Coming out or not coming out?

To come out or not to come out: that is the question. Don’t worry; the article won’t be a Shakespearean drama. Rather, one could probably compare it to a film by Jean-Luc Godard. There is no pre-formulated answer to a burning problem: does it even make sense to come out as anything?

“No, no, no”, I shoot prematurely and extremely subjectively from the hip. “No, no, no! I can’t hear it anymore!” All these pseudo-important influencers and smart people who make themselves important and come out all the time. The other day the German politician Kevin Kühnert came out as gay. Do I care? Actually, not at all. If I could vote in Germany, I would judge his party on the party program. Or in their practical work. But certainly not whether individual politicians come out as gay.

It is perhaps different with Nils Bollenbach, the politician of the German Greens, who outed himself as autistic. While I am not interested in the sexual orientation of a politician, I am very interested in how a politician’s brain processes information. I have already mentioned that more autistic people in politics would be an essential asset.

Nevertheless: It is (unfortunately) possible for many persons to tap into a bit of media turbulence if they out themselves as something. Our brave new media world creates more and more stars and starlets. Influencers explain the world to us: Which superfood is trendy right now? What hair colour am I wearing today? … If such an important person comes out as something, then that is a significant event. Or the important person gets more attention. It is no coincidence that we speak of the attention economy today.

Pua! While researching this article, I (unfortunately again) had to visit the Instagram page of the super influencer Toni Mahfud – almost for professional reasons. Mr. Mahfud seems extremely self-centred (actually, there are 99.99% pictures of him in different poses on the Instagram page). No. He also allows himself to make profound remarks about diversity and racism. Phrases like this one pop up “… As human beings we are all interconnected, and we all play a role in this world. It’s everyone’s responsibility to speak up …. We stand for diversity…” I don’t want to write anything bad now, but I do it anyway. 😉 In this superficial world of beauty and fashion where some internet starlets live, diversity is trendy right now. You can call yourself gay or autistic without any problems; on the contrary, you can be sure to get attention if you do so. It is also noticeable that most people come out for something that is already more or less socially accepted anyway. I never heard of someone who declares himself as a racist, paedophile, zoophile or cat eater. By the way: It is rather easy to come out as an autist or a lesbian if you are a Hollywood star. If you live in a small village, it might affect you a lot more.

What strikes me as uncomfortable is that the boundaries between public and private are shifting more and more. Privacy is an achievement of our civilisation, which we have fought hard for ourselves. Recently, however, it has become more and more fashionable to make personal things public. Of course, there are also massive economic reasons for this. It’s all about attention economy again. People are interested in private and emotional matters. It is, of course, essential to know that supermodel Heidi Klum calls her breasts Hans and Franz. Or is it Fritz and Franz? Or Laurel and Hardy? All the same. It is not about breasts. It is about constantly exceeding limits for economic reasons. Sorry, I don’t care about the personal stuff of all these half-important people. That’s why I think most outings are pointless. Or, to put it another way: why do I need to know that Kayne West is bipolar? Either I like his music or not. the additional information about his bipolarity is somehow pointless.

On the other hand, you often have to come out. I have many customers with disabilities, and they have to come out as blind at the first contact, because they cannot use pictures that I might send them.

However, there are also invisible disabilities. ADHD, for example. Or someone is disabled but communicates via the Internet where it is not noticeable. Marie Minkov recently pointed out this topic in an article. That is very interesting and brings another facet to the already confusing large problem.

But Marie Minkow – she is disabled herself – points out another interesting topic: Her disability might also create economic benefits. In her article “Trauma Sells“, she explains how her teachers at the university encourage her to sell her disability.

Speaking of ADHD. Is ADHD a disability or a gift now? I think it’s a gift that you have to learn to use. But it doesn’t matter. No matter how you feel about ADHD or autism: does it make sense to come out? I don’t know.

All right. We talked about Kevin Kühnert’s outing as gay, which personally doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t want to know if people I don’t know are gay or lesbian or whatever. However, we might still be stuck in the 19th century if no one had ever come out. This also applies to Kayne West or all other famous people who are neurodiverse. Seen from that point of view the coming out of stars makes sense.

