Saturday, 7 April 2018

autistic community? - RED INSTEAD 7

just over a year ago, I'd have said I was still looking for my place in the autistic community.

there are fabulous bloggers who give me glimpses of what it could be. who's writing feels like coming home. who want us to do better.

then there is every group I've found. they fall into one of 2 types, the information hub and the social group. information hubs are fine and useful, but they're not community. social groups have positive moments, but regularly descend into self pity, toxic masculinity or ablesm.

I will never find a home in an autistic space that isn't also feminist and actively queer friendly. it's so easy to build spaces that support creepy behaviour by autistic men, because maybe he doesn't know any better. as a woman who uses public transport, for my own safety I need to assume strange men who keep talking to me when I'm alone and clearly uncomfortable are dangerous. too many groups protect the feelings of an accidental creep over my feelings of safety AND his opportunity to learn not to be accidentally creepy.

after a particularly disastrous attempt to find community (where an event organiser accused me of being ablest because I complained about being harassed by one of the regulars), I realised something. I have my autistic community. it's called BiCon. it's a real, meat space community full of autistics. it's not meant to be, but because of all their work on accessibility over the years (and the relatively high number of autistics who are queer) a disproportionate number of regular attendees are autistic. we can have the big, "me too!" conversations, stim openly and socialise on our own terms. we can come home.

I love you, BiCon.

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