Hey Humans, this is Lyric. NeuroRebel here, and June, as you already know, because of the content we’ve been going into specifically this month is pride month.
Also June 18th is Autistic Pride Day, within Queer Pride Month.
These are independent events. This is not a pride only for Queer Autistic People -just for the record, because that question has been asked of me before.
What is Autistic Pride Day and why is this a thing?
Well, if you would like to know more, please do stay tuned.
All right. I’m so glad you’re still here.
So what is Autistic Pride Day and why do we have an Autistic Pride Day?
Well, for many of the same reasons that we have Queer and LGBTQIA Pride events.
Being Autistic and or NeuroDivergent is, unfortunately, something that society, much like being queer for many years, had deemed was less than desirable.
There are many parallels between being NeuroDivergent and being Queer, and that experience of identity I share with you, as a Multipli neurodivergent, and also so queer, human being.
With Queer culture we have Queer Pride, because the opposite of having pride in being bold and out and open, with your authentic queer identity, is being in the closet.
Many of us Queer People, who have been in closets before, will say that “closets are oppressive spaces” and “living in closets is not a great way to live”.
Once you’ve had a taste of being out of the closet, it’s very hard to go back into the closet.
Also, once you’re out, it’s hard to put that information away, because people know and you’re out.
That’s another reason when you’re queer, it’s important not to out people without knowing that they are already out, because it’s like putting toothpaste back into a tube, something that is supposed to be very difficult to do.
Much like being Queer, many Autistic People, and NeuroDivergent People, say that they choose to come out and share and disclose their invisible differences with people in very similar ways, and are sometimes met with disbelief and lots of misunderstanding, when they do come out and share this information – that they are in fact Autistic, or in fact, NeuroDivergent.
There is a need to have pride in who we are. Being out and being authentic as a Queer Person is an act of defiance in a world that does not want to accept you as you are, and is trying to squash you for being different, very much like being Autistic, and being openly Autistic.
When Autistic People come, out and disclose that they are Autistic, very frequently unfortunately, you will see people who will have comments like, “Oh, I wouldn’t have guessed” or, “Oh, but you must be so high functioning” or “are you sure?” “No, you can’t possibly be Autistic.”
The problem with these comments is, although people are trying to be kind, is that they send this message, and the messages very clearly received, that the person believes that being Autistic is some sort of lesser way to be.
This message that you are sharing, “I am an Autistic person” has been received as “There was something wrong with me, and I just want to make sure you are aware that I am a broken person.”
Which is not, in fact, what we are trying to do when we share this information with people and we come out as Autistic, but when it is received, as if we’re looking for pity.
I think often because people think we are self-deprecating, you know, if you have someone who is like, “Oh, I’m a garbage person. I never going to be good at anything and I’m bad at everything and my life is never going to get better.”
You hear someone saying things like this, and you have an urge to comfort them and console them and say, “no, it’s not all that bad”, and unfortunately, when Autistic People come out, because people have this idea that being Autistic, being NeuroDivergent, having a difference in the way your brain works is a bad thing.
So they think your deprecating on yourself, and you’re saying something bad about yourself, when, in fact, this is not the case.
There’s nothing bad, or good, or wrong, or particularly special about being Autistic.
It is just another way of being and existing. It is not an excuse. It’s not a look for pity. It is an explanation for some of the reasons I may do things I do or act the way I act. It is an explanation for me, as a human, and who I am.
Unfortunately, because society has these, horrific, preconceived notions, of what it means to be an Autistic person, and that this is something terrible, it leaves those of us who want to have the courage to be proud of who we are in a very difficult place, where it is hard to do so.
Often people are telling us that we are broken and should not be proud of ourselves for being Autistic.
The other parallel, that is very similar between Queer pride and Autistic Pride, is that being able to be out of the closet, or completely unmasked and open, with one’s NeuroDivergence is something that is a privileged position to be able to do.
That is because people live in closets or mask because of a lack of safety.
