Invisible Me: Being Seen By A Blind Society Blog Tyler Inman by Nathan Patel - September 10, 2021September 10, 2021 Society thrives on order. We name everything, just as we were taught to do when we were children. We love to place everything into easily defined boxes, compartmentalise people into things that seem simpler to understand. Everyone carries their own labels, either ones that are placed upon them or those labels that they choose to own themselves. How do others see you, and view you in relation to the world? Obvious, visible factors come to mind, such as presenting more masculine or feminine, or your skin colour. In reality, this exists as a spectrum, and society is finally (and thankfully) adapting to accept that. Now think of your more personal attributes. Are you loud and outgoing, or shy and timid? Maybe you prefer physical activity over mental stimulation? Most people, especially neuro-typical people, find reducing others down into boxes easier to understand. Different factors can become simpler to quantify. Now imagine a world where people are without faces, without expressions. Where actions and behaviours appear confusing and overwhelming. You try to understand but everything seems just out of reach. The boxes you’ve been taught to use as categories collapse under their own inadequacy. You try to filter it out. In a world of blinding noise, flashing colours and confusing actions, you just want peace and clarity. It’s painful to comprehend, but no one seems to understand you. No one can empathise. You feel lost. Invisible Me, by Tyler Inman, explores Tyler’s own experiences with having Asperger’s Syndrome. Positioned on the autistic spectrum, people with Asperger’s are generally categorised by their difficulty navigating social encounters and interpreting other people. Tyler’s expression of this struggle brings up the differences between himself and other people. Where everyday greetings and conversations might be a normal part of life, this is a challenging puzzle to navigate and overcome for Tyler. In a society that cannot understand Tyler, and children like him, it chooses to simply ignore them. This can be devastating at such a young age. Just imagine being ignored, feeling invisible to others, just for being you. Invisible Me is Tyler’s journey to overcome an overwhelming and confusing world. This is one boy’s journey to find himself and become seen by a society blind to his perspective. We can only work together to break down this limited, binary-driven thinking. Stay open to accepting people for who they are. Fitting in may sound easy to some, but celebrating differences is even more important. One step at a time, our collective thinking can help move us all towards a brighter, more inclusive and accepting future. Everyone has value, and it’s important to realise and celebrate that fact, both within yourself and towards other people. In the words of Tyler himself: With the help of those around me I have learnt to accept me, it’s okay to be different. Trying to fit in for me was impossible because I can’t be who I am not. This blog is a reflection on Invisible Me by Tyler Inman. For more information, click here.