Pages by autistic men.

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Someone wanted to find webpages/blogs/etc by autistic men, not just women. (And I’ll admit the online autism world is overrun with autistic women.) So here are some, feel free to post more:

Some blogs:

Aspie Dad
Autistic Minds
Freak Power
Homo Autistic
Ian Johnson’s Neurodiversity Blog
in regione caecorum rex est luscus (the blog of the one-eyed autistic king)
NTs Are Weird
Just This Guy
Pre Rain Man Autism
A Gadfly’s Gadfly
Tony’s Down Under Blog
Torley’s Second Life and Techno Music Blog
Weblogue de Joffrey

Some websites:

This Way of Life (Joel Smith)
Ralph Smith
My Classic Life as an Artist (Larry Bissonette)
Autistic Spectrum (Lars Perner)
Articles by Eugene Marcus
Bradley Olson — A Person With Autism
Brian’s World
David Miedzianik
Kevin Phillips Asperger Site
The Autism Picture Page (Lindsay Weekes)
Inside My Head: A Page on Asperger’s Syndrome (I don’t know if the person in question is male or female)
Richard Wawro (art)
Roger Meyer

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Physically and cognitively disabled. Anything you hear in the media or gossip is likely to be oversimplified at best and wildly inaccurate at worst, the only way to get to know me is to actually know me. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died a couple years ago and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

35 responses »

  1. There are lots of men on the A2P2. http://www.isn.net/~jypsy/auspin/a2p2.html I think that’s the correct URL.

    Jonathan the guy who was in Jerry Newport’s original group in LA and who writes… He has a website. Jerry’s on the web somewhere, isn’t he? I don’t know. There’s a Mozart & the Whale page associated with wrongplanet.net wrongplanet.net is run by two ASD guys who basically ripped of jypsy’s wrong planet dot com if I recall correctly….

  2. Thanks for these links. I got the impression that the one you weren’t sure about (“A page on Aspergers Syndrome”) was written by a female. Though this may be more to do with his/her style of writing seeming similar to mine, though I didn’t agree with all they said.

  3. The main page of my site is at ; the blog part of the site, entitled Further Research (which I haven’t had time to update for the past month, but I’ll be getting back to it in a big way by the end of next week), is at .

    My site as a whole isn’t about Autism, it’s just the personal website of an Autistic man, a repository for my miscellaneous writings and poems and art. And the blog isn’t geared toward educating the general public about Autism; it’s mostly for the purpose of keeping my friends and family and such updated on my life – but I mention Autism whenever it happens to be relevant to what I’m saying, and I do have a few posts specifically about Autism and Autistic rights that I hope to get around to writing this Spring).

    Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it’s not a site about Autism per se, I generally get about two or three grateful emails each month from the better sort of parents and teachers of Autistic children, thanking me for showing them that their kids don’t have to be “cured” to have good lives (if they ask me a lot of questions, I generally refer them to sites like yours or Autism Diva’s or ABFH’s or Kathleen Siedel’s). So I like to think that even though I just have the site up to satisfy my personal creative and social inclinations, I’m doing some good for the cause of Autistic rights, by setting an example of one way that it’s possible for an Autistic person to have a rich, full, interesting, enjoyable life (and to make a positive contribution to the lives of others) without suppressing any of his Autistic traits.

    One reason my life works as an effective example for non-Autistic parents and teachers of Autistic kids is that I do a lot of things that are recognized as “achievements” in the neurotypical world – I have college degrees, a wife and kid, a thriving career as a martial arts instructor, a tiny degree of local celebrity as an experimental theatre and indie film performer. And I’m not someone who passes for NT.

    It would be better if our lives were recognized as full and worthwhile and beautiful even when we DIDN’T accumulate NT-approved indicators of “success” – but until that happens, I hope that examples like mine can at least help to persuade some parents that they don’t need to subject their kids to ABA or chelation or whatever the latest atrocity du jour is.

