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For ASD Individuals “Masking and Passing” is the primary mode of trying to “make it” in the world. It means we try to fake being normal as much as possible so folks see us and treat us as normal. This requires constant concsious thought as to our actions, our intuition and our judgement of other people and their emptional state, because we are absolutely terrible at reading other people. As an example, most people can tell the difference between if someone is excited or angry. I cannot. Anger and excitement look very similar to me. Similarly tiredness and extreme sadness looks very similar to me. So I have to constantly evaluate given other contextual clues what mental state the other person is in. This is an ongoing and very conscious process using logic and deduction. Nuerotypicals do not have to do this. You might get confused from time to time as a neurotyoical and ask someone “What’s wrong” to clarify but for us, it is a constant state of confusion. It gets fucking tiring. We spend our entire lives trying to conform to the world around us, while we are lost 90% of the time.

This by the way, is why I made the decision to “come out of the closet” and damn the consequences because for me personally, I am just done trying. It’s been a freeing experience and has given me energy I never thought I would have. The skills I’ve learned from “masking and passing” are still there and are definitely still relevant and helpful, but I just don’t put as much effort into it as I used to.

I really think that more ASD people need to come out of the closet too. We need to start demanding that the world understands us and meets us halfway. So far it’s been a one way street, and that’s just not viable long term.

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