I would like to begin my first post on the JewishBoston blog representing Gateways by quoting the chorus to a song that was pretty popular in Britain.

“They call me 'Bell'

They call me 'Stacey'

They call me 'her'

They call me 'Jane'

That's not my name

That's not my name

That's not my name

That's not my name

They call me 'quiet girl'

But I'm a riot Mary, Jo, Lisa

Always the same

That's not my name

That's not my name

That's not my name

That's not my name.”

(From “That’s Not My Name” by The Ting Tings)

Now, why would I quote this song that has nothing to do with disabilities or Judaism or Jewish people with disabilities? The answer is in the title of the song.

QueenUnicorn5678 is clearly not my real name. It is a screen name that I use to write blog posts on my experience as a teenage girl living with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

I use a screen name because I have received a lot of hate over the course of my lifetime for having an ASD. When I was 9, I found out about my diagnosis, and I told all of my “friends.” These “friends” completely left me in the dust after I came out in the open about my diagnosis. Over the course of elementary and middle school, more and more “friends” left me in the dust just because I’m different. People spread rumors about me, saying I was “weird” or “different.” I get stares in public sometimes, as if people can see right through me and tell just by looking at me that I’m autistic.

When Gateways first contacted me about blogging for them, I was more than happy to do it. However, I had just graduated Middle School and was about to start High School in the fall. I knew that High School was an opportunity to start fresh. People at my new school would know me as myself and not as a label. I could finally have a chance to make new friends and figure out how to stitch myself into the fabric of my High School community. I could have flushed those huge opportunities down the toilet just by writing a blog post under my real name. High School is wildfire: my peers could easily jump at any chance to try and burn me down to the ground.

Now that I’ve been at High School for almost a full semester, I have made many amazing new friends. I even told a few of them about my diagnosis and they kept being loyal and trustworthy. Everything I had hoped for out of my High School experience happened.

Guess what? There are still haters. Foes from elementary school are in some of my classes and roll their eyes at me in the hallways. Bullies tell me I’m a delusional idealist. Childhood friends are leaving me behind in pursuit of a space at the Popular Table.

The lessons I’ve learned in High School can be summed up by a few more musical quotes:

“Those who mind, don't matter

Those who matter, don't mind

If you don't catch what I'm throwing then I leave you behind”

(“Masterpiece” by Jessie J)

“'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off

Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break

And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake

Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off”

(“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift)

“But even if the stars and moon collide

I never want you back into my life

You can take your words and all your lies

Oh oh oh I really don't care

Even if the stars and moon collide

I never want you back into my life

You can take your words and all your lies

Oh oh oh I really don't care

Oh oh oh I really don't care”

(“Really Don’t Care” by Demi Lovato)

I might consider writing under my real name, but not until I’m older and I am better able to handle the backlash and hate comments. Until then, get used to QueenUnicorn5678, because she has a lot more she wants to say to you!