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I remember telling someone (cis) I wanted a building / community specifically for trans people. She called it self-segregation and was against it.
I mean, it kinda is, but there's a reason for it. I didn't feel safe around most cis people.
Isolation felt (and often still feels) like the only way to really be safe.
Even without outright abuse, there is still the fact that to get by in this world, most marginalised folks have to assimilate (to an extent that varies by situation).
Nowadays I more often think about a community specifically for autistic people. It's a daydream, not reality, but I long for it. Because it feels far more like safety. Not perfect, but also not something I have to assimilate to in order to be even remotely safe.
I think this is what people don't get. They think of prejudice as something blatantly hateful, like beating a person up for being gay. But it's also all the microaggressions, the normalisation of being straight and subtle messaging that being gay is a deviation, an abnormality.
The same goes for any other privilege-marginalisation relationship, not just being straight and gay.
Even open-minded privileged folks still slip up a lot, often without seeming to notice it. We don't always call it out. Dealing with it constantly is draining.
Being safe, for me, doesn't just mean being free from abuse, harassment, etc. It also means being free from microaggressions (MAs). Because MAs are everywhere, and their impact is like a snowball effect - one might be fine, but when it's constant, it's devastating.
And sure, things might not change if we all isolate ourselves. But the problem is that things change extremely slowly even if we are "out there" in the world, and we have to assimilate enough to be tolerable in order to get people to even listen to us. It is exhausting, painful.
This whole idea of communities specifically for trans people or autistic people is imaginary anyway, just a daydream of mine, a longing to have somewhere where we're not the minority and not defined and thought of as what we are not (cis, allistic).
But it still bothers me when people respond to this daydream as though it's silly, as though it's an overreaction.
This idea represents very real needs and very real pain. Existing as a minority in an unequal world is, again, exhausting and painful.
So yeah, I daydream about places where that's not the case. Yes, I envision an entirely or mostly autistic community, fully accessible, where all my autistic traits can be expressed openly without me being scared, embarrassed, etc. Yeah, I desperately want that.
What people need to get is that sometimes isolation, either individual or as marginalised communities, is the only way for us to not be drained and in pain ALL THE TIME. It can be the only safety, the only solidarity, we have.
I want that autistic community so much it hurts. I need spaces like that so much it hurts.
And I need people to realise why, and to not berate / judge us for any time we self-isolate or even just think about doing so.
We don't exist in order to educate other people. We shouldn't feel any need to self-isolate in order to be safe, but we also shouldn't feel obligated to be visible in the world in order to teach privileged folks how to be decent.
So honestly, let marginalised folks retreat if they need to. Until the world is truly equal for and decent to autistic people and trans people, I'm gonna keep dreaming of us having communities where we aren't the minority.
Because I need to.
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