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Why I Still Mask My Autism During Black History Month

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I know better.
I know there needs to be more representation, but yet I do it.
I hide. I hide in plain sight.

I mask my autism.
I mask my autism because I feel like I can’t be seen as “disabled.”
Disabled and black.
Disabled and a black woman.

I mask for my children.
As much as society would like to believe there’s widespread acceptance and awareness now, it’s simply not true.
In a world where inspiration porn is the norm, it would blow minds to think that an Aspie like me could possibly be a great parent.
A great anything.

So again I say it, I mask.

Sure, I’ve run into situations where had the truth had been known, people might have understood. Yet I hide and would rather take the blame, the consequences and the misunderstood personality. I’m not an angry black woman, just a small, sensitive, autistic one.

One who just can’t afford to unmask at this juncture. The risks are far too great.

Getty image by MoosyElk.

Originally published: February 10, 2020
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