Y is for Yearning…

y is for yearningYearning, for acceptance. Still yearning for acceptance. It seems forever that neurodivergent people will continue to yearn for acceptance.

Why is it thus?

I ask this with all genuine enquiry, why is it seemingly so difficult to accept difference and diversity when it comes to neurology and disability. I just do not get it. I really don’t.

I yearn to stop hearing a negative narrative that portrays me as less.

As a disordered thing…

As diseased…

As dangerous…

As a destroyer of families…

A ruiner of marriages…

As vaccine injured…

As an epidemic…

A catastrophe…

A blight…

I yearn for acceptance and not awareness.

I am not an evil, a negative force, a contagion or a bringer of death by a disease that society must be aware of, or should that be BeWare of.

I am none of these. I am a human person, just like you are, and I long to be accepted as just another person, as I am sure you do too.

April is ending, and the flooding of your newsfeeds in your social media platforms, by autism awareness posts will quickly thin down and be replaced by the next awareness campaign. The news shows will forget about autism segments, the trends on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube will shift and the year will go on.

But we autistics we are still here. Still yearning for acceptance.

We don’t thin down and disappear just because April has ended.

Yet, many of us are pleased that April has come to an end, many of us are just plain exhausted.

I see in my own newsfeed many posts by autistic friends conveying their yearning, their exhaustion and their desire for the end of April, for the end of the awareness mantra. In short a desire for acceptance.

There is a saying that says “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and I have always taken that to mean that things take time, and especially important big things take  time to happen. I guess there is some wisdom in that when it comes to the autism awareness phenomenon winding down and true acceptance becoming the reality.

A refrain I often here is that acceptance can’t happen without awareness. To which I reply with a loud cry of bullshit. This is a delaying tactic, this is a diversion to the real issue.

To accept something does not require me to actually be aware of it. I have LGBTIQ friends that I accepted long before I was aware that they were LGBTIQ.

No awareness is not necessary for acceptance, and that’s because as humans we have the capacity for acceptance, we have the capacity to accept each other without knowing or being aware of every little thing that makes each other who they are.

And in the end, awareness is, in my view, passive. In fact, it is a kind of active passivity.

But I light it up blue, I change my profile picture, I share articles, I go on autism walks, etc is the refrain.

Right, and that helps me or any other autistic how?

It is, in fact, an act of passivity as it actively engages in actions that have no direct impact on improving things for autistic people.

Acceptance, though, is active. Acceptance, though, doesn’t require walks, or lightbulbs or profile pictures. Acceptance, though, requires a simple change of heart.

Acceptance is a simple action of acknowledging the full humanity of another, and upholding their human rights. Human rights to self-determination, privacy, health, safety etc.

This is what we yearn for. Acceptance. Human rights.

Autistic rights are just human rights. The same human rights that non-autistic people enjoy.

It may be an unpopular view, however, awareness campaigns need to end and acceptance campaigns take over. I firmly believe this, because as long as they don’t, for as long as we continue to promote awareness first:

The narrative of disease, disorder will continue.

Organisations will exploit us to make money.

Media will continue to depict us as wrong.

yearning for the right directionElectric shock therapy will be approved for behaviour management

Bleach will be fed to children and vulnerable adults.

Dog training will continue to be the “treatment” of choice.

Politicians and celebrities will continue to declare us an epidemic.

Discredited doctors will make films about us and declare us a blight.

The list could go on, but you get the point.

Y is for Yearning and I yearn for acceptance.

Then can come celebration and pride.

Y is for Yearning…