Social activities for queer autistic folks in the Bay Area
June 9, 2021 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Looking for opportunities for someone who is autistic and can find large social settings very depleting, tiring or overwhelming, but is seeking ways to meet people IRL in the SF Bay Area. Young adult who is queer, enjoys nerdy pursuits, politically left, empathetic.

Although these settings have had flaws and have not quite worked out long-term, this person has had somewhat good experiences tabling with Democratic Socialists of America, attending a support group for young queer people, attending a meditation group for young people. Enjoys stuff from the internet, but looking for ideas for more activities where they can interact with the same group of people over time IRL, and maybe make some friends or find a crew that way.

Seeking SF Bay Area specific suggestions. And also more general suggestions for types of activities from people who are also autistic or who share some of the same feelings about in-person socializing and some of the same interests.

This is for my kid who asked me for help finding these opportunities, but I'm making anon since it's not really my story to share the details of.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aw man, I don't have anything but I would like to see this answered too.
posted by away for regrooving at 11:59 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


There's an autistic-led monthly meditation group in San Rafael called Autsit, run by and for people on the autism/neurodiverse spectrum. From the webpage, "The facilitator, Anlor Davin, is Lay Ordained in the Soto Zen tradition but the group does not follow any formal practices apart from basic upright sitting. Beginners and the curious are very welcome." (Anlor is a woman; I think her name is French.)

They have been meeting using Zoom during the pandemic.
posted by heatherlogan at 7:19 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I'm not in the Bay Area, but as an autistic person I would suggest board game or RPG meetups, if they are that kind of nerdy! I'm sure your area has some.

Board games are a great way to get some parallel interaction — you can spend a lot of time around people and get familiar with them without having to do constant draining, face-to-face emoting, and there's a goal to direct your attention towards in the "down" moments.

Some friendly local game stores host these sorts of drop-in meetups on a weekly basis, so you can get the same crowd showing up week after week. Some of them (esp. in the city core, or whatever area of the city queer young people hang out in) have special nights for women and non-binary people, queer people, young people, etc. so look out for those!

Tabletop RPG meetups are a bit more draining socially, but might be a better fit for an empathetic lefty type of person. Other keywords to search for: sometimes they are called "narrative game" groups or "storytelling game" groups. If they are into narrative video games or interactive fiction, I think there's a specific meetup group for that.

They might also look for a speculative fiction/scifi & fantasy book club. I've found it's much easier to get to know new people at a book club, because there's a topic of focus to talk about and (usually) some kind of structure to the conversation.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 8:00 PM on June 10


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