Autistic Pride is Resistance
Autistic Pride is Resistance. It is choosing to love my neurology in a world that frames autistics all too often as puzzles to solve. It is choosing to stim when and where I need to without concerning myself too much with others thinking I’m weird. In a way, every day is Autistic Pride Day to me ever since my formal identification just days before my 25th birthday.
Autistic Pride Day (June 18th) started online in the early 2000s by Aspies for Freedom – drawing from civil rights and pride movements that came before it – Black Pride, LGBTQ Pride, and Mad Pride. It was started by Autistics for Autistics, partly as an affront to awareness campaigns. With Autism gaining popularity as an insult, surely people are aware. Asserting Autistic Pride makes ableism less influential.
This year I’ll be celebrating Autistic pride online likely with members of Autistics United Canada. Autistic Pride is community. It is choosing to celebrate my neurodivergence in a world that demands I hide it. Pride is celebrating being Autistic as an integral and inseparable part of who I am in a world that seems more invested in “curing” (read: eradicating) brains like mine rather than investing in the environments and tools we need to thrive in this society.
Past Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) President Ari Ne’eman wrote in 2015 that Autistic Pride Day “means solidarity with those parts of our community that have not yet had the opportunity to be proud.” On Autistic Pride Day this year, like most days this year, I’ll be advocating for increased identification of autistic people from systemically oppressed groups, the under-identified racialized folks, the under-identified women and gender variant folks, those without the financial resources to access assessment. Autistic Pride is Resistance. It is standing up – hands flapping – proudly existing.
With Solidarity & Loud Hands,
Editor’s Note: Krys has recently joined the Ambassador team in Sinneave’s Resource Centre.