My name is Jorik Mol. I was born in the Netherlands in 1987 and diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum at the age of eight.
When I got diagnosed as autistic, I hated it. It felt like I was not allowed the rights and ease of living everybody else seemed to have. I fought myself for almost twenty years, deeply ashamed of what I couldn’t help but be.
But after meeting a dear friend, I changed my mind.
I met another autistic young man, fell in love and was his partner for three years and, now, my best friend. He helped me come to terms with my autism. I became a teacher and found many more autistic and neurodivergent people of all ages. I became involved in the autistic community – the only community ever to welcome me with open arms.
Now, I have been an autistic activist for two years. I have worked as an autistic advocate within the NHS (UK), where I ran an autistic experience group, represented my local NHS Trust at the Parliamentary Enquiry on the Autism Strategy in 2019, I organised and ran Oxford’s first Autistic Pride event. I am an increasingly well-known face within the autistic community, chairing and co-chairing sessions at the Autistica and Autscape conferences in 2020.
Being autistic is an identity with aspects of disability. We are part of the neurodivergent community. Our identity intersects with gender, race, sexuality, gender identity, disability and class.
I now share my life with another autistic man, write autistic fiction, teach English as a foreign language, MFL and EAP, am a personal tutor and autistic mentor and I write and do speaking engagements to educate organisations and individuals on autism and neurodiversity. I live in Reading, UK.