The term double rainbow has been used to refer to people who are autistic and LGBT. Or autistic and a racial minority. Or a racial minority and LGBT. So what does that make someone who is biracial, autistic…and a lesbian?
I came out to my immediate family in 2015 while I was still at uni, and have since come out to a few friends. I’ve been waiting to write about it until I was no longer afraid of what anyone would think, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever completely reach that point. I feel like not coming out has been holding me back. I’ve been too afraid to talk or write about my feelings and experiences, and although I’m still afraid, I’m also tired of living in fear of other people’s reactions. I may mention my orientation in my upcoming book, I will definitely give it more than a mention in the book after that, and I can’t do justice to either if I can’t talk about it in real time.
And it’s not that I want to rub it in everyone’s faces. I just want to be able to talk about my sexuality, and topics relating to it, as freely as I talk about other stuff, and to speak out against prejudice and ignorance. One of the main reasons I have struggled to accept it is that I’ve already had to combat the shame and stigma surrounding autism. Even being biracial isn’t always easy! While I was growing up, I couldn’t face being even more “different” than I already was. Now, having spent most of my life hiding one part of my identity or another, I feel like I have outgrown the metaphorical closet.
The other is that many of my friends and acquaintances are Christians. And while it was the Christian community where I found friends as a lonely autistic teenager, it was also the Christian community who were firm about rejecting any “gay agenda”. So, to anyone who is unsure what to make of all this, I have a few things to say:
First, I’m not trying to tell you what to believe. Not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t, nor do I have a right to. I’m simply being open and real, for my own wellbeing and to reach out to others in my position. I understand that this may challenge your beliefs, but I also need you to understand how much harder it is to be in a minority category that you cannot disclose without the risk of hostility and alienation.
Second, if you are reading this, chances are, you are my friend. We have a history together. Think about it. Perhaps tell me some of your favourite moments in the comments! I can promise that anything you have done for me and with me will remain in my heart. Just continue to treat me like the sensitive, autistic, nit-picky, awkward, creative, imperfect-but-still-ok human being that I am. Because I am still ok. And I hope you understand that.