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Health Mental health

How I got my autism diagnosis

In October of 2021, I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I am not one to keep quiet about mental health or other stigmas, so I have already shared my diagnosis with most people in my surroundings. However, one thing that really bothers me is that a lot of people tend to think getting a diagnosis is really easy, and that everyone has “a label” nowadays. This is something that I would like to counteract, so in this post I will be sharing the process I went through to get my diagnosis. I also hope this will offer insight for those who might be considering going into a diagnostic process.

In order to give you a better picture of what the process was like, I have included dates with every step that I took. I even went back into last year’s diary to look these up. I am sure this will show you that it is in fact not at all easy to get a diagnosis and it takes a lot of patience and perseverance. However, I also want to reiterate that getting a diagnosis can be absolutely worth it and help you a long way. I don’t want anyone to feel discouraged to take on that journey, because for me it was worth every bit of time and energy that went into it.

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“Feeling alone vs. knowing we’re not the only one”

For a while now, I have been reading this book called Life Isn’t Binary. It was written by two psychologists to challenge binary thinking; on gender, sexuality, and so much more. It invites the reader to reflect on their own experiences and one of these reflection points was about “feeling alone vs. knowing we’re not the only one”. I decided to write out my thoughts on the subject.

You may also like  »a letter to my gender«

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Creative Photo Queer in Utrecht

05. Michelle & Rianne – Queer in Utrecht

Michelle & Rianne, Queer in Utrecht

In Queer in Utrecht we share portraits of queer people in and around the city of Utrecht. Through these short profile sketches we aim to represent and celebrate the local queer community in its diverse ways. In this week’s edition, we get to meet lovebirds Michelle and Rianne.

“I am absolutely in love with Utrecht, I wouldn’t change much.” (Michelle)

“It quickly felt like home for me because a lot of people are open to new contacts.” (Rianne)

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Creative Photo Queer in Utrecht

04. Jesse – Queer in Utrecht

In Queer in Utrecht we share portraits of queer people in and around the city of Utrecht. Through these short profile sketches we aim to represent and celebrate the local queer community in its diverse ways. For this week’s spot, we had a chat with Jesse.

“Growing up, the only gay characters I saw on TV were stereotypes. Because I didn’t relate to them, I thought that meant I couldn’t be gay. It took me a long time to realize, being gay doesn’t mean I am anyone other than myself.”

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Queer in Utrecht

What is the Queer in Utrecht project?

Recently I’ve started an exciting new project called Queer in Utrecht. Read all about it here!

What is the project?

Queer in Utrecht is a photography series in which I capture queer people in Utrecht – anyone who identifies as part of the LGBT+ and/or queer community. It is partly inspired by the Humans of New York project, which also has portraits as the leading material, and usually a short piece about someone’s life, vision, or experiences. In addition to the portrait, I do a brief interview with participants.

Where did the idea come from?

I think it came from a conversation with a friend about the queer community at first – something we both didn’t have a lot of experience with and wanted to learn more about. We wondered if there was such a thing as a queer community in Utrecht, and if so, where to find it.

Later as I was thinking about this more on a walk, I thought: someone should do a photography series about queer people in Utrecht, that way we could bring the community into view. I quickly realised that if I wanted this to become a thing, that someone would have to be me. Thus, the Queer in Utrecht project was born.

What are my goals?

To represent our community in full authenticity. I want to show that we are the people around you: your neighbour, friend, bookseller, teacher, etc. It’s not just about queer identity, because we are more than that – we are also citizens of a city. I wanted to draw a link to Utrecht to find out if there is a local queer community and how the city plays a role in that.

How did I find people for this project?

I started within my own circles and after that Instagram was a big help. That’s where Lesbischa Liga shared my request and I think the Polyam Podcast creators boosted the project as well. Eventually more than 80 people signed up, so I’ve definitely got a long-term project on my hands. I’m really looking forward to working with all these different people.

Who runs the project?

It’s just me! I do this completely voluntary. That means I’m having to work with quite a few constraints in terms of time, money and energy. As of yet there is no budget, so any costs are coming out of my own pocket.

I’ve practised photography and writing for many years, but I’m not a professional. That’s okay because I’d like to keep it informal. For inspiration, I look to the Humans of New York project and photography ideas on Pinterest.

Why the term queer?

This is a question I’ve gotten a couple of times. First of all, I just thought it sounded good and I like that it’s so straightforward. I also think it encapsulates many different people, especially those who haven’t got things figured out yet or aren’t interested in specific labels. For me personally, I like the term “queer” because it’s such a big umbrella. It works in so many ways, which is why I started using it myself early on. When I was still questioning my sexuality and I couldn’t give it a label yet, “queer” was a great stand-in.

Of course, it also used to be a slur, although here in the Netherlands maybe not so much. I can see that the community is reclaiming the term and wearing it with pride. I love that.

How do I get in touch?

Currently I’ve got enough participants to keep going for a while, but keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram for any further updates.

For other enquiries, you can get in touch via Instagram or email


A letter to my gender

Dear …..,

I have been meaning to write for a while now. These words have been on my mind for months, evolving as time passed by. When I first thought of writing this letter, I think I had different things on my mind than I do now.

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