When you’re not used to seeing yourself depicted in society, and then suddenly, you see someone like you…

Sometimes your own initial reaction will be, “This person seems weird and wrong!” before (hopefully) having it sink in that, actually, you’re finally seeing yourself.

For a trivial example: there was a girl in college who looked so spooky, and I didn’t know why. I eventually realized it was because her eyebrows were invisible.

She had red hair and silver eyebrows. Just like me.

This is very unusual… except when I look in a mirror.

More importantly, I’ve found that when I encounter accurate depictions of autistic experience, my first reaction is often to recoil inside, thinking how weird and hard that sounds… before realizing, oh wait, that’s actually exactly what I experience.

When the full diversity of people and experiences don’t get depicted in mainstream culture, that can lead to increased marginalization when minority groups aren’t understood.

But it can also lead to minority groups struggling to even understand themselves.

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