Autistic Pride Day 2020

Happy Autistic Pride Day (or belated Autsitic Pride Day, if you’re in the Eastern Hemisphere and it’s already June 19th when this goes live) to all of my autistic readers!

Today is a day for us to celebrate who we are and be confident in our own neurologies! Although there already is a “World Autism Day” that occurs on April 2nd, this day is not generally a very happy day for many autistics because it’s often, at the very least, focused on parents and caregivers of autistic people rather than autistic people ourselves and at worst not-so-nice things are said about autistic people and false (often times damaging) information is spread about autism. So, June 18th is the autistic community’s own day, one that we have created to celebrate us on our terms. The autistic community is often a tight-knit group when we can connect, as only other autistic people are capable of personally experiencing what it’s like to be autistic. And this is our day, to celebrate who we are.

So to my autistic readers out there, indulge in your interests, take care of yourself, and stim to your hearts content. Be proud of your ability to see, think, and feel differently. You deserve it. And may us advocates continue our work to make the world a more accessible and accepting place for all autistic people.

Here’s part of what I wrote last year on Autistic Pride Day, and it is still very much pertinent now:

I think everyone can agree that autistic people are definitely a group that is socially marginalized. And so, I call all my fellow autistic people to be proud of existing in a world that was not built for us. For facing barriers every day that are set up by a neurotypical populace and do not accommodate us. We work hard to simply exist in this exhausting world, and I think it’s time we took some pride for accomplishing that feat.

Perhaps even by taking pride in belonging to the autistic community, we can start breaking down some of the stigma placed on being autistic. Perhaps we can work towards that day when autistic stimming will be accepted and not shamed or treated as a cause for embarrassment. Or when special interests are celebrated for the joy they bring us. Or when our needs are treated like any other human need. Or when parents will not cry and mourn when their child is diagnosed with autism, but will instead rejoice at this newfound revelation about their child and at the fact that they now can gain a better idea of how to support them. Or when people will value our non-spoken words and listen to and value what we have to say even if it isn’t coming directly out of our mouths. By being proud of being autistic, we can start to slowly work towards this day.

So, on autistic pride day I ask, friends, that you celebrate all of your accomplishments, even the “little” ones. Go stim how you need to and when you need to without embarrassment. Go talk to someone about your passions and special interests. Go be proud of being autistic, of your identity in who you are. Shatter stereotypes and help end stigma.

Because I know I will. I am Quincy, and I am autistic, and I am proud of who I am.

The rainbow infinity symbol. The universal symbol for neurodiversity, autism acceptance, and autistic pride.

One thought on “Autistic Pride Day 2020

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