From comedians and authors to trailblazing activists
BY SIAN HOPKINS, IMAGE VIA CREATIVE COMMONS
There are so many LGBTQI, autistic icons and activists spreading awareness on being neurodivergent. Here are a few of the incredible LGBTQI and autistic people who have pushed back against the stigmas they face from society and are doing amazing things.
This Australian comedian is a well-known writer and actor who rose to stardom after winning the national final of the Raw Comedy competition in 2006. The broadcasting of her live comedy performance, Nanette, on Netflix, saw her branch into a bigger international audience. As well as being open about her sexuality, Hannah has also spoken publicly about her diagnosis of autism and about the difficulties she had in talking about the fact she is autistic. She spoke to The Guardian about it this year: “It took me a long time to get brave enough to simply share my diagnosis. My experience did not match the popular understanding of autism, and I knew I had to become an expert in neurobiology in order to untangle the myriad myths surrounding autism – just to beg permission to claim that piece of my identity.” Hannah’s new book, Ten Steps To Nanette, is out now.
Corinne is a YA novelist who has published her work all over the globe. She describes herself as a “white, Dutch, cisgender, disabled/autistic, bisexual/biromantic/queer, atheist woman”. Not only does she have three successful books under her belt, she also has a deal with Marvel Universe. Corinne spoke in The Guardian about how glad she was to be diagnosed with autism: “When you’re 14 years old and depressed, wracked with guilt because you’ve always been the smart one: those three words are powerful. Black and white. Official letterhead. A team of psychologists. Not your fault. There’s relief. There’s freedom. There’s the sense of things clicking into place, a reason for all that’s plagued you.”
An Australian comedian, at the age of 17 he produced his film, So You Think You’re So Funny, and was named the youngest winner of Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s RAW Comedy Competition. He then continued on to be named GQ’s comedian of the year in 2010. His TV series, Please Like Me, is a queer classic and his other series, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, has been renewed for another season on Hulu, with the story following a teenager on the autistic spectrum. Josh is an openly gay man who was diagnosed with ADHD at 28 and subsequently discussed his diagnosis with autism at 33.
Lydia X. Z. Brown
Lydia is an American autistic and disability rights activist. They are a writer, public speaker and attorney, who founded the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment. At only 28, Lydia has been honoured by the White House, Washington Peace Center, National Council on Independent Living, Disability Policy Consortium of Massachusetts, National Association for Law Placement/Public Service Jobs Directory, Society for Disability Studies, and American Association of People with Disabilities. Not only this, they were also named one of the top 30 thinkers under 30.
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.