Proud to be Myself: An Autistic Person on Garry’s Mod

I got home late from work today, lugging my books and bags and laptop and some likely-less-that-healthy Chinese food for H and me to have for an easy dinner, as Craig had a gig.

H greeted me at the door to help me with my bags and he was standing tall with pride as he excitedly told me, “Mom, I was an advocate for myself and for Autism today. I advocated on Garry’s Mod [an online sandbox PC game] and they listened to me. I am really proud of myself!”

I asked H if he would like to tell his story and post it on the blog, and without hesitation he agreed, “Yes, I want people to know about this and I think what I did was really ballsy, but I think other people can do this too.”

Here is H’s story:

Today I was playing Garry’s Mod and I joined this server and it looked quite promising at first, but when I scrolled through jobs I saw that one of the jobs was ‘Autistic Person’. When I looked at the description I was really offended, because it said “you listen to Drake and cry yourself to sleep and have random autistic outbursts.” I thought it was really ableist, so I then called for an admin. I told the admin that I found that is offensive and that I myself am Autistic, and that I am an advocate for Autistic people. I was asking them if they could remove that from the server. And then two other admins got involved. We had a small meeting. I told them being Autistic is something you are born with, like your sexuality… like if you are straight or gay. And I told them about ASAN and that I present at conferences and they listened to me.

I feel really good about myself. They said they will try to get it off the server, and I will be checking in a few days to see if they did anything about it.

Apparently some of the admins are Autistic, and they didn’t really find it offensive the way I did, because I guess they’ve grown used to it.

I am trying to build up understanding about Autism in the world and spread the word that Autism is not a disease and it doesn’t need a cure.

Just be yourself.

I am proud to be myself.

H - Proud

Image: Side view of H wearing a vintage wool trench coat and his Dr. Who scarf. looking out across the Fraser River at sunset. The light is highlighting the side of his face , and the water looks like liquid gold. Text reads: “I am trying to build up understanding about Autism in the world and spread the word that Autism is not a disease and it doesn’t need a cure. Just be yourself. I am proud to be myself. ” H [Watermarked: Thirty Days of Autism: Leah Kelley]

And a final note of gratitude from Craig and me: We are thankful to have amazing Autistic, Neurodivergent, and otherwise disabled friends in our lives. If it takes a community to raise a child – this one is raising up a fine young man!
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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2016)

About Leah Kelley

Leah Kelley, MEd., Educator, Parent, Speaker, Social Justice Activist. Writes blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding & neurodiversity paradigm. Co producer of documentary: Vectors of Autism. Twitter: @leah_kelley Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/leahkelley13/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/30-Days-of-Autism-Leah-Kelley/154311301315814
This entry was posted in ableism, advocate, ASAN, Autism, Autistic, Disability, neurodivergent, TASH and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Proud to be Myself: An Autistic Person on Garry’s Mod

  1. Suvarna says:

    He is growing to be a man of exemplary character, love him!

    Like

  2. Go H! You’re awesome, and it was super brave of you to go talk to the admins. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leah Kelley says:

      H: “Thank you. I knew it was a risk, but I did it because I thought the world should know. The admins could have banned me, but they didn’t – they listened.”

      Like

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