I_weigh Instagram page, I’ve superimposed some of my more important attributes.

Well, I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Like I said, they speak for themselves.

Self diagnosing Autism

TO BE OR NOT TO BE…

In one of my most recent posts I officially “came out” as autistic. I told you that I “got” my diagnosis at the age of thirty five, but what I didn’t tell you, is that I was self diagnosed first.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. And maybe not for the reasons that you think.

Continue reading “Self diagnosing Autism”

Watch this now…

No seriously, I can’t say this enough. Watch this now.

This TED talk from Hannah Gadsby last year would have transformed my life had I seen it sooner. If you are a woman, a neruolurker, or even a person who has experienced trauma- watch this. If you are a comic, a writer, or a person who has interest in either- watch this. If you are a human being- watch this.

Hannah Gadsby is a true lifesaver. She is a hero in every aspect of the word and I am so proud to be a fan of hers.

So without further ado… Hannah Gadsby.


Pride in Nanette

It’s June 30th. Literally, the last day of Pride month. And I’ve skirted around my own celebration. I haven’t posted anything, here or on any other social media platform. I haven’t raised any flags, and I don’t own a thing in rainbow.  And while I’ve always been loud in my support of the LGBT community,  I have never really been loud about myself and my place in that community. Mostly because, I have so easily been able to pass these last 20 years or so.

But I am a B. I always knew I was a B. There was a really frightening time in high school where I was scared that I was really only an L, pretending to be a B out of fear. (I’m a B, though. A big B, if I’m honest.)

Continue reading “Pride in Nanette”