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A woman with Asperger’s goes clubbing


A really intriguing personal essay from Broadly by Gwen Kansen, a woman diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder who reveals what it’s like when she goes out to a nightclub.

The first thing I do is get a drink—she wants to buy. Then we start dancing.

I dance exuberantly, and not always on rhythm, either. At gay clubs they thought this was hip. My friends took me to some great ones in college; I made friends with a lot of gay guys because they thought I was outrageous. I didn’t realize at the time that wearing a bright green leather pencil skirt was inappropriate for class in rural Pennsylvania, but they loved me for it.

This isn’t the place for that. Some guy with the obligatory striped button-down shirt comes up and chest-butts me. I rub up on him for a minute until I realize he’s mocking my dancing.

Defeated, I go back to our table.

“People don’t dance here,” I tell Felicity.

“I really like you,” she says. “You just are who you are, you know?”