Two identities: The problem common to both autism and asexuality

Both autism and asexuality are identities that are often misunderstood by the general public. Myths abound about both of them, some more harmful than others. There is however one myth in particular that is common to both.

This is the myth that both autism and asexuality are products of some kind of damaging/traumatic event.

For years, the antivax crowd has spread the narrative that autism is caused by damage as a result of vaccination. This has led to a great deal more conspiracy theories surrounding the so called “causes” of autism, ranging from the claim that 5G causes autism through to the wonderfully outrageous concept that Peppa Pig causes autism.

This of course has spawned a plethora of quack treatments such as MMS (chlorine dioxide bleach) abuse and chelation therapy. Quacks regularly use these abusive treatments to “cure” autistics, instead causing a great deal of harm.

You can understand, then, why it concerned me to learn of some of the rhetoric that is regularly turned on the asexual community.

Many have been accused of only being asexual because of sexual trauma, or mental illness. Many have been told it needs to be fixed or cured.

Having seen how out of hand this has become in the autism treatment industry, it terrifies me to think that my fellow asexuals may also be subject to things like behavioural therapies and other quack cures.

The harm that has been done to the autistic community is immense. We need to dispel these myths before it happens to another community.

Asexuality is not a lifestyle choice. It is not the result of trauma, or mental illness. Asexuality is a sexual orientation, an identity. It is who we are, and it is valid. We do not need a cure or to be fixed.

This Autistic will not stand by while another community is harmed the way that so many of us in the autistic community already have been.

I am proud to be both autistic and asexual.

Published by David Gray-Hammond

David Gray-Hammond is an autistic mental health and addiction advocate living in the South East of England. He is in recovery from addiction and psychosis, as well as other complex mental health conditions. He was diagnosed as autistic seven months after achieving sobriety, and is resolved to share his experiences with the world in the hopes of being the person that he needed when he was younger.

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