I’ve often wished for a way to tell people I’m autistic that doesn’t require speaking to them about it, which is awkward and stressful, or having a sign or something, which I feel would look like something a family member stuck on me rather than something I wanted myself, due to the idea that autistic folks don’t and shouldn’t have autonomy, which makes me as uncomfortable as the idea of being percieved as neurotypical.
An idea has come, because my brain has finally decided to tell me that I should get a tattoo that declares my autism. With some other stuff, obviously. It’s pretty much a perfect idea for me, because I’ve been wanting one ever since I heard about them. Not as a tattoo for the sake of a tattoo, or some stereotypical, cliched rebellion, but simply to decide something about my body for once, to see if I feel more at home in it and to feel more confident in my right to make my own decisions about it, which has been eroded by the NHS’s gatekeeping policies and abusive environments.
There is only one problem.
Where on earth do I put it? I’m not comfortable baring my arms and my senses are of the opinion that synthetic leather jackets are the most wonderful thing in the world, I’m not comfortable baring my legs for strangers, and I’m sure as hell not comfortable with baring my feet even in summer. Pretty much all I leave exposed are my neck, face and hands. Facial and neck tattoos are not my thing, and the idea of changing my hands, the only parts of me that I find real, fills me with anxiety.
I suppose I’ll simply put it on one of my arms, and I can always let the sleeves of my omnipresent jacket slip down past it if I need to render someone aware of my neurotype without seeming to care if they know. Outside of those occasions, it will make this body more suited to me, and hopefully be the first of many such acts of self-autonomy.