I am coming up on 1 year since I was informally diagnosed as Autistic. I have attempted to find ways to advocate, and to connect with my community. I am so grateful to my Autistic friends for welcoming me in, and serving as my guides. There have been non-Autistic people that were interested in hearing Autistic points of view as well. Some amplify Autistic voices, and that is wonderful and necessary. Others though, silence us by any means necessary.
Not long ago I wrote something that criticized parents that publicly display their child's challenges. Yes, many non-Autistic people heard that message, thought about it, and agreed. Wonderful! Others, though, brushed it off with comments of, "what about their need for support?" These are silencing tactics. It's a way of telling us that we are wrong, rather than contemplating our words.
A couple of weeks later, I experienced a far greater silencing. Some internet trolls harassed me on Twitter, to such an extent that I had to block and report hundreds of people, and make my profile protected. My crime? Advocating against people that say Autistic people are dangerous. Fighting for my humanity is met with horrendous, triggering, attacks on my identity. And I was effectively silenced.
But no more. I have been rebuilding again. I am speaking up again. Because what we have to say is important.