I have no patience for people who promote, dehumanize and belittle people who live with mental illness. None.
One in five will experience mental illness in their lifetime. One in 17 live with a severe mental illness. Guess what? I am that one and live with #PTSD and #FND.
I’m angry that agitators for Adventure Church use mental illness slurs to describe all of us trying to protect The Tower District and #SaveTowerTheater. They quip about if any of us have a college education or if we work. Just wow. Stigma. Stigma. Stigma.
I am #AutisticAndProud, and I am also #TheReal5150. You want to point to people and call them crazy? Well, here I am … and so what?
Well … since you’re here, I’m going to tell you the so what:
Suicide is a crisis worldwide for Autistic people. It’s our #1 cause of early death. (Before age of 14, it’s drowning.)
Did you know that being Autistic can prevent you from getting suicide crisis care? That’s because there’s no protocols in place in place for us in hospitals. And yes, this includes Fresno (unless somethings recently changed). If Autistic and it’s known, you’ll be turned away from crisis care, sent back out with no help and none available anywhere.
Suicide rates for Autistic people are 9x higher than typical population.* Suicide rates of Autistic women are 15x higher. *
Autistic people make up 2% of the American population, and yet studies show that 12% of people who’ve died by suicide had definite or probable autism.
Read that again: Autistic people make up 2% of the American population, and studies show 12% of ALL people who’ve died by suicide had definite or probable autism.
Autism Acceptance means far more than most folks here understand. Like did you know that 70% of Autistic people don’t identify as heterosexual?
Did you know that transgender and gender-diverse adults are three to six times more likely as cisgender adults to be diagnosed as Autistic?
To be very clear if you’re anti-LGBTQTIA, or anti-anything that doesn’t fit your heteronormative ideals, you’re anti-Autistic. If you’re anti-gender diversity, you are anti-Autistic.
Autistic people, we’re literally born this way – the way G-d intended.
The Tower District provides a Safe Space for many Autistic people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. And being Autistic, guess what, we’re used to being bullied, harassed and stigmatized.
Bullying is such an issue that 50% of Autistic people don’t leave their house daily for fear of abuse. It’s an incredibly valid fear. Our rates of murder and fillicide are also astronomical.
Autistics, our median age is 36 — not because we’re born Autistic, but because we live in a society that can’t accept differences.
So call me whatever names you want, use my Autistic identity as a slur, and mock me for being severely mentally ill and then mock me some if I’m ever again in a psychotic break … and while you’re at it, snap some photos of me at my absolute worst to post on your social media sites to continue the mockery and jokes. Create some memes too.
Go ahead and knock yourselves out, and make yourselves feel big while doing so. Go ahead use me to illustrate the horror of having to live near people like me in ‘your town’ that’s ‘going to hell.’
Go ahead, I can take it.
While you do that here’s what I see:
When you made the announcement and ceremony of the $10k “In God We Trust” sign behind the Fresno City Council members … I saw you walk up the steps of City Hall with pride during the day for the event, and circumvent with disdain the homeless folks while you did so. At night, I see those very same steps double as concrete beds for my homeless peers.
I see the water fountains in front of City Hall that some of you made a giant spectacle of baptizing each other in it … for what, the media coverage? Know what else I see? Those same fountains being used as a urinal for homeless people with no access to a bathroom at night. Yeah … splash away little duckies.
I see through your veneer … and I see G-d all around you but never in your hearts or hands.
So go ahead and mock me, disparage me and belittle me in the name of your belief system. You can even tell me to go to hell and show me even more of your ugly heart – and do it at my expense. There’s simply nothing I can do about that other than continue my work to help all Autistic and Divergent people to have a better future than today. All I can do is use these experiences to illustrate the difficulties we’re up against and collaborate with others to create a better way.
Yeah, so go head and yell at me all the slurs you want. Hold signs and wave them at me with your epithets. It’s OK, I forgive you. And from what I understand, Jesus will too.
It just astounds me though, with all that noise … you lost sight of Jesus. If you could see him, then you’d see he’s over here standing with us … watching you too.
AutisticAndProud #ActuallyAutistic #AllAutistics #Divergent #TheReal5150 #StopStigma #WeAreWorthy
(* These are the lowest estimates known to date. Its believed Autistic people have yet to be accurately counted yet. Many Autistics die unknown.)