What is pride? A reflection on Weird Pride Day

Pride is a peculiar thing. Christianity taught us that it is a sin. Secular society tried desperately to tell us it’s redundant. The truth is that it’s neither of these things. Those are lies told by a society that desperately wants us to stay quiet.

I’m not going to misrepresent myself here. When I talk about weird people, I am largely (if not entirely) talking about myself and my neurodivergent neurokin. Realistically, what other group of people is referred to as weird more often?

Because we don’t fit into societies neuronormative standards, we are labelled as different, or weird. We are taught both implicitly and explicitly to be ashamed of ourselves, and to hide who we are. Which leads neatly onto what pride actually is.

Pride is not the feeling that we are better than others, and it is not the feeling that who we are is inherently and solely a good thing. It is the refusal to be ashamed.

One of the most powerful things we can do as neurodivergent, and beautifully weird people, is to refuse to be ashamed.

When we think about it, what are we actually ashamed of? Everything about ourselves that we’ve been taught to hate or hide, was framed that way by a society that did not want to support us.

When we refuse to be ashamed, we speak up. We make it impossible to ignore us. When we refuse to be ashamed, we can see the lie that society has taught us. The lie that weirdness is a failing, that we are somehow less worthy of equitable treatment in a society that values assimilation over the beauty of diversity.

I for one, will be flying my weird flag high, not just on this day, but all days thereafter.

Society and it’s normative mundanity can keep to itself, I just don’t think it’s an acceptable way to be anyway.

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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