More good things!

I have some exciting news to announce.

Not only was I a recipient of a BC Arts Council grant – which means I have the ability to create more awesome things, but my local MLA (Member of the legislative assembly) Rick Glumac spoke about me at the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria.

Here’s the video!

I am so grateful that my hard work was acknowledged and that he spoke up about the puzzle piece, awareness vs acceptance and used my correct pronouns.

I also wanted to announce that not only was I an independent consultant for York Universities Mental Health Literacy for Autism, but I am so pleased to show you that they chose to use my “Love Grows” image on the cover as you can see here.

If you like this design, I actually sell pins, patches and stickers with it in my etsy store!

I’ve also contributed to a few “Nothing with out us” segments on CBC’s “on the coast with Gloria Macarenko”, and i’m incredibly thankful that I have been given this opportunity.

I’ve been keeping myself as busy as possible and I will have many new items that i’ll be releasing soon and I even got my first dose of the covid-19 vaccine. I’ve been working on keeping myself hydrated and my mind in a more positive state. It’s a challenge though and I can’t wait until my family, friends and roommates are fully vaccinated.

I really can’t wait to share more good things with you.

Thank you so much for supporting me and reading.

Mortgage Tree does it again.

I had reached out to Mortgage Tree in the past to provide them with feedback about how terrible their campaign was.

I’ve already written extensively and provided a free guide for businesses to understand how to navigate these treatorous waters, but they actively choose not to listen.

They blocked me after this.

I created a video and a long blog post about all the things that happened.

The original writing from 2019

They made a plethora of excuses and essentially negated my voice and all the feedback that I had for them. Seems like they’ve continued on this campaign and also have continued to hire a NON-AUTISTIC artist (from what it seems) to create a colouring book page for them.

It’s exhausting to provide feedback to give them the chance to change and do better, but instead they choose not to do this.

If you want to see what they have done with their campaign and reach out to them, here’s where you can go:

The businesses involved:

Achievements!

I have been working hard to reach more milestones and I want to announce that I met my 500 sales goal and I have exceeded it. I have had so many orders go out lately and it’s keeping me exceptionally busy, which I am so grateful for. I am reminded of how I am living a dream i’ve always had, and that’s always been to sell my own merchandise. I try to ensure that I also write hand written notes to each customer.

Look at all these packages I sent out! This wasn’t even all of them.

Another goal that was reached was that the Made by Autistics Community is now well over 3,000 members strong. How incredible is this? I saw a desperate need for a group for Autistic creatives out of frustration I had. Every time I just wanted to SHOWCASE my specific cat-related art, I would head in to cat groups and people would ask me if I was selling or they’d tell me no selling was allowed, when all I wanted to do was showcase my art! That also lead me to creating the Made by Autistics Marketplace to fill that need. Both these groups work well with each other. Sometimes there’s a few bumps in the road, but I do my best.

Recently my artwork was licensed for a very special project so when that’s all finalized, i’m very eager to share. I also have a speaking engagement coming up as well so i’m stoked for that.

I was also featured on the Tri-City News and Vancouver Is Awesome! I would love if you could check out the article (they are the same on both sites) and share with your friends. I also posted about it on the Vancouver sub reddit and it’s created a really interesting discussion.

So, with all that being said: i’ve been very busy, my 6th enamel pin is currently in production, I am going to be creating so many more things and i’m not stopping anytime soon!

P.S. My sister and her bandmate released a brand new song, i’d be so jazzed if you could watch it and follow them on twitter and facebook.

It’s AUTISM ACCEPTANCE DAY!

Today is the day where we reject Autism Speaks. We don’t light it up blue, we don’t say “Autism Awareness” because to be aware of something doesn’t mean you accept it.

Instead, choose to support Autistic people. Choose to support those around you instead of a large organization who are money hungry, have a genetic database, and use incredibly harmful imagery such as the puzzle piece.

I don’t need to feel like i’m broken, missing part of myself or needing some kind of solving.

The things I have personally done that i’m proud of (when imposter syndrome doesn’t rear it’s ugly head):

-Contributing to an important Autism guide (more info to come)

-Running Made by Autistics Community & Made by Autistics Marketplace on Facebook

-Creating a Neurodiversity and Autism merchandise collection on my etsy store

-Speaking up on various media channels

-Creating a dialogue and educating people against the harms of the puzzle pieces

-Having a podcast

-Having a youtube channel

-Bridging the gap between my art and Autism to open up the dialogue of what Autistic people are capable of and reducing stigmas

I feel like there’s so many things that Autistic people have accomplished, but instead these large organizations, who tend to weaponize “Autism Moms” against Autistic Adults, choose to continue to make life even harder for Autistic people.