And finally we come to the all-important question. (At least it is crucial for me.) Why do I come out as a neurodiverse and start this blog here? I’ve thought about it for a long time, and I see the following reasons speaking for this blog:

  • I like to talk about important things. And unlike the two breasts, Fritz and Franz mentioned above. I consider neurodiversity to be a topic that is much too little talked about in public. Or if, for example, AD(H)D is discussed, it is demonised, and attempts are made to transform those affected into “normal people” with psychotropic drugs.
  • I’m also trying to learn more about neurodiversity, and how can I learn better than by talking to others about it? A blog gives me more freedom than a forum or (oh my God !!!) Facebook (that sells my user data).
  • And last but not least, I also have a lot of customers who have a disability: blind, visually impaired, bipolar, spastic, etc. etc. I also work for organisations that represent people with disabilities and create designs or websites for them. So I have to communicate somehow about this topic as well.

Diagnosis for neurodiverse people

For all forms within the neurodiverse spectrum – according to official opinion – one should rely on the services of specialised institutions or physicians. Self-diagnosis has a somewhat strange connotation. In this article, I explain my point of view, which nevertheless deals with the subject in a slightly more differentiated way Continue reading “Diagnosis for neurodiverse people”

A blog about neurodiversity – what’s the point?

After I started my project with the blog “Stranger than Paradise”, I came more and more often thoughts, whether that would actually make sense, or why I do that at all. My basic problem in life is that I’m great at thinking up projects, which can then fail in reality (aka ADS 😉 ). Alright. Here are my thoughts, which also serve a little to come clean with myself and the project. So why am I doing all this?

Continue reading “A blog about neurodiversity – what’s the point?”

Zen in the Art of Making a Website

Neurodiversity has many facets. One of them is undoubtedly the topic of creativity – I would not like to dismiss it. Another one – this one not really loved – is the topic of sensory overload. As my ADD triggers both, I can see it as a disadvantage, or as an advantage. Somehow it is my choice. 😉 I have learned to use the positive aspects, even of the parts I’m not too fond of that much. The sensory overload forces me to create simple designs. Continue reading “Zen in the Art of Making a Website”

Autism, Bolsonaro and climate change – more autistic people in politics

Some time ago, I read an article about Bolsonaro (the Brazilian President) and climate change that made me think. Yes, exactly; it’s about Bolsonaro, who regards the Amazon Forest as a more or less useless landscape and would like to burn it down overnight. Last year he had an interesting idea that briefly went through the media and was never discussed again. He – or rather his Economics Minister Paolo Guedes – suggested that Brazil asks for money for the Amazon’s oxygen. (Source: https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000106758657/brasilien-plant-offenbar-fuer-amazonas-sauerstoff-weltweit-geld-zu-verlangen )

From (environmental) politics to neurodiversity, it seems to be a big step. However, one can still connect: It would probably be necessary to bring more autistic people into politics because “normal” (aka neurotypical) people always seem to use the same patterns of thinking/ argumentations. Let’s follow the neurotypical way of thinking in that example: “Boslonaro, that’s a “bad guy”, we don’t even talk to him at first.” That is the way neurotypical politicians might think. But this attitude has a high price: The goal itself (less CO2 in the atmosphere) is missed. Would autistic politicians have acted that way as well? I don’t think so. Continue reading “Autism, Bolsonaro and climate change – more autistic people in politics”

Famous, neurodiverse personalities

In this article, you can see a list of famous people diagnosed as neurodiverse. They all have an official diagnosis, or at least such a diagnosis is published on the Internet. As I do not know them personally, I have relied on sites like Wikipedia or interviews with the people themselves. Researching on Wikipedia is, of course, not a scientific proof, but one can assume that the majority of the cases are correct. But what is more important: The list clearly shows that being neurountypical (Autists, people with ADHD etc.) does not have to be an obstacle to success. In some cases, artists even state that they would benefit from being “different” because neurodiversity gives them an extraordinary potential. Continue reading “Famous, neurodiverse personalities”

Autism in other Cultures

Some time ago, I read a fascinating text in “Psychology Today” about autism in other cultures. Specifically, the reader is about Polynesian seafarers who cover several thousand miles without maps and can steer ships precisely to the desired destination. The author of the article (John Elder Robison, himself autistic and a well-known author on autism) assumes that these navigators are highly functional autists. Continue reading “Autism in other Cultures”

About me, explanations and other important things

No, I’m not neurotypical. I have noticed all my life that “something” is not the way it might / could be with me. It was only through the web that I found sufficient information about ADHD, high sensitivity, autism and other related areas. This blog is about these topics, and in this post, I list some of the important things to me.

. Continue reading “About me, explanations and other important things”