What Good Representation of Autistic Characters Looks Like, Part II: Diversity in Autistic Characteristics and Demographics

Elizabeth Bartmess  elizabethbartmess.com This is a three-part series. Part I explores autistic interiority and neurology. Part III explores Setting, Plot, and Character Growth.  In Part I, I talked about how neurological differences affect autistic people’s internal experiences and strategies, and how we change over time as a result. Today, I’ll talk about variation in autistic characteristics, in our and others’ relationship to our diagnosis (or lack of it), and variation in demographics, as well as how others’ perceptions of us influence how they treat us, and how we change in response. On Friday, I’ll bring everything together and add some thoughts and links to advice on writing autistic characters, along with a list of some common aspects of autistic experience that are underrepresented in fiction, plus a list of all the books and short stories I’ve mentioned. Even though autistic people have many things in common, we also vary a…

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Autism, Transmasculine Identity, and Invisibility

The Transgender Pride Flag By SVG file Dlloyd based on Monica Helms design [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons [image: A flag with five horizontal stripes. The center stripe is white, flanked by two pink stripes, then a light blue stripe at the top and the bottom. Devin S. Turk @devinst97 Everyone in my life knows that I’m transgender. Comparatively, very few people know about another major part of me: that I’m autistic. At age twenty-one, I’ve come to understand that many of my young adult years have centered around trying to bridge the gap between my two ways of being: The way that I present myself to the world, and the way that I perceive who I am. I imagine that someday, hopefully soon, those two components of my life won’t feel far apart. And hey, sharing this essay might even help. I realized I was trans when I was…