HomeactivistSpreading the word

When you work in retail, you learn quickly that merchandise for the next season comes in long before the season in question actually happens. That said, I spent most of my shift setting up fixtures in which to put the fall seasonal stuff when it comes in tomorrow.

Yes, we’re getting Halloween stuff already, including pumpkins.

A photo posted by Emilie Peck (@peckemilie) on

The erasers and rings went VERY fast. The year before that, the little games and bouncy balls went as fast, if not faster, than the candy.

10 Second Conversation
My store manager happened to be there, and I decided to ask her if she knew about the Teal Pumpkin Project. It turns out the store will be selling teal pumpkins, but she didn’t know why.

So, I told her. She seemed pretty interested in it, but I don’t know if the store will be taking part come Halloween.

I know I will, at least.

The project itself isn’t the point of this entry, though. One of the most important ways of spreading the word about neurodivergence, neurodiversity in general and disability is to actually talk about it in your personal life.

Obviously, I take it a little further, what with this blog and the panels I take part in at the convention I attend, but chatting with people you know goes a long way.

You Choose How to Do It
As someone who is neurodivergent, it has been one of the most freeing choices I’ve made to date.

That said, I completely understand why people work hard to pass as neurotypical. I did that for many years, and have experiences the bullying that comes with closed-minded people in power. Not all people are open-minded enough to actually learn about others’ experiences, and too many of them are in powers in institutions like companies, schools and the government.

There’s nothing wrong with not admitting your neurodivergence or invisible disabilities if you’re not comfortable in doing so, but coming back with facts instead of stereotypes could open many more eyes than staying silent. Many minds change when faced with facts.

You can always use the old standby of “I know someone who’s…” or “I have a cousin/brother/sister/parent/whatever with…” to add credence to your words if you’re not comfortable about talking about your personal experiences.

I strongly encourage as many people as possible to speak up when the topic comes up. The only way we can beat stigma is to eradicate it with accurate information. Simple ignorance is cured by education, and willful ignorance is harder to maintain when few people back it up.

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