Recently, Autism Pride Day passed. I made a facebook status about being proud to be autistic, and I got 15 likes, and two comments. One comment was from my dad, saying he was proud of me, typical parent things. The other comment, which actually preceded the one from my dad, said, “Autism Speaks can suck it.” This typically is how I feel about Autism $peaks.
Sesame Street, on the other hand, is a great show. It’s educational, and promotes diversity. I don’t remember most of the details of the show, but I remember loving it, and I shamelessly follow their tumblr blog to see little clips from episodes, new and old.
The people behind Sesame Street probably think that teaming up with Autism $peaks is an addition to their goal of promoting diversity. However, as plenty of other people posting to this flashblog have probably explained, A$ doesn’t promote diversity; they promote erasure and hate.
As previously mentioned, I am proud of my autism. I am proud of going through all that I’ve gone through to get to the point I’m at today. However, autism wasn’t the obstacle. The obstacle, in this case, has always been the lack of acceptance by others. Those “others” definitely include Autism $peaks and like-minded people.
I don’t want to be cured. I don’t need to be cured. I just want, and need, to be accepted. Some autistics need treatment, and some need services, but a cure is not the answer. I especially don’t want the allistics, or non-autistics, at Autism $peaks to be calling the shots when it comes to our lives. We are individual people. Not all of us can be independent, and not all of us can do the same things that allistic people can, but god dammit, we’re human just like anyone else, and we deserve to be treated as such.
Allistic people do not need speak for autistics. Autism can speak for itself, and I hope Sesame Street supports us in our goal of being heard from our own perspectives.
Skylar Gordon is a 17 year old man from Northern California, more specifically the SF Bay Area. He is an advocate for queer and transgender rights, and is starting to get into the realm of advocating for people with mental health problems and disabilities. He is going to be starting community college in the fall, majoring in Computer Science. Skylar can occasionally be found online at http://dorkily.tumblr.com, or on his new twitter, http://twitter.com/dorkylilelf