Autistic Man Gets Dream Tattoo After Other Shops Refuse To Give Him One

Dan 10 Jan 2019

Ask anyone with body art and they'll tell you that getting a tattoo can be one of the most personally meaningful experiences there is. After all, it's a commitment to getting permanent art inked on your body, so it's important to make it count.

This tattoo tale is an interesting one. Spoiler alert, it has a happy ending. But there were some twists and turns along the way.

If you were to get inked, what would you choose?

Unsplash | Anthony Tran

There are so many options, from mantras to historical imagery to the stuff that just inspires us and keeps us motivated. A 23-year-old named Buzz in the Pacific Northwest recently decided he wanted a tattoo.

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Buzz lives with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Buzz had wanted a tat since he was little. "As a child, he loved the fake ones and would freak out when they washed off," his mom told a local TV station. Unfortunately, the fact that he's autistic scared some tattoo artists away.

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All Buzz wanted was a tattoo of a Rugrats character.

YouTube | NickSplat

For his 23rd birthday, he requested a tattoo of the character Tommy on his arm. It seems like a simple request, but local tattoo artists were afraid that the 6'3", 200-pound Buzz would react badly during the painful process.

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Tattoo pain is no joke.

Giphy | St. Lucia

There's no shortage of videos online of people reacting badly to getting inked up, so the fear was understandable. Fortunately, after tons of searching, Buzz and his parents found tattoo artists who were willing to help.

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A local tattoo shop in Bremerton, Washington offered to help.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

Northwest Inkorporated which currently holds a 5 out of 5 ranking on Facebook, heard the pleas of Buzz and his family and decided to help him achieve his tattoo dream.

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The whole process was documented on Facebook.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

It doesn't look pain-free, exactly, but Buzz toughed it out through the process. When it was all said and done, he had exactly the Tommy tattoo he'd been wanting all along.

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The story quickly went viral.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

Thanks to a story by the local TV station, along with the awesome photos shared by Northwest Inkorporated, people on Facebook and beyond checked out the saga and added their thoughts.

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Others shared their tattoo tales, too.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

This poster, sadly, isn't able to get any more tats because of a health condition. But, like Buzz, he was able to get his Tommy tattoo.

The next chapter of Buzz's saga is even more heartwarming...

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Just a little over a year since the first Tommy tattoo, Buzz came back.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

Anyone with tattoos will tell you it's tough to stop at just one. Buzz decided he wanted a full arm sleeve, and the good folks at Northwest Inkorporated were happy to oblige.

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The new ink is Pokémon-forward.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

...but there's more than just Ash Ketchum. You can also see Arthur (he's an aardvark, I think, right?) and, of course, Buzz's cartoon namesake: the heroic Buzz Lightyear. To infinity, and beyond!

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Buzz's new sleeve got all kinds of praise.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

From parents to artists to tattoo enthusiasts to just plain well-wishers, the comments section on Facebook is full of praise for Buzz's individuality, as well as the tattoo shop's handiwork.

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All in all, it's a story that'll get you right in the feels.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

For those who don't know anyone with autism, it can be a tricky disorder to understand. But this story shows that a little openness and understanding can go a long way.

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Many people who live with autism experience the same discrimination that Buzz did.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

Being told they don't "have the mind set to decide what [they want] because of autism" is commonplace, but a huge misunderstanding.

But not everyone shares that shallow perspective.

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Northwest Inkorporated responded to the out-pour of love with a perfect response.

Facebook | Northwest Inkorporated

"When I was asked about doing the tattoo I didn't even meet Buzz," the author of their Facebook page said, "I was told about the situation they were going through in finding someone even willing to do the tattoo."

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"And because of that reason, and the fact that he was so sure he wanted the tattoo, I told his parents the least I could do is try."

Giphy | HULU

They went on to explain that no one deserves the silent treatment from a tattoo shop, "No one should have to go through this regardless of their situation!"

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"He sat like a champ, didn't complain or quit, and we did it!"

Giphy | Tony Awards

It's super heartwarming to see not only a genuine interaction between humans, but the passion that exists in this tattoo artist's line of work, and Buzz's odyssey of the now infamous Tommy tat'.

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