Via a post over at Autism’s Gadfly, I got to hear of someone called Christian Weston Chandler. Chandler is an autistic person who apparently is frustrated by his being a virgin at age 28. Apparently for this reason, he goes around harassing women, dressing offensively, and making homophobic, racist and sexist comments. Over at It’s Tabi’s Time, an apparent neurodiversity blog, Chandler is called a shame to the autistic community. I must say I disagree here.
What I find interesting, is that Chandler’s behavior is viewed as reflecting on the entire autistic community on both sides of the neurodiversity debate: either Chandler’s behavior is proof that autism should be cured because of its dramatic impact on sexuality, or Chandler is giving the entire autism community a bad name. Can we please start judging individual behavior and stop making it about a marginalized group the person with inappropriate behavior belongs to? No autistic male should be judged because of Chandler, and Chandler should not bear the responsibility of setting a good image for other autistics.
Of course, I am all fine with people highlighting the fact that autistic males (and females!) can be sexually frustrated. We might start looking for solutions on how to help people who are involuntarily celibate gain sexual satisfaction within the limits of the law. I would’ve hoped that it wouldn’t take a Christian Weston Chandler, who breaks the law to call attention to his sexual problems. Sexual problems are real among autistics. Please acknowledge that. A cure is not available – and besides, sexual problems exist among NTs, too. Acceptance of celibacy won’t change the fact that some autistics badly want sex. Let’s work towards solutions so that involuntarily celibate people can access sex without having to break the law. And let’s remember that if you’ve seen one sexually frustrated autistic, you’ve seen one sexually frustrated autistic. Christian Weston Chandler should not be the poster puppet for autistic involuntary celibacy.