From the moment in kindergarten when he joined his class in singing If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands— and felt ashamed that he wasn’t happy—Steven Wetstein knew he was different. Shy, alone and afraid, but bright, he made it through grade school, but was lost in adulthood. Bombing out of college, and without job skills, he made a scant living as a cook. Estrangement from his family followed, and he never had an intimate relationship or built a circle of friends. This was partly due to his complicated sexuality. Identifying more with being female than male—but not so much that he wished to transition, or felt capable of handling that if he did—he never came out and publicly joined the LGBTQ+ community. But he did not give up on life. Reading and human rights activism allowed him to use his mind and express his compassion for others. Starting medication in his thirties helped him to partially control his anxiety and depression. Then, two decades later, he was diagnosed with autism. All his differentness, sensitivity and isolation were put in a new light. It was one more way station in his struggle to find meaning and dignity in a troubled life. Just Being Alive fulfills Steve’s life-long dream to take down the wall of secretness he has lived behind and tell his story to the world.