I am going to generate a list now in the hope that it may become a meme.
The meme is simple; name six fictional characters in whom you could see yourself, and explain why you were able to do so. Mine are as follows:
- Linus van Pelt: Linus is, of course, Charlie Brown’s best friend in the comic strip Peanuts. He at once combines the extremes of philosophical wisdom and baby-like immaturity in a person of a single character. When I was a child, I could scarcely believe the extent to which Linus and I were similar. I even had a blue blanket that I carried with me everywhere, and a thumb-sucking habit that lasted until I was 6 years old.
- Orlando: I’m referring to the eponymous character from the novel by Virginia Woolf, rather than any other Orlandos who have turned-up in fiction. This might seem a bit of a clichéd selection for a transgenderist to be making, but there it stands. She is an aspiring poet who once sought-out the advice of a noted literary persona, only to be brutally shot-down and somewhat humiliated. I wish I could say that the same could not be said about me (and incidentally, I’m not just talking about my astrophysical debacle). I even once also became hopelessly infatuated with a girl named Sasha.
- Catherine: Here, I am speaking of the protagonist of the novel Catherine, Called Birdy. As is mandatory for all female protagonists in “young adult” novels written since the 1990s, she is a free-spirited, awkward girl, unable to fit in to the repressive social mores of her society. She was, however, an absolute delight to read, and I certainly saw my own thought processes reflected in the pages of her diary.
- Lord Henry Wotton: From The Picture of Dorian Gray. Like myself (particularly during my teenage years) Lord Henry has created for himself a cynical persona which his friend Basil correctly identifies as being a ruse. He says outrageous things just because they seem like amusing things to say, but in the end, he is fundamentally too moral to truly give himself over to selfish hedonism the way that his protegé Dorian does.
- Seven of Nine: There are quite a few highly-intelligent fish-out-of-water characters in the various Star Trek series; I’m told that we autists have a way of identifying with them. I never could identify with Data too strongly, as I was by no means emotionless, and neither could I identify with Spock, as I never tried to keep them bottled-up. I was, however, able to identify with Seven of Nine on Voyager.She was an imperious, arrogant woman, constantly having to come to terms with Humanity and her own place in it. And being asexual, I was never distracted by the blatant fanservice.
- Wanda Mann: A transsexual woman from Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel A Game of You. The strange thing, of course, is that she and I have almost nothing in common other than transgenderism, but by some strange fit of what I can only assume that to be Jungian synchronicity, I happened to read this novel during the period where I was first beginning to question my own identity. As such, I empathized with her struggles, suffered her pains and anger, and had my heart broken by her eventual death. I’m still not sure whether I loved or hated that particular graphic novel.