This In Real Life member is choosing to be unapologetically himself!
Just one day after ringing in his 20th birthday, Michael Conor took to Instagram to celebrate another milestone: the four-year anniversary of his Autism diagnosis. Along with pics of his new tattoo, a colorful puzzle piece, the rapper got real about how his fans and followers have inspired him to approach the next chapter of his life without any fear of judgement.
We couldn’t be prouder! Michael opened up about how scary it was, at age 16, to be diagnosed with High Functioning Autism, but how he’s now turning the page, embracing his journey, and using his platform to bring awareness to others.
“I don’t wanna be corny but you guys really saved me. I heard your stories and realized how much I related to all of you, but the problem was you didn’t know how much you truly related to ME,” he wrote.
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Four years ago on this day June 8th 2015 I was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. Hearing this at the time was the most scary and confusing thing, as I didn’t exactly know what it meant for me. I was terrified, not only because of the stigma surrounding autism, but because I felt like now I had been put in a box I couldn’t break out of. Naturally, I spent years hiding it from everybody, including my closest friends. It wasn’t until I met you all, the fans, that I finally realized my true purpose as an artist and as a HUMAN. I heard your stories, and the thing that really shocked me was that a lot of your struggles were very similar to mine. Going through school the common question was “how do we fix this kid?” or “how do we get him to adapt to our ways of learning and growing?” I was put on so many different pills and medications to keep my focus in class, when in reality I was too focused, too determined, too much for any school to take on. I don’t wanna be corny but you guys really saved me. I heard your stories and realized how much I related to all of you, but the problem was you didn’t know how much you truly related to ME. I needed to get this tattooed on my body forever so I can show people that no matter what label you’ve been given, whether it be ADHD, OCD, ODD, ASD, or Anxiety, you are on this planet for a REASON. We have a VOICE, and as I continue to grow and gain more success I will use my platform to bring an awareness to this BEAUTIFUL disorder and give kids like 16 year old Conor HOPE. This was never about me though, my purpose is to inspire this next generation of SUPERHEROES to innovate and change the world we live in. I turned 20 yesterday, so it’s only right that I approach this next chapter of my life as ME.