  4. I direct people to this blog if I think they need their perceptions on autism changing. Of course, with some people they are probably never going to dispel with their presumptions. I was about to tell one woman at toddler group about this site and I started off by saying “there’s a woman who writes on the web who’s autistic” and she interrupts with “awww, awwww” in the most condescending manner. I said to her “no, not ‘awwww’, she’s not a puppy”.

  5. Sometimes I think of doing a site. I had one for a little while. I’m getting a godaddy.com thingie set up this weekend…Hoping maybe to host my pages etc. But what could I possibly write about? I think it’s all been covered out there. I am maybe not the best “representative”. Not sure. My video blog is about it right now. By the way, I’ve been getting emails about the recent drama. Just want you to know that I believe you who you are but for personal reasons, I feel I have to stay out. I am scared to death of exposure/controversy since one particular event. I have a baby now to protect. Our lives are already not so simple. Some see me as successful but if so, I have to say, it’s the hardest thing to keep up with. Success is never easy unless one always had it. I don’t consider myself successful until my daughter is raised and my life can be remembered as having been kind/cruelty-free/an example of a struggle for a peaceful and creative life.

  6. I’m male (well, physically… i have a theory, based mostly on myself, that autistic people (not necessarily always, but IMO often) don’t really have “gender identity” in the way that it’s commonly understood, but that’s another matter), and I have a blog which is currently defunct, but which i am intending to revive very soon as a primarily-disability-rights-focused blog… the trouble is, there are various other things that i need to sort out in my life before i feel up to starting it, and those have been dragging on far longer than expected… however, i am optimistically hoping for my new blog to be online within the next month…

    As i was mostly inspired to start this by Ballastexistenz (which IMO is possibly the single most awesome thing on the internet), i thought i’d speak up here… :)

    (Any tips on how to actually start a blog would be welcomed, btw… starting something is always the hardest bit for me… what did you start with?)

  7. Well, I know I’m definitely female. But I identify a lot more with stereotypical ideas of what men like and behave than stereotypical ideas of what women are like. For example when I go shopping I adopt a “get in there quick, get what you came for and get the hell out of the place” rather than looking around for bargains. I’d much rather have a conversation about events in history or sometimes items than about my feelings and how I can discover myself as a person. I don’t care for the fashion pages in magazines and will nine times out of ten avoid the women’s mags as there’s very little I can identify with. I’d rather read the article on “How I fought off the Giant Yeti of Bridlington” in the men’s magazine. I tried the women’s magazines, but it became increasingly impossible to identify with them.
    The thing is, is that I can guarantee there are lots more women who’ll identify with what I’ve said. And there’ll be men who’ll say “but I like fashion and am quite open about my feelings”. So I think what’s probably happening is that some people act a certain way and others act in another way and gender probably does not come into it, but a majority perceived view of how males and females are supposed to act probably ensures more women act in a certain way, or at least give the impression of acting in that way and more men act in a certain way.

  8. For a huge part of my adult life I was involved in a role that is not traditionally associated with males, that of a “carer” though both me and my mum preferred to term that as “personal assistant” that was more accurate in many ways.

    I attend “carers” groups and although I was doing a gender assigned role I did have decidedly different attitudes to female carers so I brought a male perspective to the issue which was often not recognised.

    When I started out there was an organisation called “The national association for single women and there adult dependents” what an awful title, ablist and sexist both, they changed there name to the national carers association but they never seemed to adopt a proper disability agenda in that the one central in the relationship was the one who was being “cared for” my attitude being that if the problems of the disabled person in society were solved using the social model perspective then the problems of the “carer” would equally wither away, but if one focused on the “carer” then the “caree” was objectified and disenfranchised.

    Its the same position today with the whole parents vs autistics debate.

    I have stamina, as much as any parent has, I have been at this whole thing much longer than any of these mercury moms.

