This argument is so tired and pointless because 1) Nobody said I did? Me speaking about issues I and the people around me see with the autism industry/disability industries is not the same as speaking for every autistic person.
The people I “don’t speak for” are people of completely different intersecting identities than I, but those intersecting identities have to fight so much harder to be heard than I do…. and yet somehow, the people trying to silence ME are doing nothing to break down barriers for autistic people who barely ever get heard. Their energy goes into lobbying for “high functioning” autistic people to stop attacking them. Non-speakers and other multiply marginalized autistic people are kept silence unless they can further the agenda that they like behaviour therapies – otherwise they aren’t allowed to speak. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. Just explore non-speaking communities, autistic people who used to be on Board of Directors of autism organizations that eventually left because they were “speaking out of turn”. Basically any community that “I don’t speak for” are communities that are regularly kept silent. Not by autistics being loud, but by the people that would rather their energy be going towards discrediting me rather than breaking down the walls that keep people that don’t look like me, act like me, talk like me, from getting to speak – getting to be listened to, unless non-autistic people can control what they say.
Stop tokenizing my community and then pretending it’s for their sake and not yours.
Originally written for Twitter
find me there at @taryn_jaye