The autistic community: a love letter

As Autistics, we often feel ostracised from the communities we live amongst, but over the past year I have seen autistic people step up and help many people.

None of us could have foreseen the pandemic, no doubt that this particular natural disaster will be remembered in history books in perpetuity. But something I want people to remember are the people who reached out to lift up other members of their community.

The autistic community especially, has been going above and beyond to support each other. From emotional support to financial aid, many of us have done our part.

If anyone asked me what autistic culture is to me, I would point them towards the culture of support and uplifting that I have witnessed and benefited from personally. We are a demographic that simply won’t stand for injustice.

I am proud of this community for knowing its own importance. When so many of us are alienated from society, tens of thousands of us have come together to demand equal rights and equitable treatment for all Autistics.

I am certain that without the autistic community, I would not be here. This is a community that welcomes all and fiercely defends each of its members. So many of us owe our lives to this community.

This has made me realise my responsibility to future generations. This community, this bastion of acceptance and justice for the downtrodden, needs to be preserved.

We must preserve our community, and make sure that we leave it in a better place than when we discovered it. An imperfect community, yes, but we work hard to ensure that it is there for all who need it.

I’d like to finish by saying thank you. Thank you to the countless Autistics and allies that make this community into all the good things that it is. Without you, so many of us would be lost. You have given us a place to call home.

Published by David Gray-Hammond

David Gray-Hammond is an autistic mental health and addiction advocate living in the South East of England. He is in recovery from addiction and psychosis, as well as other complex mental health conditions. He was diagnosed as autistic seven months after achieving sobriety, and is resolved to share his experiences with the world in the hopes of being the person that he needed when he was younger.

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