  9. Good points laurentius-rex, only some of us are on the spectrum and are parents as well :). I have one autistic child and one non autistic child.
    Mercury Moms – I love that phrase :D.

  10. It wasn’t short, but OK.

    Larry asked the question, “What is wrong with having an overt gender identity.” The thing is, gender identity is not overt.

    Your gender is your biology. Whether you have XX chromosomes or XY chromosomes, (or something else) usually determines your gender. Gender is evident by a combination of overt and non-overt characteristics.

    Gender identity is how you feel inside. Usually gender and gender identity coincide, but not always. Transgenderism is having a gender identity different from your biological gender. To hear a transgender person describe it, there’s something fundamental about themselves that cannot be expressed through the body they were born into. It goes much deeper than interests, shopping habits or reading habits.

    *Lacking* a gender identity is another story. I, myself don’t particularly identify with either gender. I feel I would be able to express myself equally well – or poorly, as the case my be – through whatever gender I had been born into.

    When I was a child, I felt somewhat uncomfortable in this male body, but I didn’t want to be a female, either. What I wanted to be – and I’ve never told this to anybody – I wanted to be smooth in the front like the plastic dolls you see which have no sexual organs.

    I don’t think there is an “ism” word which applies to not having a gender identity. And there is no surgical answer either, such as sex reassignment surgery, which applies to transgenderism. (Not that I would ever consider doing that, or recommend it).

    I don’t know how often autistics lack a gender identity, but gender issues in general seem to be more common in autistics than in non-autistics.

    I identify as gay because I am attracted to males and in a male body. But I’m also beginning to think that attraction is a more fluid thing than I used to believe.

    And finally, to answer Larry’s question, there is nothing wrong with any of this, and nobody said there was.

  11. Not a problem, Amanda. It came out better the second time around anyway ;-)

    To Bonnie: thanks for posting the link to my blog.

    To Shiva: your question on how to start a blog intrigued me. I’m considering whether to answer it and where.

  12. I considered answering Shiva’s question on my blog, but perhaps the best place to answer it is here, with a link to my blog.

    I’ve done some writing on the differences between creating and building. Creating involves less planning; less control over the final outcome. A creation is more “alive” than something which was built. Probably the most creative thing a human being can do is to have a child. And it applies that one needs to let go of preconceived notions of what that child should be, and relinquish control by allowing it to realize its own destiny.

    Bloggin, IMO, is a creative process. Perhaps your error, Shiva, can be seen in this sentence you wrote: “i am intending to revive very soon as a primarily-disability-rights-focused blog…” Maybe you are trying to *build* a blog.

    My advice is to view your blog as an entity in its own right. Allow it to take on its own character independent of what you think it should be. If it starts out sounding juvenile, well so do children. And LOVE it, regardless of whether or not it lives up to your expectations. Love it unconditionally, the way a child should be loved. And nurture it the way a child should be nurtured.

    My blog is at:

    http://theartofunderstanding.blogspot.com

  13. I would agree with what Charles said, about how gender identity =! conforming to gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes tend to be tied in with all sorts of historical, cultural, economic, etc, factors, and you can’t start making decisions about what might be innate and what might not be until you begin looking at the differences across cultures. For instance, our partner& come from an originally working-class to lower-middle-class Jewish family (on one side, anyway), and when made to read Deborah Tannenish ideas about “the differences between male and female communication” for a class, were pretty flabbergasted– they said the women in their family had never behaved that way at all. There was no expectation that women shouldn’t interrupt, should focus on reducing conflict and protecting against possible hurt feelings instead of saying what they’re really thinking, be indirect about their expectations, etc. In fact, the tendency in their family was for the women to be very blunt, when discussing, well, just about everything. And a lot of other studies about gender-based communication differences fall along the same lines– they’re based in the values of what’s considered to be “mainstream America,” which generally is middle- and upper-class and white, and kind of ignore everyone outside that category.

