Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sir Alanna and Lady Knight Keladry

“Sir and Lady Knight are titles granted to individuals by the crown and aren’t passed on. Alanna prefers “Sir” because she was making a point. Kel prefers “Lady Knight” because she’s making a different point. Jon just throws up his hands and tells the Master of Ceremonies to ask the ladies for their preference.”

Can I talk about how much I love this? 
Can I talk about a parallel I think it has with the Autistic community and how we seem to have handled language and a lot of other things?

Alanna makes a point with being "Sir Alanna." I think her point is "I can be just like you." And she can. She is King's Champion. She's also probably 5'2", maybe 5'3". There's no way that she's the 5'4" a lot of the fandom seems to think she is, because it was a while after Daine found Alanna at least 2 inches shorter than her that Daine was even described as 5'5". So I'm not entirely sure how she had people convinced she was a boy up through when she was 18, but that was a thing that happened. She's not trans, by the way. She just knew that they wouldn't let a girl do what she wanted to do, so she spent 8 years pretending to be a boy.
Kel (full name Keladry) makes a different point with being "Lady Knight Keladry." I think she says "I don't have to be just like you," as part of it, at least. The other part is "I'm going to choose not to even try to be just like you, and I'm going to remind you of it all the time." She was the first girl to get to train for knighthood openly in at least a hundred years, and she spends a good bit of her time reminding everyone she's a girl. She's not required to change for dinner any more than the boys are, so she could stay in her page's uniform, but she's also not required to be in uniform for dinner. So she wears a dress to dinner. Every night. Just to remind them that yes, you have a girl among you deal with it.
She uses a distaff border on her shield. Alanna doesn't.
Alanna had to hide, and she wants to make the point that she can be just like the men, do everything they can, now that she's unhidden. Keladry never hid, and she wants to make the point that she doesn't need to be the same.
Now look at autism.
"Person with autism." I am a person, just like you. I just... also have autism. I am a knight, just like you. I just... happen to be a girl. Sir Alanna.
Autistic person. I am Autistic. This is important, and it is part of me not an appendage, and I am not hiding it and you do not get to ignore it not even in what you call me. I am a woman, and this is important, and it is part of me not an appendage, and I am not hiding it, and you do not get to ignore it not even in what you call me. Lady Knight Keladry.
I'm Autistic and applying for a job. Sir Alanna discloses after, if ever. Lady Knight Keladry? She probably shows up at the interview with a stim toy and doesn't look at the interviewer. She'll remind you exactly how she's different.
Sir Alanna was normalized, or at least people tried. Sir Alanna probably thinks that was the thing to do, because I can be just like you. Sir Alanna might (or might not) advocate the same for the next generation- she might rejoice in how the younger generation doesn't necessarily need to do it the way she did, as the actual Sir Alanna does in the books. Lady Knight Keladry was not normalized. She learned functional skills, like how to be a knight or how to cook or read or write, but she was still openly a woman. The court manners she learned were those of a lady, approximately. She'd have learned how to match up Autistic and neurotypical social stuff as a meet people where they are, not as a pretend to be neurotypical. (Not as a pretend to be a man- Alanna learned men's court manners.)
Interestingly enough, Sir Alanna didn't have to hide her autistic traits the same way she had to hide her gender. She didn't believe her friends when they said they liked her because she was different, but she also didn't hide those traits the same way she hid her gender. She was practically famous for hating social events, and everyone knew she didn't talk much. (Unless she was angry. Anger seemed to involve either losing all words or using all the words to explain exactly why everything is horrible.)
There are times and places for both Sir Alanna and Lady Knight Keladry, of course. The first person in the door anywhere probably has to be a Sir Alanna, just for practicality's sake. Those who follow have the option of being a Lady Knight Keladry.


  1. Oh my goodness. Yes, I love this. And this is absolutely positively brilliant. Ahhh I just want to show everyone ever this because this is awesome. So so so awesome.

  2. This is a really great, really accessible analogy and explanation.


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