I realise that this is essentially a blog post telling everyone to go read another blog post, but after reading Helen Gomez’s article ‘Why do we need Aspie Pride?’ on her website Pathological Gomez, I can’t help but feel that more people need to read it. Link is here for you to follow. Feel free to send it far and wide.
Writing against the backdrop of Galway Community Pride, Helen is right in stating that ‘the experience of being an aspie in a neurotypical world cannot rightfully be compared to being queer in a heteronormative world’ (intersectionalism ftw), but that there is something to be drawn from ‘the celebration of Pride, from that all-encompassing joy in diversity of humanity and living free to express your nature, that serve as a terrific source of positivity to aspies everywhere.’ It’s this joy and recognition of neurodiversity all across the spectrum that we need so much. We need to be proud, instead of being ashamed of who we are.
We need pride because autism is NOT an ‘epidemic’.
We need pride because autism is NOT a death sentence.
We need pride because the largest voices call for a ‘cure’ (I’m looking at you, Autism Speaks), and we need to shout them down.
We need pride because allistic people still try to reassure you that NO you don’t have it and NO don’t be silly and NO you look normal, as if there’s a specific autistic/aspie mold to fit. Which you don’t, apparently.
We need pride because not everyone pays attention to the smallest details.
We need pride because there are still idiots who think vaccines cause autism.
We need pride because there is no such thing as a ‘male brain’.
We need pride because I’m sick of the amount of search items leading to my blog that run along the lines of ‘asperger women strange’ and ‘weird asperger women’ [even after that blog post, it still goes on].
We need pride because kids and teenagers really don’t know how much they can hurt someone who doesn’t fit their definition of ‘normal’.
We need pride because I should never have spent my late teens hating myself and hating my AS, and because I didn’t fit people’s definition of ‘normal’.
We need pride because education matters.
We need pride because our autism makes us who we are. No matter what position we occupy on the spectrum, don’t dare try and change us for the world.