    And, well, any discussion about female shopping habits, is going to have to assume that the woman in question does have spending money for clothes (often clothes that are priced way in excess of their actual worth, just on the basis of their brand name label), which a whole lot of women even in America don’t have. Women in the classes which did have spending money were basically made into career consumers through advertising. I guess it’s possible that finding the perfect pair of shoes looks more important when your life is focused more around keeping up appearances than basic survival.

    And call me cynical, but I think a lot of the “women always want to talk about feelings” stereotype comes from the fact that middle and upper-class women were made into the main consumers of the self-help lifestyle, which makes its money on books, tapes, and seminars designed to teach women that even if they *think* they’re okay, there’s actually something wrong with them, and that if your relationship isn’t perfect there’s something wrong with it, but one that it’s up to you to fix (no responsibility on men’s part, of course, because in self-help culture men are regarded as permanent children who aren’t capable of telling what their own emotional state is at any given time). So, yeah, I think there’s a big connection between “women only talk about feelings” and some of the other things Amanda has discussed about how much therapy talk has pervaded modern American culture. (Which isn’t to say feelings aren’t important, they are, but there’s a difference between having feelings and expressing them openly, and making them a symptom of something that needs to be fixed and to be analyzed at every moment.)

    For the record, I identify as male, although this body is female, but don’t… exactly conform to male stereotypes either. :-) Although then it gets complicated, because I’m not the only “I” in here and we don’t all identify as the same gender.

  14. That’s the point I was trying to make Misu-Amorpha. That they are stereotypes, mostly perpetuated by the media, but I suppose if no woman clung to those stereotypes there’d be no market for selfhelp books and fashion labels (which personally I can’t be doing with either of those). I should have thought and amended it to “the media tend to have this idea of how women should be and some women adopt that idea”. I know my sisters are both like the stereotypical woman I mentioned, as are my nieces and my cousin, so I suppose I’m rather biased in thinking more women subscribe to the idea that shopping is something to be prized. It’s ridiculous of me, I know, but apart from myself my real life experiences of women have mostly seen the sort of stereotypical woman I described.

  15. about starting a blog, i think what Charles said is good. you could just have your first post be “this is what i think i might do with this blog, but let’s see where it goes in reality.” because it’s good to have a focus to start out with, but it’s also good to have flexibility.

    alternatively you could start with a picture, and i don’t mean one of you unless you are comfortable with that… maybe just a photo that you took recently of some place or some image that means something to you. i suggest this only if that is the kind of thing that helps you start writing. it doesn’t to everyone.

    my blog only really got going when i used it to post the pictures i made for illustrationfriday, but then mine is anything but an activist blog, although i admire activist blogs.

  16. Just a belated comment….

    Something that occured to me as I read this posting: well, the first thing that occured to me was I thought “dominated” would have been a better word than “overrun.” I not sure that there are *more* women autistic bloggers on the web; I just think they dominate.

    But what occured to me as I read those words is that the same thing seems to be happening in gay advocacy. You have Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres and Mellissa Etheridge, for instance. In certain circles, you only need to mention their first names to know who they are. I’m hard pressed to come up with three names of male celebrity gay advocates who’ve done as much as these three women, (and if you only consider Americans, it’s even harder).

    Something tells me that the reasons for *why* this is so for both autistics and gays are similar.

  17. My personal take on why so many of the visibly gay celebrities are female is that it has to do with male homophobia. I mean, we certainly have run into women who say things like “eww, I hope those dykes stay away from me” or think lesbians are all out to rape straight women, and we’ve been harassed even when just walking around with female friends (for “being dykes,” etc, even though our appearance doesn’t quite fit the dyke stereotype), but it isn’t seen as a threat to other women’s femininity in this culture, in the way that homosexuality is seen as a threat to other men’s masculinity. I think most ostensibly-straight American men, anyway, have trouble disentangling their perceptions of gay men from their fear of them, and fear that they might be gay themselves.

