Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Autistic Pride Day 2013

I am jet lagged, so this is going to be quite the ramble.

It's Autistic Pride Day, the day those of us who are culturally Autistic (and maybe those who aren't?) celebrate our neurologies. But what really does that mean? As people always ask me, what is there about autism to be proud of?

I'm proud to be part of the best community ever. We aren't a community with a lot of resources, but we're a creative, loving, generous group, on the whole. The community crowdsourced a friend of mine to Autreat! Most of them haven't even met her yet! (but they totally should). And we got medical care for the sick cat of one of our own. Generosity, we have it. It's moving, how much Autistic community does what we can for each other.

I'm proud of my community for standing up for what is right. There have been several flash blogs this year against hatred of Autistics & erasure of our accomplishments. Whenever one of our number is killed or brutalized, the Autistic community is there saying that isn't right, facing down truly triggering, hateful comments, not allowing evil to win. It's Autistics who have vigils to remember those killed for being autistic. This is a big undertaking, a sad undertaking, and yet we do it because it needs to be done. When a hospital was trying to deny care to an Autistic woman, it was our community that raised holy hell, tied up their phone lines for days, made a righteous stink. Because it is right. Because that is what we do.

The Autistic community I am proud of values each autistic person. My community knows that it's not apparent ability or disability that makes someone matter. My community knows that there is no such thing as "unable to communicate", though there is "not given a way to communicate easily". My community knows that each of us matters-not because of what we can or cannot do, but because we exist. Because we have a right to be here. Because different does not equal broken. Because worth is not measured in what you can do, but in being the best you you can be.

My Autistic community is a daily reminder that I am ok just as I am. It's a place, a family even, where my particular strengths, weaknesses, and inability to let injustice go are valued. They are the reason I survived a few times.

The Autistic community, my chosen family, is why I am proud to be Autistic. I love y'all, and wouldn't have you any other way.


Lynn said...

I am proud to be part of this community, and I'm glad Kayli has a community. She knows it.

chavisory said...

This made me weepy just now.

I like that our community keeps standing up for each other no matter how much other people say we don't matter. And I like that our community stands up with other vulnerable and marginalized people.

NewtToad said...

~~ I know this is late being posted here, though yesterday I wrote this for our Pride Day. ~~

Today is Autistic Pride Day, June 18th, 2013. It is an honor to be able to celebrate this day, to celebrate ourselves, and how we each experience life as Autistic individuals. We have a lot of work ahead of us in activism and self-advocacy, but it is clearly paying off. However, this day isn't about that. This day is about Pride, self-respect, self-love. I for one know that I am lucky to be alive, to experience things from my own perspective which is known as Autism/Asperger's. It's not the label which I celebrate, it is the qualities defined by the label which I am proud to say that I possess. Each and every day I pray, giving thanks and gratitude for my existence as an Autistic individual. Autism is a way of being, a neurology all of its own, a way of accessing and experiencing the world around us through the "hardware" of our brains. I wouldn't want to be any other way. Existence doesn't have to be justified in order to continue Being. Existence just IS, and existence for its own sake is beautiful. Autism is beautiful. Though I CAN justify it, and I can say that I LOVE being Autistic. I AM Autistic, Autistic is who I am. Everything I do has been done while being Autistic, and through my Autistic mind/brain. I have never "suffered" from being this way. It is simply who I am, and I know that who I am is special and beautiful.

Paula C. Durbin-Westby said...

NewtToad, would it be OK if I posted this to my blog article about Autistic Pride Day? Or maybe just on my FB page, and would attribute it to you, of course. http://paulacdurbinwestbyautisticblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/autistic-pride-day-autistic-focused.html

Brenda Rothman (Mama Be Good) said...

This is perfect, K. I am so honored to be part of your community and I proudly stand with you and the whole community. xo

Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace said...

I put this awesomely perfect post onto my own blog because I was thinking "What She Said!" so loud yesterday and I thought it would tell you with a pingback or something like that but it did not so I'm telling you today. What you said! You Are All The Trains!

NewtToad said...

Yes, you absolutely have my permission. Thanks!

NewtToad said...

That message is to Paula, by the way.