[60] S5, Ep5: Autism and the intersection of culture, race and gender
Topics in this episode: coming out, cultural attitudes, family, friendships, intersectionality, reasonable adjustments, school, university

Suzanna Chen was born in China and raised in Vancouver, Canada from the age of 9. She was diagnosed autistic in her final year of high school. She is now 18 and an undergraduate student at University College London in the UK.

Standing at the intersection of gender, racial, and ability minorities, she is passionate about advocating for the overlooked intersectionality of social justice issues. She writes for popular student magazine The Tab, and is a staff writer at the youth-led advocacy publication Detester Magazine, a non-profit platform dedicated to amplifying Black, Indigenous, and People of Color youth activism on social and political issues.

Alongside the Learn from Autistics platform, Detester are currently collecting research for a book on autistic youth/young adult advocacy for inclusion in all areas of society, with particular emphasis on the intersection of disability and race.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Cultural attitudes to autism, disability and mental health in Chinese communities

➡ Sharing her autism diagnosis with her school, teachers and peers in Canada

➡ Coming to terms with her new identity

➡ Accessibility for autistic students

➡ The intersectionality of autism, gender, race and ability

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.



Suzanna’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suzannachen8/

The survey: https://forms.gle/bR8QChdjxrm19hw78

Detester Magazine’s website: https://detester.org/index.html

https://www.learnfromautistics.com/ (Learn from Autistics – the other organisation involved in the book project)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CSPyvdkpr0S/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link (Detester’s social media post about the survey)

Suzanna’s autistic freshers article: https://thetab.com/uk/london/2021/10/05/how-im-navigating-or-trying-to-survive-freshers-as-an-autistic-ucl-student-42123

The sunflower lanyard scheme: https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/about-hidden-disabilities-sunflower

If you’d like to connect or get in touch with Squarepeg, you can find me on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/squarepeg.community/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/squarepegautism

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarepegautism/

Or on my website: https://squarepeg.community/



A HUGE thank you to my amazing patrons, who support my work on the podcast:

Abi Hunter, Amy Adler, Amy-Beth Mellor, Abigail J Moore, Ben Davies, Benita Borchard-Thierbach, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Cindy Bailey, Corinne Cariad, Danielle Warby, Elise, Jackie Allen, Jeff Goldman, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Lilli Simmons, Mandy Allen, Pete Burke, Rebecca Kemp, Susan Millington, Tree Hall, Una Walkenhorst, Vera Cady, Vicki Temple and Victoria Routledge.

If you’re enjoying the Squarepeg podcast and would like to help me carry on making new episodes, you can become a member of the Squarepeg community on Patreon from just £3 per month: https://www.patreon.com/squarepegpodcast

Become part of the Squarepeg community!

Sign up below to get Squarepeg news and updates - and occasional emails from me about autistic life.

Welcome to the community!