I suppose it is best to start at the beginning. Six months ago, I would have said that I would never support Minor-Attracted People and that they are sick, disgusting monsters. This is because six months ago I didn’t know anything about Minor-Attracted People. What I did “know” was that pedophile = child molester, which I am now aware is not true. My opinions changed from disgust to support in early April of 2019. That is when, by random happenstance, I discovered the community of Minor-Attracted People on Twitter. I’ll admit that my first reaction was surprise about finding people openly admitting to being attracted to minors. Perhaps because of my overly curious nature, I decided to go down the rabbit-hole into this community and start reading what they were saying.

What I found was fascinating. Not only did I find links to information that educated me on subjects that I previously didn’t know anything about (pedophilia, minor-attraction, and child-sexual abuse) — I’m a big fan of learning, so I was very pleased to find this information. I also found regular, decent people that think harming children is wrong and participating in advocacy for the prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. The more that I read, the more I learned and started seeing them as the human beings that they are, instead of the monsters that I assumed they were.

Some of the things that I learned:

  • Pedophile does not equal Child Molester.
    • A child molester is someone that makes a choice to harm a child.
    • A pedophile is someone that has the attraction of pedophilia.
      • Pedophilia is the attraction (which are unchosen) to prepubescent minors.
      • Nobody (whether it’s heterosexual, homosexual, pedophilia, hebephilia, etc…) chooses what attraction they have.
    • Not all pedophiles are child molesters, and not all child molesters are pedophiles.
  • Attraction is not action. Having an attraction (thoughts in your head), is not the same thing as committing the act of rape.
    • As a heterosexual, I am attracted to woman. Do I rape every attractive woman that I see? No, I don’t, because not raping people is one of the easiest things that a human being can do.
  • The stigma that Minor-Attracted People face, makes therapy for dealing with depression or isolation that is related to their minor attraction, almost impossible to have access to.

Knowing what I now know, I cannot logically think of people that have never harmed a child and are committed to never harming a child, as bad people. Choosing to not harm children is something that good people do. Good people truly do outnumber the bad people in the world. I know that seems difficult to believe, that is because the media only tells us about bad people. News stories only tell us about “bad people”, because good people don’t do things that are “news-worthy” that get “clicks” and “views”.

Personal Connection

As I’ve mentioned before on the Internet, I am Autistic. Which means I was born different. Many people in society hate Autistic people, for no reason other than the fact that we were born different. For this reason, I feel like I can relate to Minor-Attracted People about what it is like to be part of a group of people that is hated for the way you are born. I think this is one of the contributing factors for why I am able to empathize and support them. Nobody should ever be judged or hated because of the way they are born. Nobody chooses the way they are born. What people DO choose is whether they live a law-abiding live or commit a crime. If someone commits a crime, that is a justifiable reason to judge someone (after all, that’s the whole point of the criminal justice system — judging people that choose to commit crimes). But, why should we judge and hate someone for things they didn’t choose? This makes no sense to me.

Additionally, I do believe that my autism helps me when dealing with this particular subject. Pedophilia and minor-attraction is a controversial subject that people tend to get emotional about. That emotional response seems to prevent them from being able to think rationally and logically. One of the things about my autism is that it makes my brain think more logically (this is not true for all autistics, but is true for me). I believe this allows me to not have an emotional reaction to this subject that allows me to continue thinking rationally and logically. I really appreciate that ability and would not trade it for anything in the world.

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Joshua Casey is an autistic person interested in being involved in advocacy work for causes he believes in, including: human rights, free speech, child sexual abuse prevention, and privacy rights just to name a few.

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