“I could never do it.”
When your options are to fight like hell against a world that actively oppresses your existence or to sit in solitude and silence, I choose to fight.
When your options are to join hands with fellow activists and advocates to make a difference in a bleak, dark world or to sit on the sidelines, I choose to join hands.
When your options are to call people out on their ableism – be it passive or active or allow another victim to be hurt, I choose to call you out.
When your options are to kick the hell out of everything that kicks the hell out of you or to allow the kickers to continue to kick, I choose to be the one kicking.
I say “choose” like it’s a choice. It isn’t, really, It’s something I just did. It’s something I threw myself into. I didn’t do it to make a name for myself. I didn’t do it because it’s fun, although sometimes it is! I didn’t do it to make friends, although I sure as hell did. I did it because the alternate wasn’t appealing.
I live in a world where being autistic is actively oppressed. Stop doing this thing. Start doing that thing. You’re embarrassing me. Make eye contact (I don’t care that it physically hurts you and it isn’t possible! LOOK AT ME!). Your interests aren’t valid. You’re not like my child. But you’re so high functioning – despite the fact I lack the executive function to wash a dish or to safely boil a pot of water (seriously, I once melted a blender. It was sort of epic).
I live in a world where people think I’m a drain of society. In any given years, I rack up tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills that could be better spent on “healthy people”. I take dozens of medications a day. I have a list of disorders that makes doctor’s eyes fall out of their head when they see the sheer length and it seems it’s added to monthly. I live in a world where my access needs are not meant, and that’s considered okay.
As long as I live in a world like this, I really don’t have a choice. You tell me that you could never do it.
But I could never not.