If you’re Autistic, what are the things you are most proud of accomplishing?

If you’re not Autistic, do you have any questions for me?

Also, I wanted to add that I am having a contest for my Neurodiversity & Autism merchandise over at the Made by Autistics Marketplace on facebook and if you’re feeling like joining and entering, I would truly be very jazzed about it!

Relevant blogs i’ve written:

Neurodiversity Pride

The Neurodiversity Pride collection was created in part with funding received from the BC Arts Council and the generosity of the Wosk Foundation in the awarding of this grant.

artscouncil-bcid-lockup-rgb-pos-1

10% of each item sold will be donated to a few cat related charities of my choosing.

(My first set of donations were made to Autistics United Canada.)

My Enamel Pins

I am so proud to announce my newest pin design “Smiling Sun”, I can’t believe i’m up to five designs so far. This has always been a huge dream of mine and even though I haven’t sold a single sun pin yet, I feel like i’m trying to remain positive and set myself up for future successes.

I am hoping that, once Covid is a thing of a past (will that even happen?) that I will be able to participate in small festivals in Vancouver. I really think that these pins would be a huge hit.

There are many plans for the future, such as cute cat pins that I can create for charitable purposes. I have applied for some grants so fingers crossed I can get some more funding.

It also seems like the interest in my original art has completely dwindled and that the things that are selling well for me are my Neurodiversity Pride collection, my LGBTQ2+ collection, my Childfree enamel pins & my Autism identity enamel pins.

I try to remind myself that even though the interest in my merchandise and offerings has changed, that i’m still able to create whatever I want and bring more acceptance towards the Autistic community.

Here I am, wearing my Smiling Sun pin and I have themed my entire outfit based on the colours of the pins.

If you want to support me, please check out www.etsy.com/shop/retrophiliac and please share it with your friends. I thrive on word of mouth!

Etsy MILESTONE!

I’m so excited to announce that i’ve reached and exceeded 400 sales in my etsy store.

Photo by Anna-Louise on Pexels.com

This is HUGE! Each and every sale I get helps me support myself and continue to reinvest in to getting more items made. I have enamel pins being manufactured right now and the hope is to have them released by the beginning of March.

I also have a lot of new and gently used clothing to list on my depop, poshmark and ebay accounts. I’m really branching out and finding different revenue streams. It also DEFINITELY ensures that I am never bored.

Now that I got a formal OCD diagnosis, it explains why I have routines and clean obsessively. I feel like I understand myself a lot better.

I have been updating my TIKTOK account very frequently, so I hope you follow me over there. I’d love to interact with you. We could be mutuals?

All the best,

Margaux

The stress of Autism Advocacy

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again:

I’m so ready to throw in the towel.

I felt like my contributions were worthwhile and at this point I feel like the stress and fighting is far outweighing the benefits and my mental health is suffering. I am at a low point.

If the goal is to help folks, we should be understanding that the worst thing to do is penalize people.

I’m unsure what happened to the ideals of kindness, speaking to people with respect and understanding. It seems like this has all fallen by the wayside. Instead, there’s folks out there with sheer anger and frustration, taking it out on everyone for the world to see.

It’s sad to know that we’ve come to a place where instead of activism, advocacy and helping people, we’ve been reduced to videos where folks are naming names and creating a cult or pact mentality against folks in our community.

Is re-victimizing and triggering folks helping anyone? If we are to be helpful, why is calling out people in videos acceptable, acknowledged and praised? This should never be the baseline.

The focus has been taken away from information, knowledge and advice and has turned in to dictatorship with numerous folks joining in on the bullying, further strengthening the ability to dog pile and driving them to their lowest point – driving them to contemplate suicide.

The sad thing is, it’s going to happen. Someone is going to end up harming themselves. I know that I was made to feel like an absolute piece of human filth. I felt like crying. I was triggered, I was brought to panic. I also was made to be unable to seek emotional help that I was in dire need of.

I’m not trying to argue. But at what point do I have to say “enough is enough”?

Well i’ll tell you:

When the emotional toll becomes too much to bare and helping people is overshadowed.

We shouldn’t be bullying folks out of activism and advocacy. If our goal is to help people, why are so many folks being driven to mental breakdowns? Because the opportunity to listen has turned in to the opportunity to dictate.

