Reporting Live from the Closet
To make myself clear, I do not intend any criticism of those who made the choice to stay quiet and pass as non-autistics to protect their careers and their civil rights. Staying in the closet is an entirely reasonable and prudent response to a sudden outpouring of genocidal hatred against a minority group which, until quite recently, was not even recognized as a separate and distinct group. As you might guess, I write my blog anonymously for the same reason.
Nonetheless, it is very frustrating, and I was both surprised and pleased when I saw an article by an autistic manager at CNN included as part of CNN's autism awareness coverage. She described her recent Asperger diagnosis at age 48, her lifelong difficulties in making small talk, her tendency toward sensory overload, the efforts she and her husband have made over the years to understand their differences and to keep their marriage happy, and the anxiety she endures as a result of society's judgmental expectations.
The article ends with this statement:
I could tell you so much more, but instead let me share one last insight. Don't pity me or try to cure or change me. If you could live in my head for just one day, you might weep at how much beauty I perceive in the world with my exquisite senses. I would not trade one small bit of that beauty, as overwhelming and powerful as it can be, for "normalcy."
Who is this CNN manager venturing forth onto the autism war's battlefield, making such a strong statement in defense of her humanity, her joy in life, and social acceptance of neurological diversity?
Nobody knows. She was too afraid to sign her name to the article.