Autistic History: Autistic Pride Day

Autistic Pride Day was established by the advocacy organization Apies for Freedom (AFF) in 2005 to raise public acceptance and celebrate autistic people and their identity. Autistic Pride Day was inspired by the LGBTQ pride events during June. This helped drive positive societal changes for autistic people. 

"Autistic Pride Day is on 18th June each year. It was created by Aspies for Freedom group so that autistics can celebrate their neurodiversity and differences. Many international events have taken place over the years, including offline and online meetings, walks, picnics, days out and week long gatherings. Free free to join the chat room and tell us your planned events for this year.

"It is important for us to spend a day each year enjoying our autism with our family and friend, whether online or offline. Because there can be so many negatives in the media about autism, we feel it is important to rebalance with positive events," stated the Aspies for Freedom. 

The reasoning for Autistic Pride Day  was that autistic people participate in events on this day and families share positive stories. This days shows autistic peoples ability to advocate for ourselves. This day was organized by autistic people, not people speaking over us. 

In 2005, Brazil commemorated its first Autistic Pride Day. 

"To me, Autistic Pride Day means solidarity with those parts of our community that have not yet had the opportunity to be proud. It means thinking about how we reach further and farther. Autistic space, community and culture should be available to all of us, early-, late- and un-diagnosed, speaking and non speaking, with and without intellectual disability, of all races, religions, orientations, disabilities, genders and every other facet of difference. It should be available whatever your politics or view on the controversies that motivate much of our advocacy. It should be your birthright, however you communicate and experience the world," Ari Ne'eman, former President of Autistic Self Advocacy Network on the 10th anniversary of Autistic Pride day. 

Autistic Pride Day was started as a community event and not a day for organizations to promote themselves with performative allyship. It is a global event and it takes place mostly online but also offline. According to the autistic community, autistic people have unique characteristics that provide with both rewards and challenges. There are many difficulties that are faced because of our neurodivergence, a main issue is what challenges society causes us. 

There is a tragedy narrative we are trying to eliminate. We are not diseased, ill or injured. We are simply autistic. When the world accepts all of us, the quackery will stop. This is the ultimate goal. 

We want acceptance and the realizing that autism is a neurotype and a disability. Disability is not a dirty word. 


Sources:

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/autistic-pride-day-2021-date-history-and-significance-2465226

https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/autistic-pride-day-2021/

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/autistic-pride-day-june-18/

https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/international-autistic-pride-day-history-inspiration-quotes-from-people-with-autism-3861515.html

https://www.cute-calendar.com/event/autistic-pride-day/38314.html

https://www.checkiday.com/c044215918dd26dae91c62f8c8ce5361/autistic-pride-day

https://www.twrecruitment.com/post/2021-6/an-overview-of-autistic-pride-day-for-teachers

https://autisticadvocacy.org/2015/06/autistic-pride-day-2015-a-message-to-the-autistic-community/

https://web.archive.org/web/20210309173240/http://www.aspiesforfreedom.com/autisticprideday.html

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