Like many aspects of self, my sexuality remained under wraps for the first three decades of my life. I felt desexualised in my body, unaware of my autism but deeply aware of my alienation and social position. Unable to find a sexual reflection in popular culture and bombarded with tropes of toxic masculinity I turned my sexual desires inwards. Only with my closest confidant, my partner, did any semblance of sexuality emerge, mediated by images and symbols imbibed as a teenager. My deep desire for connection that extended into sexuality felt ossified and unaired—kept in an air-sealed wrapper, like a vintage toy to be sold in the future or admired on a shelf. The sexuality that emerges from within me doesn’t feel constrained and defined by borders or the models used by the dominant culture. It is lush, verdant, warm, damp. It is not a shape defined by others. It is not attached to gender. It is not a taxonomical category to which I ascribe. My sexuality extends from the love that I easily feel towards other bodyminds like mine and the intimacy with which I seek to imbue relations. It need not be segregated and distinct.
These pictures feature a silicon cast of my face, frozen in the act of kissing and caricatured with bright red lipstick. By itself the cast is my desexualised younger self, unable to express sexuality to the world because of the self-constructed barrier all around me. My present day neuroqueer self has (is) escaped (escaping) this artificial barrier, making bodily contact with the lush world for the first time. I feel flesh on ground, and make intimate connection with the planet. My old self is still there. The healing continues through a process of discovery and self-connection.
The submission is two jpeg image files. I am a nonbinary neuroqueer artist exploring my relationship with self and other, experimenting with new and imagined modes of being human. I am particularly interested in neuroqueering culture, and autistic culturing. That is, the creation of niche spaces in which autistic people can heal and thrive, sheltered from the harsh gaze of the dominant culture by networks of social esteem and support. You can find my writing at https://lauriegreen.substack.com and some of my work on instagram, @liminal_resonance.
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Ought: The Journal of Autistic Culture: Vol. 4:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/ought/vol4/iss1/8