#TakeTheMaskOff

Image description of the words #TakeTheMaskOff in white on a black background

On the 23rd July 2018, an international campaign will be launched. A whole summer dedicated to Masking... but not as we know it.


Myself, Hannah Quinton from from Do I look Autistic Yet?, Christa Holmans, who is the Neurodivergent Rebel and Sara-Jane Harvey, the Agony Autie are joining forces because we want to encourage Autistic and non-Autistic people to learn about Masking. What is is, why we do it and what the impact of it is, so that not only can Autistic people feel more confident not to Mask, but so that non-Autistic people can help create environments where it is safe for us to do so.
Research is starting to show that Masking is a direct lead-in to the very early Autistic average age of death, something Autistic people (inc. yours truly) have been shouting about for a very long time. You can read about this research in my article an Autistic Burnout.
In light of this we have planned six weeks of six subjects all around Masking. With a seventh week where we'd like everyone who has been inspired to throw their Mask away, or who has learnt something about Masking to share their stories.

We would like as many people as possible, to not only read, watch and share what we're offering, but to take part too. Everything we post under these subjects, be it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram will have the hashtag #TakeTheMaskOff.  If you want to join in, please make sure that you attach that hashtag too, so that other people can find your work.

If you want to look for everything associated with the campaign, in the search bars of each each Social Media platform, just put #TakeTheMaskOff

It is so, so important that as much information as possible gets put out there and this takes us one step closer to Autism Acceptance.

Nearer the time, the four of us will be doing a very special live Facebook discussion where we'll talk about Masking, our experiences and the upcoming campaign, so I'll make sure to upload it to Youtube and add it in here once we've done it.  Just think of the Avengers, just with three people who look great in Spandex and one who should never go near it 

Remember, all you need to do, once the campaign starts, is to search the hashtag #TakeTheMaskOff on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and you'll hopefully find a wealth of information. Also if you're deciding to join in don't forget to post or Tweet whatever it is you're doing with the hashtag #TakeTheMaskOff.
We have a number of organisations and big name people ready to help signal boost the campaign including The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, the UK's North East Autism Society, the wonderful Jessica McCabe (Who I blogged about in How to ADHD with Jessica McCabe) and many of the member organisations of The Autistic Cooperative, including ASANAutistic UKFigs UKAutistic Allies and International Badass Activists, among many others who are also putting their own spin on things.

Things are about to get exciting 

For details of all the dates and subjects, see the dates below:
(Image description below)

Image Description:
Large body of text of black and white writing in smaller black bordered sections on a teal background.
From top to bottom reads:
“Follow: #takethemaskoff
Join in with 6 weeks of Blogs, Vlogs, Videos, Interviews, personal, experiences, on and offline content on all Social Media platforms covering the topics below.
You decide if you’re going to fully take part, or dip in and out - but the most important thing is helping to teach those who don’t understand about Masking and why it’s important to have Acceptance so that Autistic people can #TakeTheMaskOff
Week 1 23-29 July What is masking? What it’s like to wear the mask.
Week 2 30-5 Aug What is Stimming? How is it related to Masking?
Week 3 6-12 Aug How does Masking affect Mental Health?
Week 4 13-19 Aug What is burnout? How is it connected to Masking?
Week 5 20-26 Aug Diagnosis/self-awareness. How does that impact Masking?
Week 6 27-2 Sep Coping Strategies. What can help you not to Mask. Using it purposefully?
The Finale 3-10 Sep #TakeOffTheMask How people have been affected by the week.
For more information on Facebook or Twitter visit:
The Autistic Advocate - picture appears to be a white masculine person with short hair and glasses and some short facial hair. The picture is black and white.
Neurodivergent Rebel - picture appears to be a white feminine person wth red glasses short reddish hair and pierced ears with a red jacket over a black shirt underneath.
Agony Autie - picture appears to be of a white feminine person with short pixie hair coloured blue. Wearing a pink and white floral print short sleeved top.Do I look autistic yet - picture appears to be a white feminine person with long sandy blonde hair that is darker towards the top of the head. Wearing a long sleeved black top.



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