When people ask me my name, I give it to them. My name is Annora (or Nora). It’s a big part of my identity. I chose it for myself. Annora is who I am. It’s who I’ll always be. I connect to the name Nora. It describes me, you know? The same way being a Hufflepuff describes me. The same way being Divergent describes me. The same way all my personality traits define me.
I am also autistic. I’m not a person with autism. I don’t say I’m a person with Nora, that’s silly! Being autistic is as much of a part of my identity as my name. There’s nothing wrong with my name and nothing wrong with being autistic. They’re both me. They’re both who I am.
I am tired of people refusing to call me by my legal name and insisting I’m still “old name”. I’m tired of people calling me a person with autism. I’m tired of people calling me differently abled. Why the hell do you get to choose my labels for me? Who said you get to choose how I define myself? The only person who does so is me. I define me. And when I inform you of the proper language to use, it’s disrespectful not to use it.
I’ve been told, flat out, that I’m “stupid” for changing my name. I’ve been told that I’m being absurd for insisting on identity first language. I’ve been told so many things on both counts. On the labels I’ve chosen for myself. On the labels that make me, well, me!
I am Annora.
I am autistic.