People don’t live in closets and hide their Queerness because they want to be deceptive. They hide their queerness because the people around them, often when we’re young and growing up, maybe our parents, are not supportive, or other people in our lives.
You may not be out in the workplace, because that can risk your job. Even though, legally, you are supposed to be protected. Many Queer people live in poverty, getting those legal protections is not always just as simple, or easy, to get.
Just like with being Autistic or NeuroDivergent, getting those legal protections, that we are entitled to, as people who have a disability in a protected class, it isn’t always easy to hold businesses responsible to do what they’re supposed to do, and not discriminate against Queer or Autistic People.
Safety is an issue, that those of us who are able to and, have the privilege of, being able to be open with this information. We do so, with understanding that there are many people who are still not in a place where they are safe enough to do this.
That is the same, whether you are Queer or Autistic, we have Queer people, who may be hurt by their parents or other people because of being Queer. There are Queer hate crimes.
There are Autistic and NeuroDivergent and kids who have disabilities who are similarly harmed by their parents, or other people who are supposed to often take care of them.
Both groups of people have these hate crimes that are often committed against us because of an invisible difference, that we have no control over. It’s the way we were born.
So that is another parallel between Queer Pride and Autistic Pride, and why we need Autistic Pride and Queer Pride.
On the most basic, simplified, level of this that I can provide, why we need to have Autistic Pride or Queer Pride, or any kind of Pride is that human beings, whether they are Queer or Autistic or NeuroDivergent or neuro-typical or not – all human beings have a need to be loved and accepted as we are, and not asked to change and be something we’re not.
That includes our gender identities, our sexual orientations, our race, our NeuroDivergences, our strengths, our weaknesses, who we are as the whole person.
With Queer People we have started to see a bit of acceptance from society, and with Autistic and NeuroDivergent People, because we are still by definition, medicalized, and pathologized, we have a lot of work to do still.
Autistic People need to be able to have pride in ourselves. We need to be able to stand up and say, “I am a fully Autistic Human. I am not a broken version of a neuro-typical person. I am everything I am supposed to be, and I am not lesser than”, but society says, “how can you have pride in being Autistic? You should be ashamed of being Autistic.”
Until society stops saying that Autistic People are broken, and need to fix themselves to fit into the neuro-typical systems, we will still have this continued need to have Autistic Pride – until Autistic Pride becomes standard.
Masking: Autistic People, whether intentionally or not, camouflaging, or hiding, their Autistic traits – because the message from society has been that “your weaknesses are unacceptable and we need you to blend in.”
Masking has already been tied to poor mental health impacts on Autistic People. We have increased anxiety and increased depression in Autistic People who are masking, especially if they are masking in multiple contexts.
We know that suicide is one of the top killers of Autistic People and that masking is hard on Autistic People’s mental health, and that Autistic People feel like they have to mask, because society doesn’t make space for them to be themselves and unmask.
We have Autistic People, who are burning themselves out, working themselves, physically and mentally ill, trying desperately to keep pace with the neuro-typical people around them, because we think that we have to be able to do things the neuro-typical way.
We are the round pegs, being pushed through the square holes, and we are hammering those pegs as hard as we can to get through those holes but we are destroying ourselves.
That is why we have, and need, Autistic Pride.
Thank you all so much for hanging out with me this week. I put out new videos each and every Wednesday, thanks to the help of my Patreon subscribers, YouTube subscribers, and Facebook supporters, who do that little bit of monetary support, to help me continue to create high quality content on a regular basis.
I am so incredibly grateful for the support that you give, that does continue to helped me get these videos out, with closed captioning and transcriptions. Those services are available at NeuroDivergent Rebel dot com.
Thank you to everyone, who is here today, listening to the sound of my voice. Whether you are here, listening along and educating yourself, commenting, sharing your thoughts, or sharing these videos.
I am incredibly grateful, for each and every single one of you, who are here in this NeuroDivergent Rebel Community.
This blog, and all of this, would not be possible without viewers, and readers, and listeners like you.
Thank you so much. You have a wonderful rest of your week. I will see you next Wednesday. Bye humans! .
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