November 29th, 2021

Letter: People everywhere just want to be respected for who they are

By Letter to the Editor on November 19, 2021.

Dear editor,

On Wednesday, I watched the first night of ASAN’s (Autistic Self-Advocacy Network) Gala and Rewards from the U.S. It featured non-speaking people with autism. They had a lot to say. It reminded of how compassionate, determined and intelligent these people are. 

It also reminds me how diverse people are in our community. That none of us fit the norm, although society pressure makes us think that we need to. This pretending to be normal causes a lot of stress and trauma I think. 

I am glad I gave up pretending to be normal years ago. There is enough stress now. Worrying about how to afford food, worrying about friends who won’t get vaccinated, and then there is big stuff like climate change. 

I think everyone is wonderfully unique, we cope in this world the best we can. Some use drugs, so let’s decriminalize them so they don’t have to get them on the street. Some are homeless, let us house them. Some are going to lose their jobs to automation, let’s have basic income for people. Let’s treat people with dignity. 

That’s a lot to do, but we can just start by treating everyone the same. That’s what I do. It has worked for me so far.

Diane MacNaughton


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