A-Z Disability Challenge | D : Dear Disability Community

Howdy!

For today, I am basically writing a letter to the disability community. This post is going to a very strong, opinionated piece. I have been keeping a lot of these thoughts locked up for a long time and I think it’s time to unleash them on here. So you’ve been warned!

I feel like the disability and feminist communities are fairly similar with the way people within it can be quick to judge you if you don’t agree with a certain subject. Everybody thinks we all should have the same feelings about the main topic that both groups discuss, like equality and you role as a human being. I’ve been thinking about the role and where I stand on the various topics that both groups fight for on a daily basis, but I’m mainly targeting disabled people.


I think I’m an army of one. I’ve always thought that, because I was kind of taught that over the years. The only back-up I have is my family and maybe some close family friends, but hardly any of them share the same feelings as me, especially about disability in general, because they’re not in my shoes, or maybe in this case we’ll say “wheels?” It’s not their fault by any means, and I’ve kind of learned to live with it. I’ve become more of a silent advocate for the community. I don’t join a lot of the discussions of bigger topics, like politics. When I was in high school, we were taught how to register to vote and if you already 18, you were allowed to go ahead and do it in class. When I was asked to do it, I said no. There was a lot of backlash for it, one person even told me that I wasn’t allowed to complain if a person you’re rooting for doesn’t win because I didn’t vote. Fast forward to 2016, after seeing the chaos, I don’t think my vote would have mattered because Trump had bewitched the public into letting him into the White House anyways.

The second reason why was because I was afraid of basically breaking rank in my household. My parents are strong Republicans and being somebody, who supports the opposite committee or person, is literally the worse thing you could possibly do. So, I try my best to stay far away from politics at home and even online within my own community. Despite the fact that the majority of the disabled people out there, hate our President as much as I do, there are some very extreme people who will do anything to “stand up” for their rights.

At the start of 2017 I think, I saw a video of a news channel filming people with various disabilities, some of them removing themselves out of their wheelchairs, lying on the ground, and being carried away by security and police officers to jail. I’ve never been in a position to feel like that was my only option, but I was conflicted at the thought of seeing how far people in different circumstances doing anything and everything to plead to people, even making a spectacle of themselves. However, whenever a bill that contains something about disabled people, I am concerned but all I feel like I can do physically is pray.

The next topic I’d like to discuss is about the death of Stephan Hawking. There was a cartoon drawing of Stephan ascending to Heaven, free of his wheelchair, computer, and tubes, and he’s shown walking up the golden stairs to the sky. I thought it was a beautiful drawing, but a lot of wheelchair users were really angry about it. Immediately, there were arguments being made about being in a wheelchair is a form of being “free” and that the drawing just added to the myth that once we die, we’re free of all of our flaws: disabilities included.

Again, this was another thing that I chose to stay out of, because I did not agree with the disabled community on two things. Throughout my childhood, I was told by various family members that when we die, our bodies will be transformed if you will. As I got older, I began to believe this more and have always looked forward to that possibility. And the other was, I don’t believe my wheelchair gives me my freedom. Am I mobile? Yes, but I am not free to move around for a long distance by myself. I feel like I have the most freedom when I’m on the floor. Why? Because there’s more space to spread things out, I don’t need everything right beside me at all times. There are issues with reaching for things that are higher than me, but I always find my way around it.

I know I’m going to be attacked in some form by the words I’ve said in this post, but I still stand by what I believe and that is, we’re not all supposed to have the same feelings and nobody is going to make me convert to their way of thinking, trust me, people have tried their hardest to do this for years! I’ve heard many different sides of these two subjects online, mostly on Twitter and so far, nobody’s said anything to divert me in another direction, the only thing I’ve learned to do is hold my tongue and I’m perfectly fine with doing that for the rest of my life.

How do you stay out of the drama with your family, friends and/or online? Are there topics you do not discuss at all?

To The Ones Who Mock Us

Thanksgiving day for me, started out pretty good. We had our family meal on Black Friday, so I chilled out at home. I lounged around, watching movies and occasionally going on my Facebook and Twitter to see everybody else enjoying their family fun and the delicious food. Everything was fine until about noon and it all went to hell.

I was scrolling through my Facebook and I saw this video and a very long status of somebody in the Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita Facebook group that I’m happily a part of. Everybody in that group was furious. I didn’t want to watch the clip, FB just started playing it. Just reading the captions on the screen and all of the comments below pretty much took my breath away. I was so hurt. I’m not interested in politics, I actually try to stay away from it, but my folks are, my dad is still deciding I think, but my mom is, well was a supporter of Donald Trump.

After I saw everything on Facebook I retreated offline and watched the rest of Gone With The Wind from the night before. I didn’t know what to feel honestly. So I bottled it up, I just didn’t think I’d take my anger out on my parents. My poor mom came home from work to me in a mess of emotions. I was really upset and just before she took a nap I basically broke down. I was crying my eyes out. I was really hurt on how somebody who needs people to vote for him for president would make fun of another person’s disability. It doesn’t matter if that other person is a journalist, he is still a person and has feelings. People and family members of children like myself with AMC have feelings too. It’s never fun to be mocked by people who have nothing better to do.

Several days have past since seeing the video, thankfully not a lot of my family members have shared the video and talked about Mr. Trump with me in the room. I’m still fairly upset, because you know, he won’t apologize for it. At least he won’t give an sincere apology to the guy. It wouldn’t even matter if he apologized to all of the families that he offended, including mine. It wouldn’t mean a damn thing because the damage has already been done.

And then Kylie Jenner decided to piss off the wheelchair community, which is something else that I’m actively apart of since I don’t walk on my own two feet. Sad part is, I was less mad about it. Yes. I agree why everybody’s mad, she’s using it as a prop while the rest of us use it to get around. I’m on my second wheelchair but I’ve been waiting for a new one since 2013. The one thing I’m mainly upset about and I think everybody else would be too if they gave it some thought, shouldn’t this be part of the magazine’s fault for allowing this to happen in the first place? I’m not saying she’s not wrong, but think about it. Who made this to become the prop of the whole photo shoot? I doubt it was Kylie’s. So who’s really to blame here?

My most important question of this entire post is since when did it become cool to mock a person with any handicap? This goes for invisible, mental and physical disabilities. We have real problems here. I mean, the more these public figures continue to make the stupid choice in making fun of a person with a disability on television or in a magazine, who’s to say that they’re admirers won’t disagree? Everybody has said “we need to stop bullying” but yet I keep seeing these things pop up everywhere. You may have the right to freedom of speech, but it’s all bullying! Every single way you do it, it’s mocking somebody else’s daily struggle. I’ve been handicapped since the day I was born. Nobody has the right to make fun of what we might have wrong with us! And there’s nothing wrong with us, you’ll lose more people this way rather than gaining them.

So I’m done, for now.