Common Misconceptions about ABDL*s:
1. ABDL Is The Result Of Poor Parenting/Abuse:
Although a lot of ABDL* people have reported less than ideal childhoods, it is not the norm. The sad truth is that child abuse is an all too common occurrence across all demographics. There is no relationship between parenting style the likelihood of having ABDL* children. This misconception implies that ABDL*s are some how "damaged". This misconception most often leads to discrimination/bullying on the basis of the person being perceived as mentally ill.
2. ABDL* Is A Mental Illness:
Fetishism is mentioned briefly in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, but ABDL*s were not specifically mentioned. So technically those who consider their ABDL* anything other than a fetish do not fall under the auspices of the definition found in the DSM-V anyway. Furthermore, for a fetish to be a mental illness, individuals would have to experience distress or disability as a result of the fetish. This is simply not the case for ABDL*s. This misconception is harmful because it can lead to parents shipping their kids off to "reparative therapy".
3. We Want Anything To Do With Children:
People have considered any form of "sexual deviancy", a slippery slope to pedophilia and bestiality. People sometimes mistakenly assume that having a fetish for an infantile object or clothing equates to liking children. Lets use a gay male diaper lover as an example.... This person is not going to be interested in a woman wearing a diaper. He is also not going to be interested in a baby wearing a diaper. Or even an unattractive man wearing a diaper. The only diapered person he is going to take an interest in is another man who just happens to be his "type". Incidences of ABDL*s who are also simultaneously pedophiles are certainly possible, but incidences of are pedophilia not magically higher amongst the ABDL*s than the rest of the world.
The bottom line is, people are free to pursue whatever fetish scene they want as long as all parties involved legally able to give consent. The whole ABDL* = pedophilia myth is a creation of intolerant people with an obsession for marking innocent people as pedophiles. Ignorant people have attacked the LGTBQ+ community in the same manner. We are just the new "bathroom boogeyman 4.0"... First it was black men and white women. Then it was HIV+ gay men. Now its tran* people, and soon it will be anyone else who "looks different" i.e ABDL*s.
4. ABDLs are just a bunch of dysfunctional freaks who need to grow up....
ABDLs come from all walks of life. Most of us are just to scared to come out publicly. Being ABDL does nothing to diminish an individual's ability function in society or the workplace. This misconception is a thin veil made of ignorance used to legitimize hatred. ABDL*s work like everybody else. If fact there is even a cottage industry targeted at ABDL*s with money (like disposable diapers costing upwards of $3 a piece!).
These misconceptions and stereotypes no matter how ridiculous they are, pave the way for ABDL*-phobia.
Common Types of ABDL*-phobia:
Hate Speech: ABDL*s are sometimes called names or threatened. Popular insults thrown at ABDL+ individuals include: perverts, pedophiles, insane, ect.
Cuber-bullying: Most ABDL*s are private and only share their ABDL* side on the internet. Most ABDL*s are able to sufficiently mask their personal identities while online, however there have been numerous instances of individuals who have been harassed and even outed by bullies on the internet. Online ABDL* communities are often plagued by "trolls", people who participate in online discussions with the intent of angering others through derogatory comments. Seeing as most ABDL*-phobia is perpetrated by cowards, the internet provides the perfect mask of anonymity for bullies.
Child Abuse: The term "Adult Baby" is a misnomer. Many ABDL*s have self-identified as ABDL* in their child and teen years. Most have had ABDL* impact their relationship with their parents in some way. Almost all ABDL*s have had the fact that they are ABDL* thrown in their face by their parents at least once. A few parents have used threats and physical violence to deter ABDL* behavior. In an abusive household, being ABDL* can become just another liability. "Repairative therapy" has been banned in many places for its damaging effects. Unfortunately, plenty of this type of "therapy" still occurs and there are certainly even fewer protections for groups as obscure as ABDL*s.
Violence: just like any other minority, ABDL* people have the potential to become victims of violence. Those ABDLs who are "out" can be targeted for dressing or acting differently. There have been very few "out" ABDLs (as of 2014), some have been assaulted for walking down the street. So few ABDLs are out that it is difficult to gauge the scale of violence towards ABDL*s currently (but not unheard of). If more ABDL*s decide to live openly, violence may become a larger issue. As a general rule of thumb: if it is not safe for a non heterosexual no cis-passing person to be in a particular place or situation, then it is not safe to be an openly ABDL* person.
Employment: Damaging one's prospects for employment is probably the number one reason cited for deciding not to come out of the closet as an ABDL*. ABDL*s have had their employment terminated for being ABDL*. It is not safe for out of the closet ABDL* people to pursue certain career paths, especially those that involve contact with children because of the pedophilia stigma. Additionally, some ABDL* individuals who are also incontinent have faced difficulty over wearing diapers at their jobs. Even though these individuals have a legitimate medical need, they may not exercise their legal rights because they fear being outed as ABDL*s.
Property Destruction: Most ABDL-phobia is underhand and cowardly. The typical ABDL-phobe will not attack an ABDL directly. An example would be taking an ABDL*s teddy bear and throwing it in the garbage while no ones looking or "keying" their car. Some parents have disposed of hundreds of dollars worth of ABDL* paraphernalia. Most ABDL* paraphernalia is expensive or custom-made. Some items are irreplaceable childhood toys. Abusive parents have been known to gather their children's stuffed animals only to set them ablaze on their front lawn.
Black Mail: ABDL* people are sometimes at risk of extortion by treats of outing. Vengeful ex partners have threatened to out ABDL*s to their parents and or employers. Most ABDL* gatherings have specific guidelines for privacy, however sensitive information such as names and photos can be stolen under rare circumstances. This information can then be used to blackmail individuals.
Surprisingly, much of the ABDL-phobia that ABDL*s face comes from other ABDL*s. Most of society is not aware of the existence of ABDL*s and as such, do not have a vested interest in us, or even an opinion either way. Also, the negative attitudes towards other gender and sexual minorities expressed by our society have a chilling effect on the ABDL* community by squashing any hope of acceptance of those who are different. In most cases ABDL*s are under extreme pressure to conceal their nature, and in most cases do not feel safe “coming out” to peers and family.
As a result of the extreme pressures and relative naivety of the ABDL* community, many ABDL*s have established a deeply closeted mindset, and are resistant to change even among their own kind. Sadly some ABDL*s have taken the mindset that ABDL* is only a fetish and as such all ABDL*s should take every effort towards concealment. These narrow minded ABDL*s caused significant difficulty for those within the community who do not regard their ABDLness as a fetish. Some ABDL*s also take issue with those ABDL*s who live openly as ABDL*s. Bullying and erasure are rampant within the ABDL* community. These divisions echo the obstacles the queer community faced in embracing transgender people and other minorities within minorites. Ultimately, a great deal of the ABDL* community clings to exclusionary language that undermines our unity.
Whats worse is there are a number of individuals floating around on the internet who have taken to harassing non-sexual ABDL*s in particular on social media platforms. Whether it is spam or outright threats, this minority in our community is taking a lot of heat.