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My mother was a conservative Evangelical, so that was difficult, and she was one of the last to know,” Julia said.“At high school, I actually found out that coming out decreased some of the harassment I had been experiencing for my disability.Lydia is proudly autistic, asexual, panromantic, Asian and adopted.“The idea that someone can be that many kinds of divergent from what is considered normative is terrifying for people because the more you deviate from the norm the more you are a reminder to them that the normative was never possible to attain to begin with,” she said.Lydia is coming up on her two year anniversary with her partner who is also an autistic activist.

For example, in terms of the policies that impact people with disabilities, including autism, many of us, even if same-sex marriage is legalized in our state, are still not legally able to get married.We just awkwardly showed up in ripped jeans and T-shirts. [laughs].” Lydia and her partner are on the asexual spectrum, but she says that her autistic friends have shared with her some of their unique sexual experiences.“A lot of us have tactile sensory issues so navigating what is okay in the bedroom can become very complicated, especially if both people involved are autistic and they have different tactile issues,” she said. Some people prefer deep pressure touch as opposed to light touch, some might like to get in the mood by caressing their partner from the back, but that might not work for some of us, or someone might like to lightly play with someones hair for foreplay but that might not work for somebody either and you might find that out in the course of a very awkward interruption.” When Lydia tells people that she advocates for disability rights, they may not realize that she is autistic.I’m hoping that as autism becomes less stigmatized and more and more autistic people get a chance to share our experiences, this process gets easier for others.You shouldn’t have to be a stranger from your body,” said Julia.

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