Not quite enough

‘You’re not Autistic enough to say you’re Autistic’
‘You don’t look Autistic’
‘Jeanette only has very mild Asperger’s. She has no right to say she’s Autistic’
‘My nephew/son/sister/insert random relative/ is ACTUALLY Autistic, not like you.’
‘You could pass for normal’.

I respond almost defensively
As if I need to defend my right to share something I was diagnosed with
By a specialist.
As if the topic people pay me to speak about - from personal experience
The topic of the several books I have penned
The community I so delightedly and gratefully belong to
Is not where I fit.

Few things spur me to anger
I am patient and kind
I try hard not to judge
But this ‘not quite Autistic enough’
Not quite non-verbal enough
Not quite stereotypical enough
Not quite male enough
Not quite enough of your expectations
Not quite broken enough…

Your not quite enough is just enough to make me leave my patience behind
Drop my kindness and launch into invective and fury.

If I’m not quite Autistic enough
Maybe you’re not quite smart enough
Not quite considerate enough
Not quite evolved enough
Not quite decent enough
Not quite empathetic enough
Not quite respectful enough
Not quite tactful enough
Not quite human enough?
To be counted among the list of people I value.