Guess what? A couple weeks ago, I got to write my first piece for Upworthy all about July’s Disability Pride Month!!! And I couldn’t be more proud of how the piece turned out, friends…
July was a HUGE month for disability rights as we celebrated both the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act and Disability Pride Month.
Predictably, neither was mentioned by Trump or the White House. At all. If this doesn’t tell you exactly how this administration feels about disabled people, then I don’t know what will. But, really, did we expect them to? Of course not!! I suppose that’s a topic for a separate blog post, though!
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which it was so powerful to put all my feelings about disability pride into words:
“Finally, we’re seeing this trend of disabled people reclaiming what it means to have a disability. We don’t typically see the words pride and disability together, but for disabled people like me, the two words go hand in hand. “Disability pride” is a declaration as much as it is a celebration, where the disability community is shouting, “Yes, disabled people want to be seen and heard. And guess what? We’re not going anywhere!”
My hope is that one day, we won’t need any entire month to remind people that it’s okay to celebrate disabilities and that society will celebrate us because they see our inherent worth and dignity just like we do. Until that day, though, here’s a reminder one more time: Please, see my wheelchair. See my disability. See all of me.”
I also think it’s important to talk about the journey of “disability pride” itself. People sometimes think that becoming comfortable in your disabled body is automatic. Trust me, it’s NOT. Loving yourself in a society that says you shouldn’t is a lifelong process. It’s a journey I’ll always be on, but one I’m proud to be on!
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so I see your tweet and we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo