I am proudly NeuroDivergent (Autistic, ADHD, Hyperlexic, chronically anxious, sensory sensitive, and then some), and though I grew up feeling alien and different from my peers, I didn’t know I was NeuroDivergent for most of my life (because I didn’t have the language to describe my brain differences before they were labeled in adulthood).
In addition to being multiply NeuroDivergent, I am also Queer in multiple ways (trans-nonbinary/gender fluid, pansexual, polyamorous), some parts of my Queer identity I’ve known since I was a very young child (my attractions to people of all genders and my failure to understand the point of monogamy); other parts of my identity wouldn’t make themselves clear until adulthood (my gender).
My gender is NonBinary, an umbrella term for MANY identifies of people who don’t identify within the binaries of man and woman.
This includes gender fluid people (like me) whose gender isn’t fixed at a static point, people who don’t identify with any gender at all, people who identify with multiple genders, etc.
Not long after being diagnosed Autistic at the age of 29, I found myself immersed in an online community of Autistic and NeuroDivergent People. One of the very FIRST things that I noticed upon joining this new community, was that a LOT (maybe most) NeuroDivergent People I met in these spaces were Queer.
Being both openly NeuroDivergent and openly Queer, I found myself obsessed with neuroqueering early on, comparing and contrasting the Queer and NeuroDivergent intersections of my identities and experiences (before knowing there was a term for it).
What IS “neuroqueering”?
Dr. Nick Walker defines neuroqueering as: the practice of queering (subverting, defying, disrupting, liberating oneself from) neuronormativity and heteronormativity simultaneously. . . examining how socially-imposed neuronormativity and socially-imposed heteronormativity were entwined with one another.
Texas (where I’m from) is part of what is known as “The Bible Belt”. Back home Queer People are a hidden minority in most spaces, and often won’t publicly out themselves as such unless they know they’re in safe company (but many spaces and people in Texas aren’t safe).
In hostile places like Texas, Queer adults stay hidden and youth have few role models or examples of what happy, healthy, Queer adults look like.
Many Texas Queers aren’t very open or loud about their Queer status – for good reason. Texas can be a dangerous place for anyone who’s not a cishet, white, man. Those who can pass as the majority often do, and I don’t blame them.
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