Generally, the average population of allistics tend not to like talking about the positive aspects of being autistic (because they are so ill-informed about neurodiversity) – so here’s a list of some of the things I love about having an autistic brain.
- The depth of feeling that we have. I think autistics generally tend to be more passionate than allistics – we have very profound connections to our focuses or interests, as well as to the people close to us, and we can experience very high levels of compassion and empathy when compared to allistics. This is a particular part where the stereotypes about empathy and autism really do get under my skin personally. They couldn’t be any further from the truth! My experience personally being that I am so full of compassion and empathy it is often debilitating at times and stops me from living my life because I feel everyone else’s pain as well as my own. I feel personally responsible for stopping that person/animal/thing for not being in pain or potentially feeling a negative emotion, because I know myself what that feels like. I can’t bear to let it happen to anyone or anything else.
- Having heightened senses, even though it’s a pain sometimes, it can be a beautiful thing. I love the way our sensory experiences mean so much to us, and how much we enjoy stimming, and the sensations we receive from the world.
- The joy of an autistic focus. I love learning about my focuses, and writing and talking about them. At the moment, my focuses are drag queens, calico cats, online gaming and most importantly, disability awareness and justice. The joy and comfort of a routine, the way it can provide a feeling of security and familiarity in a chaotic and scary world. It feels like a warm hug, or a hot cup of hot chocolate. Routine is a friend that will never let you down.
I am so happy that there are so many autistic people alive in the world. I’m happy that you’re alive too.
Pride has been liberating to me as an asexual and gender-confused person, but also as an autistic person.
We talk a lot about autistic acceptance, but it’s not often I see celebration.
Pride is a protest against violence and against the deep shame that society couldn’t instil within us. It’s a way of fighting back against the messages that insist that we despise ourselves, and our unique autistic traits, a self hate that could eat away at you, damage your mental health, and stop you from asserting or acknowledging your needs as an autistic person.
It’s a way of pushing ourselves back into a society that would rather we not exist at all sometimes. It’s a way of reminding everyone that we do exist, that we exist fully and complexly and massively. We are not the two dimensional portal image of autism that is presented in films or in the press. We can advocate for ourselves and describe our own identities, communicating it in different ways – it doesn’t always need to be through spoken word. There are some who think that autistic are unable to know ourselves, to know our own minds and needs; there are those who think we can’t know our own gender, our own orientation, that we are never sexual, or that we can’t experience love. Pride dispels all of these falsehoods and refocuses the conversation around autism on our own voices. Pride is loving yourself and sharing that love for yourself for your community!
Pride is the refusal to hate yourself.