dear disability community,

this past weekend, i ruined my hair. i now have this big blonde patchy layer on the side of my head. just gonna rock it since it costs too much to get professionally fixed…

but enough of my hair. there was a reason i brought it up. i wanted to tell you about something my mom said when she walked in and witnessed the tragedy which is my head:

“cripchick-yah!! just cause you’re in a chair doesn’t mean you have to be radical about everything!!”

she thought i did my hair like this on purpose? and she associates wheelchair users with militancy? wow. folks, like the ADAPT activists in DC this week, really ARE redefining disability.

the divine ms jimmi says:

When people with disabilities take to the streets and say that the system is broken, we don’t want to live in your shitty institutions because the sight of us bothers you or that we want our rights along with choices that the mainstream public takes advantage of everyday–suddenly, we’re not so cute and inspirational.

People with disabilities want to live in the real world with everyone else. We want our chances to live and work and have families. We hate your institutions, your “special schools” your “special olympics” and your crappy segregated institutional housing choices.

all i can say is yes. yes yes yes yes

whether you represent the community by
taking a sledgehammer to an inaccessible curbcut
helping someone navigate medicaid spend downs, pass accounts, etc
questioning things
talking about SEX
writing your heart out
setting up a tent city on HUD’s front porch
advocating for services in school
saying NO! we do not think this is okay & will not let it happen
working on the Hill (the ADA Amendments Act passed this week!)
bringing it all together under one roof [intersectionality]
organizing a disability pride parade
applying cross-disability theory to a whole new movement
hosting disability culture events
recording the history of collective struggle
planting and growing seeds for the future
fighting so people can have those basic services in your community
challenging the mainstream media
connecting people together using the tools in your hands,

i am so proud of you today. so so proud of my community today. lead on.

love to you all,
cripchick

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “dear disability community,

  1. I am so proud of those who went and put their bodies on the line for all of us. They are showing people that we will not be ignored. We will not watch our brothers and sisters with disabilities be institutionalized simply because it’s more convenient for the state to lock us up and throw away the key.

    By the way, I think it’s totally awesome that your mom associates being a wheelchair user with having a radical mindset. It’s way past time for politicians to start seeing things that way too.

  2. Hey, great blog here. Love this post as well. Thanks for following me on Twitter. How’d ya find me?

  3. @ bint, i know, i can’t even put my pride into words this week. amazing

    @ jack, not sure how i saw you on twitter (i think through another twitterer) but have been lurking over at your blog and catching hip hop friday for a while now : ) thanks for stopping by

  4. Liz

    Clearly ADAPT is the new generation for disability rights. I suggested that ADAPT members publicly by pass talk or harsh criticism of the organizations that came before as a way to bridge the gaps between then and now.

  5. equating disability and militancy = uber awesome πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    yeah, the ongoing ADAPT action is fantastic, i am looking on from the UK with major envy…

    BTW, i think you would look *hot* with a shaved head… πŸ˜‰

  6. pennylrichardsca

    From first-hand experience, I can recommend Beyond the Zone goth-black hair coloring to cover all kinds of regrettable hair situations. I was surprised how well it worked, and it’s gentle to use after most other coloring products. Worth a try, anyway, before you shave it all off and start over. (Now that’d please your mum, eh?)

  7. @ liz it’s been really cool to see ADAPT continually bring in new techniques and strategies (twitter, blogswarms, tent city) that i think keeps them current in many ways. at the same time, it’s cool to recognize the role ADAPT has played since the beginning. nothing neater than retelling ADAPT stories to a group of new activists, y’know? : )

    @ shiva, me— shaved head? *blushes*

    @ penny LOL! thanks for the hair advice— i have this little squeezy bottle of “Beautiful Collection Dark Warm Brown” semi-permanent color rinse but am scared to try it out after such a trying experience πŸ™‚ will have to check out beyond the zone though!

  8. Aaargh you changed the look of your blog AGAIN! And i had just got used to the green one…

  9. i was thinking of you the whole time, hope you will still stick around shiiiiva

  10. Okay, this post makes me so happy and proud to consider myself part of the disability community!

    Although I am still kind of debating whether I am part of that community in the first place, having a learning disability, but that is a musing for another time.

    Re: hair: Maybe you could buy some Manic Panic hair dye and dye said blonde streak red or purple? (Or were you trying to do something like that on the first place?)

  11. Ooooh, I like Miss Nomered’s idea. Red red red! Like, commie red!

    Then you mom will know you’re a real radical πŸ™‚

    But seriously, I think that’s a wonderful thing for her to say. How exciting that she associates wheelchair-using with radicalness!

  12. this post made me smile and feel the urge to bleach my goatee…

  13. The Queen

    Wow, so I’m not the only who’s not a fan of the Special Olympics. Though I can’t find the blog, I see a headline for someone protesting the “special” institutions mainstream society puts on the disabled. I’m lucky that I have been mostly mainstreamed throughout my life but I still struggle.

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