This approach extends to my art practice, where the process is an act of self-development. I form emotional attachments to colours and materials. For instance, the colour orange has positive associations of comfort, as I dressed in orange as a child. This resurfaced following a family bereavement, as I explored in Orange Boy (a collaboration with Emily Jayne Boyd, 2018). I don’t distinctly experience emotions like ‘love’, ‘happiness’, or ‘joy’, but rather extreme placidity or mania. I can’t perceive facial expressions and emotions, therefore not understanding when I should show affection. I express appreciation and affection through visuals and objects. Being shamed by others for this, receiving negative views, or microaggressions, coupled with the internalised shame of being queer, the sense of suppression can be overwhelming. When these emotions are so intense, as it often is with those on the spectrum, we find ourselves having to justify or validate our feelings, which leads to further judgement. All of these end up placing the blame upon us.