I’ve been trying to dive more into the world of Autism Representation, mostly because all the autistic people that came before me say it’s mostly crap, and I want to get a sense of what flavors of crap have been partaken in before. Thus, I ventured to Netflix.

I didn’t feel up for a TV series, so Love on the Spectrum and Atypical were out. The first movie that was suggested when I typed in “autism” was The Son, an Argentinian film about a man coming to realize his wife is raising a demon baby.

First movie.

When you type…

Maybe you were on an online dating site where “asexual” isn’t an option you can click. Maybe you met briefly at a bar and it didn’t come up until you suggested “getting out of here”. Maybe you’ve known this person for a long time, but it’s something they’ve only recently discovered about themselves.

However it happens, the bomb has been dropped, and you have no idea where to go from here.

Well, I do! Sort of. Here are some do’s and don’ts to get you started.

DO take a deep breath, so that you DON’T freak out. It’s okay to…

Ah, Tumblr. Both the place I discovered the nuances of and realized my identity as an asexual person, and the home of these outstanding Hot Takes.

I assume most of you reading this aren’t exactly on top of your Sesame Street news, which I’m only judging you for a little bit. In case you missed it, they added a regular character last year named Julia, an autistic four-year-old Muppet who flaps her arms and loves playtime and has a stuffed bunny/comfort object named Fluffster and basically I would die for her.

Equating flapping hands with beautiful things like fairy wings and butterflies? I fuckin see you, Sesame Street, you geniuses.

And you read that right, I said REGULAR character. She’s not just here for a Very…

CW: mentions of sexual assault

Something that comes up again and again among those who are questioning whether or not they’re asexual are I-can’t-be-ace-because arguments in their own heads.

“I can’t be ace, because I like having sex with my partner!”

“I can’t be ace, because I masturbate sometimes!”

“I can’t be ace, because sex scenes in movies don’t gross me out!”

Those people may or may not be right about not being ace, but those arguments show a slight but important misunderstanding of what asexuality is. …

“Aren’t they the same thing?” You ask moments before I smack you upside the head.

That’s because I’m assuming the best of you. When you bring up the topic of queerbaiting, there’s usually two counterarguments. The one I assume you didn’t make because I trust you is, “Geez, why does everything gotta be queer these days? Just be grateful for Steven Universe and Brokeback Mountain and stop trying to read queer into everything! There’s plenty of queer stuff already!”

This has been sitting in my drafts for months now. I want to talk about why.

“Fear of the unknown” is incredibly common in humans. Most of us would rather know something is going to go horribly than not be sure how it will go. Most of us would rather walk through a well-lit room full of hornets than a dark room full of hornets, if those are our only options.

A few weeks ago, I was at a seminar for adults who are interested in being an ally for young people when it comes to sex ed, sexuality, gender, and general health. To start, the instructor asked the room, most of whom were women, when they first heard about puberty.

There was that awkward “who’s going to talk first?” silence, and then one woman finally spoke up. “Well, my mom gave me this American Girl book — ”

Immediately the silence was broken, as almost everyone else in the room suddenly shouted “Mine too!” “I was going to say that!”…

Not to sound like a strawman sexist version of a girl gamer, but I don’t really GET shooters.

I’ve watched my friends play your Halos, your Call of Duty’s (Calls of Duty?), your PUBG’s, your CS:GO’s, your Barbie Pet Rescue’s — all those classic gun games.

Seeing the word “fanfiction” just now either made you smile fondly or put the fear of God in you. Both of those reactions are justified. While fanfiction can be bizarre, horrifying, and weirdly sexual, it can also be inspiring, thought-provoking, and weirdly sexual.

Okay, okay, not all fanfiction is sexual. Just a lot of it.

Fanfiction holds a weird place in the writing world. It’s been heralded as both wildly creative and shamefully derivative in the mainstream, and is simultaneously praised and mocked in the online community. Some people don’t even know what fanfiction is (quick definition if that’s you…

Mary Kate McAlpine

An asexual writer with lots of opinions and a half-played Steam library. Play my first game here: http://philome.la/themarykatemca/an-asexual-experience

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