gatekeeping marginalized identities has resulted in people feeling like they HAVE TO be cis, be straight, be neurotypical when they are not, because they’re not different ENOUGH and that identity is for the REAL marginalized people.

this is just cisheteronormativity & ableism!!!
this is so bonkers! conservatives were never able to convince me i had to be cishet but feminists did because they used my empathy & justice sensitivity to manipulate me into thinking that was my moral imperative. i didn’t have a right to my own experience bc it wasn’t bad enough
the people who have been outraged at me self-identifying as autistic haven’t been the conservative autism moms, they don’t know i exist. it’s been “progressive” people who say i am somehow harming the real autistics. they call me a fake- i must be NT. compulsory neurotypicality.
how have we all been falling for this shit oh my god
i grew up in a red state surrounded by conservatives who tried very, very hard to get me to conform and i never would. but i’m autistic and vulnerable to manipulation by people who act like my friend so people who used social justice arguments on me DID make me conform. for a bit
i tried to fit myself into their boxes for a couple years but conformity is impossible for me so eventually i escaped, moved, & made all new friends. i am still undoing a lot of trauma from that time. 2 years of manipulation by supposed allies was worse than 20 years of hostility
i’ve talked to a lot of autistic people and i see over and over again that a lot of our self-doubt and self-blame have been instilled in us through manipulation by people who claim to share our values and are guilt tripping us. they’re just playing the social status game on us.
they know how to manipulate us into feeling like bad people and thinking they are good people and that gives them power and status over us and that’s all they actually care about. they couldn’t break my will or make me believe i was worthless. they COULD guilt me. so they did.
neurotypical people will always play the social status game on us because that is just what they do. it’s the scorpion and the frog. they will use whatever tool is at their disposal. it doesn’t ever mean anything. it is never true. we shouldn’t internalize it ever. EVER.
allistic neurodivergents are harder to predict. some of them hate the social status game. but some of them are the best at it, and those are the people who got to me. people who used our shared experience of mental illness to make me empathize & let down my guard.
everything they told me about myself has not turned out to be true at all. they just wanted the power to tell me who i am allowed to be. they will never be able to see who i actually am and their opinion of me is irrelevant. it’s not my fault i couldn’t see it back then.
autistic people are vulnerable to manipulation unless we know the patterns, and we can’t know most of the patterns unless someone tells us. i didn’t know how much i had been manipulated until my allistic ND best friend showed me, and I didn’t see the full scope until just now
no trans people would be harmed if i say i’m trans because i’m agender, even though i still plan to present in a femme way, even though i don’t identify with any gender & don’t know how that feels. i only worry about that bc people who wanted to control me guilt tripped me.
autistic people have been convinced we’re not real anything. we’re not real marginalized people. we’re not real trans people. we’re not real queer people. we’ve been convinced that we don’t deserve any support, solidarity, or community. we’ve been convinced we’re not real people.
we believe them not because we hate ourselves, but because our neurology makes us decide who to help based on a cost/benefit analysis of who needs it more, and we can’t choose ourselves just because it’s us. we believe that other people’s needs are real and ours are negotiable

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More from @erikaheidewald

9 Apr
I was a very existential kid so I don’t remember a time before this & it’s been the biggest struggle of my life. eventually i found a few ideas and ways of thinking that helped me - they’re very specific to me but if any of it helps anyone feeling this way, they’re worth sharing
If nothing matters, then everything matters. it’s the same thing. Every moment of joy for me or someone else matters. every moment I learn something and I like it, that matters. Every time I help someone, that matters. It doesn’t have to go anywhere. I’m detached from the results
there really are no rules. I do not have to listen to ideas I don’t respect and people I don’t respect. This is my one life and I will not let it be limited by people who think the rules of this society mean something. how I feel and what I think about myself are always up to me.
Read 31 tweets
9 Apr
It has been distressing me how many people think you can only believe in one framework for understanding an issue - if you believe in one, that means you think it is the only framework necessary. This is deeply incorrect & I want to help you break out of that way of thinking.
This might verge on patronizing, I don’t know, and if so I’m sorry, but critical thinking skills are *skills* that must be taught and practiced and it doesn’t make you stupid if you’re not good at it - it means your education system failed you. You can get this if you want to.
A theoretical framework or model is one way to look at data, categorize it, and derive meaning from it. It is a social construct. The data is not. In the context of autism - autism is a social construct, autistic people are not. Autism is a way to describe what we have in common.
Read 23 tweets
9 Apr
i remember when i was in high school and i very much wanted a diagnosis to describe what was going on with me because without it, that meant everyone was going through what i was going through and i was just worse at handling it and i KNEW that wasn’t true. i needed to prove it.
the problem is we’ve given people only one option besides erasure - diagnosis. there’s only one “get out of conformity free” card and it’s that biologically, medically, you are incapable of doing so, and you have had that affirmed by an authority trusted by the ruling class
THIS IS SUCH A FALSE FUCKING BINARY. the answer isn’t to play their ableist, classist, racist, misogynistic, transphobic, deeply cruel game. we need to refuse to play and start validating and recognizing each other without an authority telling us we have to.
Read 7 tweets
9 Apr
pretty sure this system just sucks and instead of fixing it we pathologize people for the misery it puts us through
i know this society is very resistant to admitting that anxiety and depression might ever be happening for a reason but feeling the immensity of how much the world sucks and that most people don’t give a shit has definitely always played a big part in my depression
i know society has trained everyone to be reactionary, binary thinkers (gee, wonder why) but the fact that external factors might have something to do with depression doesn’t make depression not real. you don’t need a context-free chemical imbalance to be valid
Read 6 tweets
8 Apr
something a lot of neurodivergent people would do well to remember is that not everyone can thrive in this society even with accommodations, & not everyone can live in their brain if they hate it. it’s not a coincidence that most people i see opposed to the social model are white
the specific kind of opposition i’m talking about is white people who see any argument in favor of the social model of disability and any argument for systemic change and shout it down or dismiss it as toxic positivity. systemic change is needed to end white supremacy.
white supremacy is inextricably tied to ableism. ableism is the justification for other kinds of oppression like racism, misogyny, and classism. calling people incapable and inferior makes oppression look natural and unavoidable. do not mock the need for systemic change.
Read 22 tweets
8 Apr
if we really wanna have some fun let’s talk about how fucking traumatizing gym class can be for neurodivergent kids 🙃 i think gym class is a secret neurotypical plan to break the young neurodivergent spirit. make it illegal
the most pitiful moment of my high school experience might have been when we had to do a skills test in volleyball that involved setting the ball off the wall four times in a row. i could not do this and kept sending balls flying around the gym as i begged them to let me stop
people kept telling me that eventually i’d find the sport i was good at so i tried every single sport & i can confidently report back that i am bad at every single sport. i don’t think my body was designed with any physical skills in mind. maybe it’s made for hibernating
Read 4 tweets

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