Updated: Sep 30
I hadn’t planned on posting again until my birthday next month (when I was going to show off my new Funko pops that I’ll be getting from my wife for my collection). However I thought this was important to share.
In one of the groups we share to, there was a comment that quite rightly pointed out that Frasier wasn’t created as an autistic character. That you can have autistic traits and not be autistic.
This was my reply.
“I was looking for an established character that could go through the journey to an adult assessment. They don’t have to be diagnosed as autistic, but explore the journey to getting one. I was looking at aspects like masking and scripting but also a character that wasn’t stated or created specifically to be autistic. That, to me, would have defeated the purpose. I was masked from aged 4 to 42, I had to wait a very long time to even begin to get a chance to understand myself. I think it’s important to have these kinds of discussions, and the media, shows like Frasier ... can help ensure that it reaches many people, of all walks of Life."
“I am 45 this year and rarely saw myself in characters. Scripting kept me isolated and my life consisted of 4 walls and a TV. Ironically made permanent when I broke my spine in 2007. I unmasked aged 42, was taught how to converse and express myself (a process that took 6 months). Before then my life wasn’t mine. The perception of who I was was so far from my reality it separated me from people, work, money ... from my life. Within 2 years of getting my autism diagnosis I became a human rights activist, founded mylifeautistic and linked in with the Scottish government. I look to make positive changes that will help the community get genuine inclusion, understanding and acceptance. So that future generations don’t get the same life I did. So that my daughter doesn’t feel like I did.
That I’d failed at being a human being the day I was born. I very much doubt these posts will have any impact on the show, or the future of it. However, knowing that I needed my diagnosis to stop feeling lost, feeling like a failure and to be seen for who I am. I want to see that in a character in film or TV because I know it could have a positive impact to others that are seeking a diagnosis. A reassuring nod, saying to others they are not alone in that journey.”
All our best and love
Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern
Words – Ross A Fraser
Design App – Canva