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Shropshire campaigner documents his experiences of being gay and autistic to help others

An inspiring campaigner who’s a former resident of Cleobury Mortimer has started his own website to document his experiences with being gay and living with autism to support others.

Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson

Alan Henderson, 42, who bravely took part in this year’s naked bike ride, launched the colourful and informative Alan’s Autism Awareness page in August 2019.

He came up with the idea of managing his own website in a bid to combat the stigma attached to the developmental disorder and members of the LGBT community by publishing educational articles.

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The site also acts as a support hub for those who are struggling to deal with certain aspects of their hidden disability or sexuality, and want to confide in people who have faced similar adversities.

Alan said: “I decided to start my own website about being both autistic and within the LGBT community as a way to raise more awareness and encourage more acceptance of it.

“I also designed the page to support people as well, because everyone with autism is different.

“The hardest part of being autistic for me, for example, is when there are negative changes to my plans.”

Alan hopes the ingenious website, which also runs stories about Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, neurodiversity and cerebral palsy, will influence more equality and fairness.

According to the National Autistic Society, only 16 per cent of autistic adults in the UK have full-time paid employment, while Stonewall reports that 35 per cent of LGBT workers have hidden their sexual orientation through fear of discrimination.

This is something Alan wants to help change.

Alan said: “I think we need to continue to strive for better equality and fairness of opportunity for both those who identify as LGBT+ and those on the autistic spectrum.

“I have been bullied and I was so upset by the online abuse. So, we also need to tackle abuse and discrimination.”

To find out more information visit Alan’s website head to aaasupport.co.uk.

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