Official Statement - My battle with Autism and Autism Awareness
I am Tristin or TaZe, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Awaken, and as many of you know this month is Autism Awareness Month and I personally, as this month hits close to home to speak, wanted to shed light onto something you may not have known about me at all through the time Awaken has been a major organization.
When I was young, I was diagnosed with Autism and it has been tough not only as a business owner and entrepreneur, gaming entertainer, but as a person as well. The experience has been a very tough one as at first entering the gaming community having a disability of that nature was and still today something that many people use as a method of targeting for bullying, harassment, along with other options as well. I have witnessed over hundreds of people with disabilities or somewhat potentially fatal conditions being subjected to this type of discrimination within the competitive environment of eSports and gaming entertainment.
There is always a certain level of banter between competitors, however some of these instances exceeded the boundaries of harmless banter and ventured into the realm of bullying and toxicity, and months like this month are special to me as Autism is a part of me, even though life has had it’s rough times for me where I was also subjected to the same or even worse types of bullying and harassment for who I am.
As many of you know I started my own personal channel on YouTube 4 years ago, and as many today still tell me, I would get nowhere within my career in entertainment, or success would never come, and that hate and various methods of what I went through emotionally and personally has driven me throughout the years to strive to make a legacy within eSports and entertainment for those just like me that will send a message that though we may have this developmental disability that impacts us, just makes us want to go to extreme lengths to overcome the disorder and show that we can do great and extraordinary things.
As I mentioned, the fact I have Autism has been a very emotional ride for myself, as through my personal education at my school, as almost every year, handfuls of individuals throw bottles, laughed at me for amusement and to make jokes because of the difficulty of communication and social interactions I face, harassed me because of my autism & many other things to prove the toxicity that still is an issue within the community.
You make my life what it is today, the opportunity I have to impact & entertain people through videos and on top of that, work and talk with some of the greatest content creators, professionals and fanbases in the entire world, and that is beyond words and due to my disability, we at Awaken will be hosting streams for the rest of the month, and 50% of that amount to PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center and 50% to the Born This Way Foundation to support awareness and action against bullying and harassment, and I would like to encourage not only players, entertainers, but staff and fans worldwide to set a positive example whenever possible.
Thanks to all of you for supporting us and making this one of the greatest things I have ever done in my lifetime,
Tristin or TaZe