    …of course, coming out as a gay male celebrity is a quick way to earn fans with slash fanfiction writers, but on the other hand, they’ll write about just about anyone, I think, even if you’re visibly and obviously straight.

    Most of the local LGBT groups we’ve been to did seem to have a higher ratio of males than females. And when people speak of “the gay community” in general, they usually are referring to men; lesbians end up forgotten or ignored. Even the Castro District is really about men; most of the shops are owned by and cater to men; you do see lesbian couples there, but they’re a definite minority. (At least, if it’s changed since 1999 or 2000, the last time we ever went there, we haven’t heard.)

  18. Misu^Amorpha,

    You said:

    ” I think most ostensibly-straight American men, anyway, have trouble disentangling their perceptions of gay men from their fear of them, and fear that they might be gay themselves.”

    As a “straight” male, I can gladly report that neither am I “afraid” of gay men, nor am I laboring under the delusion that I might be just gay, myself.

    It would behove you to lose such lame rationale when dealing with straight males. : )

  19. When I think of the gay community, I think of both men and women. I’m not sure what people in general think of when they hear that phrase. I was prepared to argue with Misu^Amorpha, but it seems that, at least historically, from a medical perspective, homosexuals were assumed to be all men. Have you read Joseph’s recent posting, “Is Homosexuality Really That Different To Autism?”

    My experiences of the gay community mirror Amanda’s, (except for the off-putting part). I always assumed this was for the following reasons: being a gay male, I’m attracted to the same activities that other gay males are attracted to, and gay men tend to socialize with each other, for obvious reasons. I also believe that, (and I’ve seen some evidence of this, and it’s been confirmed by gay women), gay women tend to keep to themselves. Thus, gay social events open to both men and women tend to be mostly men. This appears to be less true within gay advocacy/political groups, (in my limited experience).

    My observation is that, when gay women branch out into a wider community, it’s to the community of women, (both straight and gay), rather than the gay community, (both men and women).

    There’s a simple, economic reason for why gay bars, business, etc., cater to gay men: the guys have the money. Gay women understandably find this off-putting, which only perpetuates matters, since they’ll withdraw.

    What is a “slash fanfiction writer?”

  20. Clay Kent, it would behoove you to not make assumptions about me also. Did you assume I was gay because I said most straight men are homophobic? I am straight, and engaged to a woman.

    One can make observations about a group from within it, even if those observations aren’t flattering to many people in that group.

  21. Slash fanfiction is a kind of fanfiction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanfiction) that involves male characters together in romantic or sexual situations. It’s also, sometimes, written about real people– usually actors or musicians– Google on “real person slash” and you’ll probably get some examples ranging from the, uh, plausible to the downright absurd.

    (The idea that most fanfiction is slash really isn’t and has never been true, in most genres– we used to write fanfiction, and never really encountered the overwhelming dominance of slash that some people claim exists– but it definitely is out there, and kind of hard to miss if you get into the writing scene for a particular fandom very much.)

  22. Misu^Amorpha,

    Point well taken. Although, I actually misworded my statement “…when dealing with straight males”. I should have said “…when making characterizations regarding straight males”.

    I was taking exception to your stereotype of straights either being afraid of homosexual males, or being in fear that they are really homosexual themselves. That’s all. I hadn’t come to any conclusions as to your sexual preference because a. you never stated any preference, and b. I could quite frankly care less, as it isn’t relevant to what is being discussed.

    Sorry you took it that I was assuming you were homosexual when you are straight. I hope this clears it up.

    You said: “One can make observations about a group from within it, even if those observations aren’t flattering to many people in that group.”

    I’m not sure if by group you mean the group of commenters that visit here often, or some other web group, or all males as a whole. Either way, you can make observations until the cows come home, what you can’t do (and be correct) is apply your conclusions to EVERYONE in that group. And that is what your stereotypical statement regarding straight males is doing and that is why I took exception with it.

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