I’m an autistic woman who has real difficulty with affirming things that are obviously not true. My brain just can’t process them, so while I could try to use female pronouns about a man, I’d get it ‘wrong’ most of the time, even if I were really trying – I can say what I see or not talk at all. I’m afraid of ending up in a situation where I am legally or professionally sanctioned for something that I cannot help because of my disability.
I’ve written to my MP on several occasions, attended protests, donated to crowdfunded causes, shared articles and hosted discussions on social media.
I challenged the representative of a pro-transing-children group who came to speak at my workplace, describing my own experience as a GNC child who grew up to be a happy bisexual adult (they told me I was actually a ‘purple jelly baby’ – you can probably guess which charity).
I’m most proud of my part in raising a banner at Bradford Pride in support of lesbian women’s right to sexual boundaries and male-free spaces.
Someone made a formal complaint about me at my hobby group, resulting in a humiliating and bizarre cross-examination/lecture from the head referee. I’ve had people I’ve been friends with for years drop me without discussion, which hurt. I certainly feel more reluctant to do activities or join clubs now, particularly given that I keep my ‘wrong think’ out of unrelated activities, so someone would have had to have gone looking for evidence on my personal social media accounts.
When I protested in person, my group were not only asked whether we were a ‘hate group’ by 2 uniformed police officers, but during the event I had several large males attempt to body-block the sign I was holding, one in particular using his greater height (and girth) to physically get close to me and get in my way. I’m not a very physically imposing or confident person, so that was quite intimidating. I don’t think there’s any place for me as a bisexual at Pride any more, since they keep saying my sexuality is inherently transphobic; I’m only ever there as an activist.