It’s something of a catch cry in the autistic communities. Even in some cases in the wider autism communities. Have a browse of social media in the subject of autism and it is one of the more prominent phrases bandied about.
I totally uphold it. It’s a hashtag. A catch-cry, a slogan, a reality.
Not all realities are easily accepted in the broader community.
Just look at the whole vaccination and autism link rubbish. One study shown fraudulent and false. Never replicated by other researchers. A myriad of other studies showing that the fraudulent results are in fact false. Millions of research participants debunking the rubbish, systematic meta-analysis of studies and still the myth is a perpetuated.
Of course if this was just within the conspiracy theorist channels it would probably not be too concerning. But we have prominent celebrities like Jim Cary and Robert Kennedy Jr sprucing these untruths. For goodness sake we have aspiring US presidential candidates declaring it.
Realities are not always accepted for what they are.
Yes the fact that I and every other autistic person really is Different Not Less is true. Our neurology does not make us less. In fact we are never less than everything we were created to be.
Neurology, ability, sexual orientation, gender assignment, gender identity, race, religion or intelligence or any other categorisation we can come up with for that matter, does not in any way, ever, denote lessness, or moreness for that matter.
As Orwell suggested in Animal Farm all those years ago we are all equal. They pigs didn’t quite get it right in that story but the nuggets of truth was there. We are all equal.
This reality needs to be accepted. It needs broad acceptance in the community. That difference is not wrong, is not sick, is not disordered. Difference is just that different.
Is black better than white, red better than blue, orange better than yellow? No they just are.
Is American better than Mexican? No of course not. Is Gay better than Straight, is Cis better than trans, of course not.
Take a moment to listen to this pertinent original song by the Autistic Advocate Fiona O’Leary
It is a sad thing that the western culture I inhabit is so bad at accepting difference. In my home country of Australia, over the last decade or two in particular fear of difference has been used to political advantage, so effectively, we have become the scorn of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Different Not Less. It’s more, so much more, than just a catch-cry or a slogan. It’s a tenet of faith. An article of ideology, a statement of intent, an expression of attitude, and of course a fundamental truth.
Different Not Less, I’ll just keep saying it, because it is a truth. The strength of it can be seen when we look how far some minorities have come in achieving acceptance. Of course there is always more that can be done, more complete acceptance.
When it comes to Autism/Autistic Acceptance, we are at the beginning. We still see abuse of autistics on a far too large-scale, in a similar way to what we say with aversion and change therapies LGBTIQ people were subjected to. We have massive corporation type charities with a vested interest in keeping the narrative one of pathology, deficit and epidemic.
It is up to us. It is up to those that truly accept to change the narrative. To take the momentum from the negative and turn it to positive. To turn away from Epidemic, Catastrophe to Different Not Less.
Yes. I am Different Not Less, and so are you.