on everything I love and want to succeed

There is a lot of pain, and I worry

I have never seen the world through rose-colored glasses. I never pretend things are beautiful and perfect when they are not. Likewise, I do not view the autistic community through rose-colored glasses.

For all the conversations I have about the ways we could improve, I love the autistic community. Nothing could ever change that. I am a lifelong autistic and therefore a lifelong member of this community.

We have lot of trauma, a lot of pain. We have a lot of people hurt by a lot of different things. We have a lot of people with different opinions on what it means to be autistic, and a lot of people with different opinions on what counts as activism. We have a lot of people with very political opinions on a lot of different topics. We do not communicate “typically,” whatever “typically” means. Navigating interpersonal relations in this world of differences takes effort and time.

Having difficulty with using the words we want to is a hallmark of our disability. Snap judgments often get made on those who aren’t able to transform their language into something considered acceptable.

I see beauty and pain and candles lit against the darkness as we mourn and try in vain to collect our emotions. I see the darkness pressing against the community and the constant lashing out, and it hurts me because I know how this community is and how it could be even more powerful than it is.

How it is so much worth fighting for

I watch us come together to mourn our dead, light candles against the darkening sky and mourn, disband into the night with the knowledge of solidarity, mourn into the morning and the days beyond. I watch a community in pain sometimes come together in the most poignant of ways. I watch us crowdfund our own and support them to eat, pay rent, and attend gatherings of disability community.

I see us launch political movements, political organizations, and crash land into digital protesting and invent new ways to advocate on the Internet. I know we will find new ways to advocate with every new modernization that will occur in the future.

I see us become lawyers and go to law school or become professional advocates and activists and become professionals in other fields and put ourselves through miserable conditions to better us. I see us write literature and become our own linguistic culture with echolalia and scripting. I see us communicate in ways other people dismiss. I see us moving in ways that visibly mark us but are worth fighting for.

I still fight for those of us who don’t want to be activists or don’t write beautiful, moving essays and don’t gather with us in the dark to mourn, and who are always worth fighting for.

It is all so much worth fighting for.