Being on the spectrum and learning to pass for something that I’m not seem to have gone together practically all of my life.
Passing for what I’m not started with just fitting in, being able to have friends, not being alone, not being an embarrassment to family, not feeling like everyone is noticing the differences, avoiding being picked on and bullied.
Then passing for what I’m not grew into needing employment, being able to pay bills, not getting beaten up or killed.
Trying to pass for something that you are not is exhausting. You look like everyone else on the outside, but you know you are very different on the inside. You know that if anyone sees what you are like inside, then your life will become even more difficult and even more painful.
As I’ve recently passed one of those “age milestones,” I’ve become more determined to not try to please other people by being inconspicuous and passing for what I’m not.
I am blessed to have found an open and accepting church. This is particularly important to someone on the spectrum who struggles to understand and initiate social interactions. This is equally important to someone who feels romantically drawn to those of the same sex in a very religiously conservative area of the country.
It is not easy to put aside the hurts caused by comments like “Autistic people are possessed by demons” and “Gay people are going to burn in hell forever.”
I’ve been blessed to have found a church that believes all truly are welcome. No matter what. It’s a church that doesn’t want to make people conform, just to experience God’s transforming love.
Please check out my main Making Marks On Paper page for a visual table of contents.