What is Autistic Pride? Does it have a look? A feel? A specific way of speaking? First, let’s define pride: “Confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.” So, essentially, autistic pride is the internalization of a strong sense of self-esteem and a belief in one’s inherent value as an autistic person.
However, concepts like confidence or self-love fluctuate. One day, I may love my autism traits. Another, I may feel frustrated. Even so, beneath those fluctuations, I constantly nurture deep roots of self-regard. I am autistic. I need supports, and I offer innovation. I am different. I am valuable. I am proud of myself for my achievements, but also, I value myself at the most basic level that all humans deserve respect.
There is no one way to be, look, or act proud. There is no singular journey. But I hope that a day comes when autistics are taught from an early age that they are beautiful, worthy, and irreplaceable.