(Me, a few minutes ago via Photo Booth. And hey, it’s actually a nice picture! I wish I could have had this for my passport photo…)
Hey, I’m Cat (fierystage). Welcome to Nonbinary Autistics! So far I’m the only moderator on here, but I’ve recruited K (theaquapunk) to be a co-mod, and hopefully if this little corner of the Internet gets bigger, some others can be added as well.
I tend to get quite long-winded when talking about myself, so I’ll try and keep it short. I made this because I realized that I was nonbinary not very long after I was diagnosed with Asperger’s autism—the latter was following a hospitalization and a collegiate health leave that started in March 2009 and ended in January 2010; as for the former, I’d started to think about it on Thanksgiving 2009 when I first discovered genderfork.com (if you’ve never been there—go now!) but I didn’t really declare myself to be genderqueer until summer 2010. The terms I used for my identity have shifted a lot, but I think I’ve settled on “androgynous genderqueer with varying fluidity.” Sure, they didn’t immediately follow one another, but it’s a close-enough time period to make the two identities rather inextricable from one another in my mind.
For example, even though I’m a “they” at heart when it comes to pronouns, I’m an extreme creature of habit and so don’t mind being called “she,” and would be very weirded out to ask relatives to call me “they.” I see pronouns as analogous to names; even though it’s the name I call myself, Cat isn’t my real name—that would be Caitie, which I answer to equally, and I wouldn’t ask people who have known me as Caitie forever to start calling me Cat since that would go against the invisible, inexplicable mental compartmentalizing system that many if not most autistics have. It’s an interesting intersection, since nonbinary identity can be a puzzle for folks whose brains tend to default to binaries. Also, it just occurred to me that since nonbinaries are stereotyped as being female-assigned folk and autistics as male-assigned folk, where does that put us?
What I’m hoping is that building a community of nonbinary autistics will help us through the issues of this intersection.
Also, a bit more about me just in case anyone wants to know: I’m 20 and a junior at Cornell, where I study linguistics and French—words are literally my favorite things in the world. I’m also taking Russian as well as French, in no small part due to my lovely partner being Russian. I’m obsessed with music—my favorite band ever ever ever is The Cars and I couldn’t be more excited that they’re reuniting, even after Ben’s death. (Full disclosure: I’ve had a crush on Ric Ocasek since I was thirteen. DEAL WITH IT.) I also am a huge fangirl (fanqueer?) for Destroyer, Belle and Sebastian, Sonic Youth and The Magnetic Fields, and if you let me into a record store, stand back, I’m gonna do some damage. I’m originally from Springfield, IL and I have a very complex love-hate relationship with it and the Midwest in general. I have OCD and SAD and try to manage them the best I can, but I’m a really anxious person and always have been, so the best thing I can do is just to know myself—incidentally and somewhat ironically since I’m a radical leftist (although not an anarchist, I tend more toward the social-democrat side of things; think Sweden) and a staunch feminist, some of the best ways I’ve known to alleviate my anxiety have been discovering my inner Fifties Housewife through sewing and cooking, both of which I’ve gotten quite prolific with; I made an entire twin-bed-size quilt during my leave. Even though I’d never call myself “easygoing,” I’m very rarely right-out angry—but don’t underestimate me, this Cat has claws.
Also, in case you didn’t notice, I’m rather fond of long sentences, much to the chagrin of my novelist father. (shameless plug for Dad: if any of you like political thrillers, cop novels with lots of subplots and/or Chicago, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll link you to his website.)
…well, that wasn’t too short then, was it? Typical me. Once again, welcome!