Updated: Dec 5, 2019
A statement, and my personal opinion, on the current thing going on with Autistic Pride I have seen in some groups on here, and mainly on twitter. Let me start by saying, I am Bisexual, and I am autistic. These are two things about myself that I did not learn about until recently, and I am still learning about it within myself as time goes on. I did not realize I was bisexual until a few years ago, and only got my autism diagnosis earlier this year, alongside my wife. Autistic Pride was created as something for everyone who is autistic, regardless of anything. I understand the want, and even need, for there to be a separation for LGBT+ Autistic Pride, and an all inclusive Autistic Pride. Twainbow themselves created a flag specifically for LGBT+ Autistic Pride, but there are many things to take into consideration. Autistic Pride has also been where it has been for the past 15 years. And while there is a growing amount of people who either want it to be separated, or exclusive, this is not something that can or should be done on Twitter, or maybe even Facebook, with the voices of barely anyone when it comes to the amount of #ActuallyAutistic people in the world. Right now, as we speak, there is a group of people who are doing what they can to dismantle Autistic Pride completely, to dismantle Neurodiversity and the Neurodiversity Movement, to make it look like some kind of cult, or derangement. To cause us to attack one another, divide us, make us look unhinged or insane. This fighting started a few days ago, but hit a tipping point today, on Autistic Pride day itself. So, not knowing the origin of things, and the perspective of things, I did what I always do, I researched, I reached out, and I spoke to people. I spoke to the people who created Autistic Pride, talked to them to find out why they chose that day, that week, and that month; they spoke the truth in their words, which some of you have seen on Twitter. Autistic Pride was chosen on June 18th, back in 2004, because the youngest member's birthday was that day, and it was the only week where there wasn't any real interference with big events. Pride "month" had not caught on that well yet at that time either, the earliest USA federal recognition of "Gay Pride" was in 1999, signed into a proclamation by Bill Clinton (Proclamation No. 7203) stated as "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month", but not again recognized federally until 2009, with another proclamation (Proclamation No. 8387), by Barack Obama, stated as "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month". The creators of Autistic Pride have admitted literally yesterday, but also years ago to news articles, that they drew inspiration from Pride itself, and the people who created it are LGBT+ themselves. The logo itself was created as the Neurodiversity logo, using a rainbow gradient, specifically to show the "autistic spectrum"
The creators do not want it to change, they don't want to exclude anyone. A person, the person who's birthday that was itself, tried reaching out to those speaking of the above issue: https://mobile.twitter.com/NaiaOkami/status/1141146069272842240 Along with the founders of Aspies for Freedom being involved in that conversation as well. Their tweets are there so I will let you be the deciders of what you make of their standpoints, and it's easier than making this post a giant list of quotations. I then also decided to reach out to a dear friend of mine and my wife's; Larry Nelson. Larry was involved, big time, with LGBT Pride from it's early stages, as Wikipedia itself can tell you if you look into Pride. As a side note, Larry is honestly the most kindhearted soul I have ever met, and I love him dearly. I sent him a link to what was going on, and directly asked him his opinion on Autistic Pride being during the same time as Pride month, as he did not reply via Twitter, and I am not one to post messages of his on here, I will instead copy and paste his standpoint: "I have no problems with it because there are other events during the month of June so why not this one. " I then told that, word for word, to someone that was disagreeing with having it during pride month, and their reply, I was honestly at a loss for words, and will let it speak for itself (I have archived the tweet in case it is deleted): http://archive.is/Ub8O1 "Both of them dont wanna continue the convo, which is why I untagged them. Just thought I'd clarify their points. I'd also caution you against overblowing the opinion of one person just bc they helped organize the first pride celebration" "Overblowing the opinion of one person just because they helped organize the first pride celebration" Larry has been active in Pride SINCE his first attendance, and still does SO MUCH to this very day, and to reply that way, to someone who has done so much for the very community this person is speaking for and part of, is downright disrespectful. So, the founders of Autistic Pride Day do not want to change it, and someone who took part in the foundation of Pride itself and helps keep it running to this day has no issue in it, but we should ignore that completely? We should not put stock in it? Why? Because you disagree with it? To those who disagreed with me, or others, to those who felt attacked or persecuted, I am not saying your feelings or thoughts are invalid, in fact, I understand it, and see where you are coming from. I honestly do, and I am so sorry you feel that way, and have been made to feel that way by the comments made to you. You do not deserve to be treated with disrespect or ignored, or be spoken over in any way, by anyone, and I am wholeheartedly sorry that is what happened. Changing Autistic Pride day affects EVERY single autistic on this planet. Not just those who are LGBT+, but those who are still discovering themselves, those who are unsure, and yes, those who are heterosexual and cisgendered as well, but everyone it affects is autistic. And correct me if I am wrong, but we as autistics have a bit of an issue when it comes to changing longstanding routine, do we not? My personal opinion on this, after speaking with many people, listening to all sides, and the only thing I think that would solve this, are these two following ideas: A) Keep Autistic Pride how it is, and if you want your own hosted event to be LGBT+ only, then make it so and make it known. B) Create an Autistic Pride Day for LGBT+ ONLY, separate from the current one on June 18th, keep the current one all inclusive, and make the new one for LGBT only, and make it the week of Pride itself, the week of the 28th. Why? If you are reading this, and you are LGBT+, you already know why. If you aren't or do not, the Stonewall riots began in the early morning of June 28th, 1969. (Do your research if you do not know about this, it is important history.) I understand needing a separate space, apart from everyone. I really do. But there are solutions to this problem that make everyone involved happy, and at the least, do not add to suffering that has already happened. Do not attack your fellow autistics in this matter, do not divide us more, use this situation, this moment, to bring us closer together, have us agree more, and stand up against those that want to "cure" us, to get rid of us, to silence us. Stand your ground against those that spout homophobia or transphobia, or anyone attacking your for who you are. Stand your ground against someone bigoted, or full of hatred. But remember what we are all fighting against in this situation, and remember we are all part of the same family. We are ALL Autistic, and we are all proud.