Ashleigh Williams, aka Babeworld, discusses the nuance of ‘acceptance,’ revealing the ease with which terms like ‘diversity’ can become instruments of oppression.

For myself, being accepted by someone for being autistic quite often seems to have a direct correlation to what the other person can gain from my diagnosis. Sounds a bit scientific don’t it. Sometimes it can be – sometimes it’s a well cooked up plan. I’m plonked onto art open calls with others to tick the disability box, it’s a plan that’s hard to disguise, but it’s a plan nonetheless. It’s not easy to hide as it’s a repeating pattern (I’m going all scientific on you again) that when you’re the common denominator (ooh, maths now) you can’t help but notice. 

I’m sick of being used as a “diversity” tool. 

How does it feel? It feels like my existence is reliant on performing autism in order to validate myself in society. So that others see me as real. So that others believe my diagnosis. It feels like I have to work extra hard to be seen as kind, as to not contribute to already existing negative stereotypes surrounding autistic people. I know these stereotypes are not true, but I still feel the need to fight them. 

To continue reading the article and to visit Ashleigh’s website click the link below:

https://weareunlimited.org.uk/being-accepted-as-an-autistic-artist/