Previously written on November 19, 2016
I’m an autistic adult. I have never been able to work or drive a car. I am not a tragedy. I am not a burden. I am not a curse. I am not damaged goods or a broken appliance. I am me. I am an autistic adult and proud of it.
I love people. When people love me, I love them back. I will love them back too. Love is kind and beautiful. That’s why I love people. I love going places with them, and I love hanging out with them. I’ve made a lot of good friends through the years. I learn about them every day, and they learn about me every day.
Ableism is wrong and cruel. I don’t like it when people discriminate against me because of my disability. They are always quick to judge, condemn, and hate on somebody to be disabled. I hate when people are cruel to disabled people. It makes me sad to see this. It makes me sad to see that we are treated as less-than or Othered because we’re disabled. We are called names, mocked, teased, tortured, gaslighted, and stepped on. We are being talked over, talked down to, and forced to drink bleach in order to be cured. I am glad that I get to be with my family for all of the holidays.
I’m glad that I get to be with my church choir for choir practice every year, from fall, to winter, to spring. I’m glad that I’m not in an institution or a group home. If I were there, I’d end up getting killed by caregivers. I’m doing great, living here with my parents. I am saddened by the ableism that has been spread all over the country. I have seen so much hate and discrimination against disabled/autistic people. It is very sad that so many disabled people get discriminated against, and they are denied services, access and their rights as disabled people.
People either want us disabled people to go away, or vegetate and rot. Society thinks that we disabled people are better off dead or left in institutions so that we could have electric shock therapy on us. They want to dismiss our feelings and silence our voices. We will not be silent. We are not going away, and we will stay here whether you like it or not. God did not put us autistic people here for you to silence, dismiss, belittle, ignore, stigmatize, torture, abuse or make fun of us. And He would not be happy if He saw the disabled being treated unfairly.
God loves the disabled people, too. I am grateful for the people in my life. And I’m grateful for my church family and my church choir. Please love us and accomodate us. Please don’t belittle us. Please don’t silence or muzzle us. Because I believe there is nothing about us without us.