July 7, 2019

Before I get started with my rant, I just want to say how much my heart hurts at the news of Cameron Boyce. When my sister told me the news this morning, I thought she was lying because it seemed too sudden. When I realized it was legit, I started crying immediately. My eyes have watered on and off throughout the day, and I have felt extremely nauseous at the news. The last time I responded so strongly to a celebrity’s passing was when we lost Robin Williams. Both his and Cameron’s passing completely shattered my heart. I don’t know Cameron Boyce personally, but from seeing his works and interviews and social media posts, I knew he was someone special. He was just getting started. My heart hurts.

Putting my grieving and sorrow aside, let’s get onto the rant. It has nothing to do with the previous paragraph, hence the three dots acting as a separator.

The topic for this rant has been on my mind for several days. This week’s topic is… autism, with the addition of bullying.

I am not going to pretend that I am an expert when it comes to knowing everything about autism. One of my acquaintances back at school talked to me about autism a little bit, and I honestly really loved the conversation; I gained more knowledge than I had going into the conversation.

Fast forward to this summer. I work with three autistic guys at my job, and they are the sweetest gentlemen I have ever met. As I gained knowledge about autism, I learned how to talk to them without being a jerk; fortunately, with the reassurance of my acquaintance, I realized I wasn’t in the first place. I never want to intentionally be a jerk. However, there are other people who are intentionally jerks.

It has come to my attention, recently, that some of the older gentlemen I work with are absolute douche bags. They are being straight up bullies and saying incredibly negative and hurtful things about the three autistic guys I work with; contrary to what some people believe (people I know), you don’t have to be in school to be a bully. There are people well over the age of thirty who are definitely bullies. When I realized they were making fun of these three gentlemen, who are the hardest working guys at my job, I got extremely upset and approached them about it.

One of the guys had the audacity to say, “They don’t look autistic.” AUTISM IS NOT A LOOK. After having the conversation with the girl from school, I found out that many people associate those who are autistic to have down syndrome, which I wish I knew. That is a completely incorrect statement, and I wish people thought (or even researched) before they spoke.

Whether they knew they were autistic or not, there was still no need to verbally bully them. They didn’t even wait until the three gentlemen left the room before they started talking about them. As a victim of bullying, I hate bullies; those three gentlemen do not deserve it at all.

Those three gentlemen shine their lights of positivity so brightly, and it does not deserve to be diminished by men well over the age of forty who are saying negative, hurtful things. One of the reasons (honestly, probably the only reason) I look forward to going to work most days is because I love the people I work with. However, I don’t like the douche wads who bully the three kindest guys I know (I also don’t appreciate the girl who explodes in the women’s bathroom every day and doesn’t flush the toilet, but that’s for a different day).

Everyone should be treated with equality and kindness (among many other things). Don’t bully autistic people. Actually, don’t bully anyone. Don’t use your situation or upbringing as an excuse.

Just be kind. It’s really not that hard.

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