Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Autism Answer: Get Out Daily - Another November Challenge

Out to dinner. #GetOutDaily

November. It's got No Shave November (Grow Cancer Awareness) and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). 

Let's take that can-do spirit (or "don't do spirit" I suppose in the case of not shaving!) and add Get Out Daily Month

I've said it before (like, a lot!) and I'll say it again: The world can't get to know or grow comfortable with our diversity, and our diversity can't grow comfortable with the world, if we don't go out. 

Yes, it is sometimes challenging. Yes, it means going out in a world that has been largely built for and built by folks without disabilities or differences (and, often, folks who are trying hard to hide their disabilities or differences). But where is the motivation for anyone to change that if we stay home? 

I'm the first to admit that sometimes I just don't wanna do it. Sometimes I just wanna stay home with my mixed race relationship and my cheek squishing son and my brings her own containers self. Sometimes I don't want to see everyone stare or roll their eyes or whisper about us to each other. 

I'm the first to admit that sometimes I do stay home. 

But most of the time (now, not in my younger years) I go out. I do it for me, and I do it for you. I'm entirely aware that if you were going out more, and if so many of us were going out more, we wouldn't feel so isolated and alone. We wouldn't feel such a strong burden to represent well for our communities and families. 

So, yes, I admit that it's a bit of a challenge. But nothing compared to those who have gone
On our way to an auto parts junk yard. #GetOutDaily
out before us!! Nothing compared to the brave people who fought for civil rights in recent history. School was segregated for my husband until he was in eleventh grade. My husband spent his youth allowed to enter only the back door of restaurants because of the color of his skin. In his first several jobs he was expected to show up early and leave late while he made far less money than his white coworkers, who easily and often blamed him for their mistakes. This was in my husbands youth! Not some long ago time only in the movies, friends. 

Things change because we show up. Because we show ourselves and say what we need. Over and over and over and over. 

So, to those who are challenging themselves with No Shave November, I promise to cheer you on! Folks who are taking on NaNoWriMo, I salute you! (Also, my son and I are joining you!)

Let's also Get Out Daily! Post pictures, videos, status updates if you'd like. Use a #GetOutDaily hashtag (I just made that up, feel free to come up with something catchier!) or just talk about it with family and friends. 

Hold hands with your trans lover in the park, stim in the store with your autistic father, roll with your friend in her wheelchair to the post office, eat at your favorite restaurant with your mixed race family, take your Tourette's Syndrome self out for a spa day. Let's get out! Daily!

ADVANCED GET OUT DAILY SUGGESTION: Don't only go to the safe spaces where they know you. Adventure! Explore! 

If we do this, an added bonus for us will be that when people ask what we need, what would make things a little more accessible, we'll have better answers. It's hard to have specific suggestions when we are in avoidance mode. 

Good luck and have fun!
I'll see you out there!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!

Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)

At the bowling ally! #GetOutDaily