I’m not putting myself through this. I’m beyond sad. I’m not trying to argue, i’m not trying to fight, i’m not trying to start a war. But this is eating away at me and the moment i’m told to stay silent becomes the moment I have to speak.

Childfree Pins & Autism Candles

First part of this blog, I would like to discuss my latest enamel pin release.

I’ve been openly Childfree and I have incredibly controversial views when it comes to procreation. As you may or may not know I once got in to a bit of a brawl with a parent for posting an unpopular opinions puffin meme, where they felt PERSONALLY ATTACKED.

I am unapologetic about this. I’m very open about it and I do get harassed often on dating sites & apps by men who don’t read my profile about it. So, I wanted to create an enamel pin that would be an excellent accessory to lapels, backpacks and much more. This was not a product that I was able to purchase from someone else, so I took it amongst myself to create. So far, i’ve sold 18 since launching them just a few days ago.

If you want one, you can buy one in my etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/retrophiliac.


Autism Candles

If you stumbled upon my page from Autism Candles, please note:

I do NOT endorse Nathan. I have asked him MULTIPLE TIMES to remove my content from his blog and he has refused and has chosen to gaslight me. He is featured in an Autism Speaks employment toolkit and it is in my best interest to not be associated by someone who has associations with AS and chooses to use the colour blue. I do have screenshots of our conversations but I am not going to be posting them. I just felt that I needed to disclose this.

Sadly, due to his combative nature and inability to respect my wishes to remove my content, I have removed the reblog feature for my posts.

If he is posting your content, perhaps you can try to ask him to remove it – but chances are you’ll be met with an argument versus a kind response agreeing to take it down. I really thought he’d be a little kinder about it, but he hasn’t been. I’ve already tweeted to him in the past and we had a pretty heated argument that he seemed to have forgotten about.

Thanks so much for reading!

Puzzle Pieces & Autism Moms

I have wanted to write about this for a while but I have been putting it off.

I wanted to address the issue with “Autism Moms” or “Autism Parents” and the exploitative tactics that sellers of Puzzle piece merchandise utilize to gain sales.

I reached out to a parent run company on etsy that was selling a sparkly puzzle piece enamel pin in honour of their Autistic child. I tried to educate them and tell them that it is a symbol of hate and eugenics, and instead they felt threatened by me and told me if I continued to contact them, that they’d report me to etsy.

@retr0philiac

Informal video. Read the ableist history of the puzzle piece. Please no pro puzzles! #autism #autistic #autistictok #actuallyautistic #neurodiversity

♬ original sound – Margaux – retrophiliac

There’s over 6,000 listings for the search query of “Puzzle piece Autism”. These are sellers who are EXPLOTING THE IGNORANCE OF FOLKS WHO DO NOT KNOW IT’S A HATE SYMBOL. Chances are, the people selling these items are profiting off this. They probably know how harmful this symbol is and yet they continue to perpetuate it because it’s PROFITABLE.

I’m unsure of how many folks don’t see the problem here. Profiting off these symbols and selling them to unsuspecting individuals is wrong and again, incredibly exploitative.

I’m in a facebook group and a mother had asked about her “Autism Mama” bracelet which was adorned with puzzle pieces, and she was quickly – and swiftly educated.

I ended up having an “Autism Mom” slide in to my private messages and DEMANDING I educate her on the subject. There was more than enough information in the initial thread. She weaponized an Art of Autism article against me about someone who was pro-puzzle piece (but denounced her support in the beginning of the article). I had asked The Art of Autism to amend this article to include pertinent articles and was met with an uncomfortable misunderstanding. At this point, I will no longer associate myself with The Art of Autism.

Make better choices, buy from Autistic people (Made by Autistics Marketplace is a great resource), support the rainbow spectrum infinity symbol and do your research.

A note: If you’re a PARENT of an AUTISTIC CHILD, Do -NOT- co opt their diagnosis as your identity. This is NOT your identity. Don’t talk over Autistic adults. Listen instead. Remember: Your child is going to be an ADULT SOMEDAY. Wouldn’t; you want them to be able to help others and feel empowered?

Also: don’t expect Autistic adults to be a certain way or to provide endless advice. We don’t owe anyone (especially parents) anything.

If you need more information about this, please visit:

Don’t forget, I have a NEURODIVERSITY PRIDE COLLECTION. There ARE alternatives to the puzzle piece.