Being LGBTQ and Autistic: My Personal Perspective

by Teigan Hockman (telephonoscope)

My coming out story is less like slamming open the closet door and yelling ‘Surprise! I’m queer!’ than it is a slow slide into the light, like a sunrise. I knew at a very young age that I was attracted to women, but it wasn’t sex I was thinking of. It was an appreciation of softness and skin and hair. A love for beauty. My first crush was on my kindergarten teacher, a woman from Germany that wore her long dark hair up in a bun with crossed hairsticks holding it together. She was gentle with me from the first day when my undiagnosed dyscalculia reared its ugly head up and I couldn’t tell what was different between one-two-three-ein-svie-drie.

At the time the woman I looked up to most other than my mother was her friend Shelley. Shelley had a cool old house with hardwood floors, a claw foot bathtub, huge windows, and a stream of girlfriends. I knew that women could be together and cuddle and kiss and be best friends. When I looked at my kindergarten teacher I hoped for a woman like her as my best friend when I was an adult.

Middle-school was the time for me to be ‘boy crazy’. My walls were plastered with pictures that I cut from magazines and internet printouts. The boys had one thing in common: long hair and delicate faces. Interspersed casually through the prettified testosterone was my other massive crush: Angelina Jolie in all of her glory. She had tattoos and she had attitude. I was awestruck by her. I distinctly remember my mom yelling from the living room to “Get in here! Your girlfriend is on the tv!” Keep in mind that this was in the late 90s, and Ms. Jolie had recently been in Gia and Foxfire. I figured I had a chance with her, no matter the age difference.

If I’m counting correctly I’ve been involved one way or another with close to twenty cismen in the fifteen years since my first kiss. Personally, I feel like that’s a reasonable amount. My regret is that I’ve kissed exactly three women - no where near enough. Women are a blind spot for me. At times being Autistic makes it difficult for me to read the nonverbal language that other people broadcast. The body language of men and other masculine genders is simple for me. There is an almost overwhelming aura of interest that I feel when a man is attracted to me. Sometimes it’s too overwhelming and repulses me. Women on the other hand are an enigma to me. When they look through their lashes are they flirting? When they touch you are they trying to get closer? When is drinks just drinks and when is it a date? Allistic women have an elusive dialogue that I don’t have access to. Compared to them, men scream out to the world what they want, even when they think they aren’t.

I’m married now (something I never anticipated to be honest) to Marshall. We are amazingly compatible and he has supported me through the rollercoaster of my life, including treating my kid as his own. We’ve been together 6 years, and in that time I’ve managed to be diagnosed with depression, panic disorder, photophobic migraines, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and autism. I’ve broken my leg, collected a plethora of orthotics, been hospitalised for depression, and gone back to college with all that entails. Like all couples we have our trials. I’m not in his head, but I have the feeling that being a sexual person must be difficult when you’re married to someone like me who is neutrois and gray-ace. He’s never complained, and I’ve never felt pressured to ‘perform’ the way I did in past relationships.

When Kristen of Queerability asked me to write this I struggled with what to say. “I don’t have a coming out story!” I whined. Marshall looked up from his laptop and shrugged as if the answer was obvious. “Your whole life is a coming out story.” He’s right of course. He has the uncanny ability to decode my mind when it is feeding me gibberish. My coming out story has spanned 29 years. From minute to minute it feels like there are tiny, inconsequential dots of revelation, but when looked at from afar those dots create a work of art.


When you find your new fave, as a much younger one, in the same scenes as your 2015 fave, *AND* your very first (teenage) absolute older woman crush. 

(I fell in love with June Ackland when I was 14. Technically my very first older woman crush was Niamh Cussack, in Heartbeat. But I was a good bit younger then…))

Tagged by @rdjay Thanks, love, for making me admit how boring I am! haha

1. my birthday is 9/11 (1996)
2. I have very small, soft hands that can barely open a soda bottle
3. I don’t like coffee and I don’t understand why people are so obsessed with it
4. when I was born my umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck
5. when I was a toddler I ate so many carrots that my nose turned orange
6. I’m related to astronaut Jim Lovell
7. my grandmother was friends with Justin Timberlake’s grandmother in high school
8. Christmas is my favorite freaking holiday
9. the first woman I ever had a crush on, making me realize I was bi, was Regina Spektor
10. I have a 17 year-old brother who is taller and better looking than me. When I was a senior in high school, I was in an intro to theater class where all the freshmen knew me as “Kevin’s sister”. That’s how popular the kid is.
11. Four Rooms is unironically my favorite movie.

Tagging @nevercomestheday @simon-skinner @stephenmalkmusofficial @queerprophets @americanpsycho1991 @nadyrova @exedley @theshindig1980 @billiammurray @spengs @wulcanbiology