Happy Autistic Pride Day!
Happy Pride Month and Happy Autistic Pride Day!
Well…it’s kind of a weird time for all of that isn’t it?
It’s definitely a weird time to be autistic and LGBTQIA+. There is a disproportionate overlap between the autistic and LGBTQIA+ populations, that’s a fact. But no one really knows why. Some people in the autistic community think that it has to do with the fact that we see gender norms differently or we interact with others on a different level from NTs. Others think our different neurology leads us to different gender expressions or identities. As yet, there hasn’t been enough research done to draw any solid conclusions about the correlation, but that hasn’t stopped some people from giving their opinions – whether they’re qualified to say anything or not.
If you’ve been on social media in the autistic space lately, you’ve certainly run into some anger and frustration. Some prominent names in the autism field (*cough* Tony Attwood *cough*) and outside of it (*cough* J.K. Rowling *cough*) have recently made some very ignorant and cruel remarks about autistic people and gender. I refuse to link to either of those here because 1) they don’t deserve the extra attention, and 2) I’ve read them and they’re awful, and I don’t recommend that anyone else read them. I will, however, point you to the official responses by Reframing Autism and the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network. For more of the autistic community’s response, please go browse through #WeAreNotConfused and check out Neurodivergent Rebel, who’s been doing a lot of great autistic LGBTQ+ work this month. There have also been several statements by members of the Harry Potter cast, but they focus more on gender and less on Rowling’s random mention of autism.
I feel like this makes today an especially important Autistic Pride Day.
This year is actually an exceptional year for Autistic Pride events! I’ve never been able to attend such an event, because they don’t happen here where I live. Most of the ones I’ve even heard of seem to be in the UK. (Note to my UK readers: That is freaking awesome and I’d love to hear about how your communities got those events put together so maybe we could arrange something similar here.)
But this year, due to everything moving online, all kinds of events are suddenly becoming accessible! I’m thrilled about this. Since nobody is physically going to anything, I can go to EVERYTHING! If you’ve wanted to go to an Autistic Pride event but been unable to because of distance, money, or just the overwhelm of a large event, this is your year. Here are just a couple of events you might like to check out.
Autism Actually will be live on their Facebook page today discussing autism, autistic pride, and pride month in general.
Instead of a physical gathering, this year the Autistic Pride Alliance will be streaming their celebration live on YouTube on June 20. This is a UK event, so there will be a time offset for American viewers. I haven’t seen confirmation that there will be replays available, but I expect (and hope) they will be.
Happy Autistic Pride Day, y’all! Let your rainbow infinity flags fly, along with whatever other flags represent you. Neurodiversity is beautiful and we are each an important part of that.
Are there other Autistic Pride events you want to plug here? Do you have a local Autistic Pride event to tell me about to help me create an event in my hometown? Have you avoided physical Pride events due to crowds or other anxiety, and do you think online events are more welcoming? What makes you proud to be autistic?