So now that I’m starting to diverge from the whole “don’t give personal details” and abandon trying to remain as anonymous as possible, here are some things.
I’m a guy. A transgender guy. A transgender guy who is learning he might be genderfluid.
I have a BA in Theatre. It was a huge struggle to get it and took twice as long as everyone else. I dropped out twice but made it back and cobbled together enough coursework to earn the degree.
The reason I try to stay so anonymous is because there are things I’m sick of hearing. Some of them are:
1: Oh, the doctor must have made a mistake. You’re too nice.
2: Well it must be really mild, huh?
3: That’s just what everyone says they have now.
4: Wow, I can’t even tell.
I understand that these are well meaning and probably meant to make me feel better, like there’s not VERY MUCH wrong with me.
I fight so many fights that sometimes I just want to make a pamphlet that says “So, your spouse/significant other/sister/brother/landlord/neighbour/paperboy is autistic.”
The main things I do to get by in the world in some meaningful fashion is write. I’m an actor and a playwright. And already I can hear the doctors in the back screaming “Actors couldn’t be autistic.” To those people: “MICKEY ROWE”.
I am performing a section of my solo play tomorrow. I wrote an autistic character. I am playing the autistic character. I am autistic.
I drew largely on not just the childhood I did have, but also the fantasy childhood I thought of while sleeping. I drew on how I reacted to strangers, what my biggest hope in life was for, and I drew very largely on my desire to be accepted and maybe even liked. The play explores the darker places a person can find themselves when their need to be like is paramount. The character is easy for me to write. He’s easy for me to get into and act. The people who have seen it and give feedback find him kind of endearing and they love the unique way he sees things.
Where were those people when I was bullied all through grade school and high school? But alas, if I hadn’t been, I’d have nothing to write about.
So yes. Autistic writers are out there. Autistic actors are out there. Think of it logically – if a coping mechanism for autism includes writing scripts and practicing what to do in new situations, couldn’t a love of acting be the next step?