One of my favorite ways to dispel feelings of loneliness is to talk to the #ActuallyAutistic community on Twitter. While I sometimes post unique tweets, I mostly comment on other people’s threads or retweet from glimpses of my feed.
And it really does feel like glimpses, flashes, incomplete; I only check Twitter a couple times a day, for 5-15 minutes each time, so I miss out on a lot. But that’s okay, because I don’t need to feel present at every conversation; I’m grateful for what I participate in, and I’m even more grateful to have a community where I can turn.
One of the conversations I read about recently was the idea of autism acceptance vs. awareness, and while it certainly wasn’t the first time I’d heard autistic people discussing this topic, it felt clearer than before; it resonated more with me. I suppose this is because, more and more, I’m encountering this frustrating and subtle form of ableism, where allistics (or neurotypicals) are justified in othering autistic people, as long as they acknowledge they’re autistic. It’s a separate but equal argument, and that kind of divided thinking never works.
Then I realized that my website is named after awareness, not acceptance. So I think I’ll change the name of my blog! If I get a second domain, I can slowly redirect to that new name, and it should only be ten to fifteen dollars a year.
Once the semester is over, I’ll look more into this idea. I want to brainstorm different names until I unearth one I really like, and it’s hard to focus on that kind of creativity with the pressure of finishing grades in three weeks, not to mention my last half-dozen lectures, the online teaching certification, and my two web development online courses…
I like to do lots of things simultaneously. It’s my form of putting eggs in different baskets.
Kourtnie has an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno and a BA in English from CSU Fullerton. When she isn't writing or making art, she's moonlighting as a professor at community colleges. Read her writing at Kourtnie.net or Wattpad.com/user/KourtnieNet.