I’m Not Walking: Action, Protest, Moving On, and Other Things

IIt has been a long time, indeed, since I had posted something. I had been silent for the past months, and now many parts of me have been crying out for me to speak out. I think it is about time I declare one thing I have been trying to say for the past ten months.

But before that, let me post some updates about my personal and work life. For the longest time since I started this blog, I have landed a real job, something I am fulfilled with and something that appreciates my worth. Most of all, I work with those who really need me — those in the grassroots.

It is not that I am rubbing it in some people’ faces, but I guess it looks like I am doing so.

Oh, yes. It’s the time of the year, isn’t it? The time of year where autistics will be bombarded by noises and crowds made by those who claim to advocate for them, yet aim to promote their own hypocritical agenda. Yes, it’s that time of the year again.

For those who don’t know yet what I am talking about, it’s an event that I had covered for the past two years: Angels Walk. And no, I’m not joining. Partly because I am off to the North, over 400 kilometers from Manila, but mostly because I find their cause lost.

Before some people think of stupid ideas and start gloating, “Hey, Gerard is being bitter again” and think I am “on the drugs,” be reminded that reality bites. And yes, I have always learned the hard way. I hate to say this, but it seems that we are forgetting whom we advocate for when we hold those events that are not conducive for autistic sensitivities, which is pretty ironic considering we at ell other people to be sensitive toward autistic people. You know what I see is the problem? Some people advocate to boost their own egos. And it sucks to say that many leading autism advocacy groups in the world today (including those at home) are all after that pomp and pageantry, we forget to see the real needs of autistics of all ages.

Seriously, do we really need a Guinness World Record breaker when there is something much more in need of breaking, which is stereotyping and discrimination against autistic people? Can a million promises change the life of one single autistic person, who faces being bullied and derided every single day? Can dressing up as an anime character change the perception of young people about autism in a positive light? Which is better, three minutes of fame for your showcase “performers with autism” or a lifetime of empowerment to allow them to stand on their own?

I can do more than just walk for autism. I move, I ACT.

Here’s a challenge to my fellow autistics/persons with autism who will be performing there on Sunday: Will your presence change things for you? Or are you there just as trophies or tokens to feed the egos of so-called “advocates”?

Once again, I am sorry to hear that you will be hurt by what I said. But then again, I am never sorry for being truthful and honest. Call me names, set me aside as an outcast. I have been done that before, and yes, it hurts.

Once again, let me say this: I AM NOT JOINING ANGELS WALK.

And I have a bigger announcement next month. Until then, ciao.

Autistic BigBro 

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