Saturday, 26 March 2016

When I am told that Autistic Pride is a bad thing

 The background:
A comment on Facebook saying that we shouldn't have autistic pride - or gay pride, black pride, Etc. - because pride comes from achievements not from something innate.  A comment that said that all this "pride" noise comes from people who see themselves as substandard.  A comment that said that after autism pride could come left big toe pride, skin pride and oxygen-breather pride and it would make as much sense.

That's an opinion.  And he's entitled to have that opinion.  And disagreeing with an opinion is not a judgement on a person.
But I'm the kind of person who is into the whole Pride thing.  I am transgender and I'm autistic and that's made life hard.  But I am proud of who I am and proud that I am finally learning to accept myself and be myself and that will lead to a better future.  And I'm so into it that I wear badges that say "Autistic Pride" and a bracelet too that was made for me.  So a short (by my standards) response to the comment happened.

I'm posting it mainly because it's part of who I am and I can look back on it here when I am feeling bad about myself or feeling low because of the latest social or sensory problem that's hit me or I've not managed some really basic thing due to a lack of EF skills.  That's a function of this blog for me, or at least it has been recently, that I can look back on the bad days and know that actually life is pretty damn good even with the difficulties I have.  If there were zero page views I would still post because it's worthwhile for my own well being.

Image taken from here. I'd be very tempted if I lived in the USA.
The off the cuff response:
I'm proud to be autistic (and queer and trans ...)

All of the various pride groups come from people being told they have to be ashamed of one aspect of who they are or told they are less than other people because of that aspect or are or have been discriminated against socially and/or legally.

We are proud to be these things because we've been told we shouldn't be. It's not because we see ourselves as substandard. It's because we've been told that we are substandard and we deny it, and continue to deny it and say that we're as good as anyone else and we're proud to be who we are in the face of having so much crap thrown in our faces by those who would put us down.

One of the definitions of pride in the dictionary is "conscious of one's own dignity." Yes. We're proud. We know our dignity as autistic people. Even though it's been a fight - and it still is a fight in some ways and in many places - to have our dignity accepted by others. We refused to have our innate dignity stripped away by society or individuals. Because we KNOW that we are different, not less. Autistic pride is autistic self respect. It's acceptance.

Well I'm proud anyway, regardless of whether anyone else is proud.

Left-toe pride? Skin pride? Oxygen breathing pride? Of course not. Because none of those things has been a cause for discrimination, bigotry, hatred, or anything else. Nobody has insulted me in the street for breathing oxygen. Have they insulted you for it?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. But not spam and not obscenity. It's not all politeness though - religion and politics aren't banned.