Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Eye Contact

Beth Wilson
www.doodlebeth.com


[image description & transcription: A full-color hand-drawn comic strip.

The first row contains two panels.

The left hand panel has a green background. A blond white person on the left is talking and maintaining eye contact with the olive-skinned person with long dark hair on the right. Black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background above their heads reads:

“For allistic people (non-autistic) eye contact is a way of connecting with others in conversation.”

The right hand panel has a blue background. On the left A black person with a natural hairstyle is looking down, with an uncomfortable expression on their face while on the right a white person with long straight hot pink hair and bangs has their eyes closed tightly. Black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background above their heads reads:

“For autistic people, it’s different. Eye contact is uncomfortable and invasive.”

The second row is a black rectangle with white hand-lettered all-caps text reading:

“When we look away, it doesn’t mean that we are not listening. We are not disrespecting you.”

The third row is one large panel. It is a close up of the eyes and nose of a white person with straight long purple hair and bangs, with eyes wide open. Black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background at the top of the panel reads:

“If we try and make eye contact with people, it can totally distract us from what is being said because of how horrible it can feel and the effort involved.”

Red-outlined word bubbles around the edge of the panel, in black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background, read:

“Keep looking” “Having I looked too much?” “This hurts” “Am I doing this right?” “I have no idea what they’re saying” “Can’t do this” and “I feel so vulnerable”

All caps hand-lettered black text under the panel reads:

“© Beth Wilson 2017”

The fourth row contains two panels.

The left hand panel has a light blue background, and contains lack all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background. The text reads:

“Many of us can fake it by looking at details.”

The right hand panel has a pink background. It contains a close-up of a white person’s nose and open mouth. In the upper left corner of the panel, black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background reads:

“Mouths”

The fifth row contains two panels.

The left hand panel contains a close up of the eye of an olive-skinned person’s wearing teal-framed glasses. In the upper right, black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background reads:

“Glasses”

The right hand panel has an orange background. Black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background reads:

“For others, even looking at a face is too much.”

The sixth row contains a single panel with a green background. It contains a South Asian person with short black hair on the left. They are looking at the white person with blue-and-purple layered hair on the right, while that person is looking away. Both are smiling. At the top of the panel, black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background reads:

“When an allistic person demands eye contact from an autistic person, they are asking for something that only benefits them. Why should we experience discomfort for you?”

At the bottom of the panel, black all-caps hand-lettered text on a white background reads:

“Please respect our need to look away.”

All caps hand-lettered black text under the panel reads:

“© Beth Wilson 2017☆”]

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This comic was originally published at doodlebeth.com.