Sunday, 13 December 2015

No Room for Ableism

Submitted by Christy Walk

[TW: ableism, Christian ableism, bullying, abuse, gaslighting, dismissing of feelings, filicide]

There is no room for ableism. It's time to start listening to our autistic voices. I am one of the autistic adults who is tired of the bigotry and ableism that has plagued the USA and the whole entire world itself. I am fed up with the way that we autistics are treated. Ableism is wrong and cruel. It's time to walk in our shoes and have society realize that we are human beings, too. We have feelings, we have a voice to be heard and we should be treated the way that we want to be treated.

I will not walk in the shoes of a Christian who tells me that I am not autistic. I will not walk in the shoes of Christians who clearly think that I have "divine health." I will certainly not walk in the shoes of people who ridicule autistic children and adults, and I will not walk in the shoes of people who think they can get away with ableism.

I am autistic, but that does not mean I'm dangerous or bad. And I don't like hurting other people at all. I love people as they love me. It's sad to see society view us as tragedies, pitiful people, burdens, and monsters. It's really cruel and disparaging.

I don't need pity because I'm proud of who I am. I don't need society telling me that I don't matter. I don't need any professing Christian tell me I have divine health just because I tell them I'm autistic. There is too much hate, discrimination and bigotry towards us autistic people. Ableism is what's wrong with this world, and with this country, and it's not acceptable.

My first stepdad was abusive towards me as a child. He pulled my hair and said some very disparaging things towards me. He didn't even let me hold my little brother when he was a baby. When I was in fourth grade a fifth grader called me names and bullied me, and in high school I had an aide who judged me for the way I smelled and looked, not to mention she also dismissed my feelings. Last month, on Thanksgiving, my little brother didn't even sit next to me.

I have seen stories of autistic people being murdered. I have also seen stories of mothers murdering their autistic children, or trying to murder them. Those stories really make me sad. They make me wonder why there's so much ableism in this world, and why we are discriminated against as autistic adults. Too many words of hate, too much ableism, and too much discrimination against autistic people, is really nauseating. Walk a mile in our shoes, because there's absolutely no room for ableism.