This testimonial marks the fourth voice to speak out in Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s Fifty Years after Stonewall: A Virtual Listening Tour.
We urge our readers to forward the articles in this series to their diocesan bishops and parish priests. We beg our hierarchy and clergy to listen, attentively, reflectively, and prayerfully.
We ensure complete anonymity if you wish to contribute to this series between now and the end of June.
I still remember what it felt like five years ago, when the elder of my two autistic children told me that she was transgender. The entire world froze. I wasn’t sure I could breathe. I couldn’t get any words to come out of my mouth. The only words that I could form in my mind were, “Oh, shit.”
I was terrified. I had been working for years to make sure that, when my autistic son grew up and became independent, he would be safe. My husband and I knew he’d reach independence later than his age peers, and that was okay. We just had to ensure that, when he got there, he had the knowledge and skills he needed to be safe.
You have to understand, people with autism are far more likely to be victims of abuse than their neurotypical peers. They are more likely to be emotionally abused, to be sexually assaulted, to be physically attacked. They miss social cues, and they often don’t realize when someone is taking advantage of them. They can’t think quickly in a novel situation. They don’t understand where proper social boundaries lie. It takes them time to process the sensory and social information. All of this makes them uniquely vulnerable. Read More