I found out yesterday that a National Autism Association's Road to Recovery Walk will be held here this summer. Just a few miles from home. It has been suggested that I show up there in a "polite" neurodiversity t-shirt to offer an alternate perspective to the clueless. Guess what? I don't feel like being polite. I feel like pulling the most blatant in-your-face anti-cure shirt from my drawer, deciding it's not quite enough, and buying or making something a little more to the point. Something containing a level of profanity I don't use in this blog.
As I pointed out to my (very supportive and wise) NT friend, I wouldn't feel very safe in this crowd no matter how sedate the message on the shirt. I suggested a counter-rally to be held the night before the walk at a slightly less hostile location as an attempt to draw a little public attention to the fact that autism is not a disease and not really something to be crying about all the time or a reason to flush your hard earned money down the curebie toilet.
Sure, showing up at the Main Event would be purposeful and direct. But a subtle message would defeat the purpose and a more truthful representation of what I believe would most likely result in my being removed forcibly from the area. I know a couple of anti-cure parents here, and maybe one other autistic person who might be persuaded to join me. Still, I'm thinking I might have more success attracting people to a counter rally, where they could feel more hopeful of not being verbally or physically attacked.
Either way, this is not a time and place for being overly polite. I'm pretty sure Rosa Parks would not have been invited to take the front seat if only she'd smiled a bit more or said "please".
Totally Flaming Autistic shirt available from Winged Turtle Creations here.