After Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out, a good number or people looked at how Newt talked and acted and started to believe that he was autistic. It’ssomething that many people seem to be discussing and enjoying as a headcanon, andthat’s great. But if Newt isreally autistic in the movie, is he good representation, and how would this expansion of the Harry Potter world deal with an autistic character?
I wasn’t planning to see the new Power Rangers movie. I was certainly not planning to love the new Power Rangers movie. Having read Ace’s trailer review without actually watching the trailer itself, I figured I’d put the price of a New York City movie ticket toward something else. Then a friend asked me if I wanted to see it with her, and, on a whim, I agreed. And holy shit, am I glad I did. Was the movie good? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Was it immensely fun and everything I didn’t know I wanted in a movie experience, on top of being more inclusive than pretty much any big-budget ensemble movie I can think of? Absolutely.
I read a lot of YA books, and since not all of them are great, I keep track of the authors of the ones that I really liked. So ever since I read Corinne Duyvis’s Otherbound two years ago, I’ve been waiting and hoping that she would soon publish something else. Duyvis, an autistic writer who co-founded the Disability in Kidlit website and writing resource, is a writer with a particularly unique point of view. And when I found out about Duyvis’s newest book, On the Edge of Gone, a story about disability and classism told as an asteroid hits the Earth, I jumped to get it.
Recently there’s been a rash of anti-vaxxers, particularly in America, who claim that vaccines can lead to autism and so no one should vaccinate their kids. This is patently untrue, and it’s also very ableist. For example, if it were true, you’re basically saying that as a parent, you’d rather your kid had measles or the whooping cough than be on the autism spectrum. Autism is far from some kind of death sentence. There are many places doing in-depth research on autism, and there are many websites which look into how to live more comfortably as an autistic person. Today’s web crush, Autistic Life Hacks, is one of the latter websites.
Gentle readers, I’d like to tell you a story. I work managing a theatre company that primarily produces works of what might be called “multicultural theatre.” What that means is that we basically do plays about people of color and that makes us somehow a special class of theatre, though mainstream theatres aren’t called “white theatres” for staging seasons that are either entirely white, or all-but. I’d be angrier about this, but it does mean that there are specific grants for which we can apply, and non-profits need grants to run. You take the good with the bad, I guess.
The company I work for is currently deciding whether or not to put on a play at another venue, which seems innocuous enough; theatre companies use one another’s spaces all the time. However, this potential working relationship began when the director of that venue — let’s call him Keith — approached me and my boss by saying, “I hate to say this, but there’s no other way to put it: my venue is having real difficulty getting people of color to attend our shows. We’d like your help.” The venue in question is close to my hometown, in an area where about half of one percent of all residents are Black, and the total percentage of people of color doesn’t break four percent. Their season consists of shows like Assassins, Annie, The Wizard of Oz,& Legally Blonde: The Musical. All of which (shut up!) are shows I would gleefully fill a seat for. Especially Assassins. I love that show. But that’s a pretty white season.
I just didn’t understand how someone could be confused that in an area with virtually no Black people and very few Latinos, they had difficulty attracting persons of color to their performances. Let’s be charitable and assume that Keith was asking us how his theatre might engage with audiences of color, and I think that the easiest answer is: put on shows that they care about. I mean, for Christ’s sake, if the least white show in your season is Fiddler on the Roof, what do you expect? Continue reading →
I’m constantly thinking about how geek culture can take the next step and move closer and closer to equality. I think that, as a writer, it’s my job to think of ways I can use my talents to better society. I mean, I’m paid to write, just not for this blog. It’s not the hardest thing to do. I should at least do something important with this.
So, I opened a word doc and typed away until late, coming up with new superheroes that would rock the comic world to its core, and I came up with this.