Labels do define me, your interpretation of those labels doesn’t.

I am really angry right now. Yesterday, a professional made reference to my autism and made a judgement of my abilities based on that label. The thing is, I never disclosed to them that I am autistic. For this very reason. In fact, I tried extra hard to mask my autism in my dealings with this person. Seems like my mask slipped.

So, I’m angry. Angry that they assumed my neurotype (even if correctly) and angry that they used that to claim I’d be unable to do something. I find it unprofessional, ableist and just plain rude. I’m being asked to speak to that person but I’m just too angry.

Yes, I’m autistic. Yes, I’m proud of my neurotype and my label. But it’s bullshit like this that forces me to hide behind a mask and reject the label in certain circumstances. Autistic people come in all shades and hues, with as much variation between them as non-autistic people. We are not a monolith. And we cannot be judged as one. Maybe some autistic people would not be able to do the thing that was the subject of the conversation. But making assumptions about me based on that? Based on your interpretation of what it means to be autistic?

Today I’m adding another label to my collection. Angry. I am an angry autistic.

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