Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Musings of a Failed Black Woman: On disability and visibility ...


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via on 6/7/11

The Musings of a Failed Black Woman: On disability and visibility ...:



In the wake of that sketch of Barbara Gordon in her Batgirl costume walking away from her wheelchair, I felt compelled to write. I ignored that compulsion until I calmed down, because most of it was frustration and anger.

I can absolutely understand why people are excited about…

Well said.

I'd like to add that Oracle was just as important to people who have disabled loved ones. My dad was a paraplegic. Growing up, I rarely saw other disabled people. None of my friends knew what a catheter was or why they couldn't steal handicapped parking spaces. They didn't recognize the experiences that made up my every day life: coloring in hospital waiting rooms, putting my toothbrush into a cabinet full of pill bottles, learning to navigate a wheelchair lift. Dad was the one with the disability, but when we were with him, my mom and I were stared at and pitied and isolated as well.

When my dad died, people actually said things like, "At least you can live your life now." Like he was a burden. A chain around our necks. It's incredibly hard to love someone deeply and know the rest of the world can't see the goodness you see. Prejudice blinds them. My dad will always be the sad guy in the wheelchair to everyone outside our family, and that hurts my heart every single fucking day. Even in death he can't escape the stigma.

Do you remember the show Doug? I loved that show when I was little for one reason: Patti Mayonnaise's dad was in a wheelchair. I was so excited when I saw him. Elated. There was someone who looked like my dad on TV! God, you have no idea. It meant so much.

Oracle meant so much. People read her comics and related or looked up to her whether they had disabilities or not. She eased the stigma and gave people like my dad and I representation. She made me hope for a day when discussions like this would be unnecessary because disabled people could be seen as individuals, not monsters.

Fuck DC for taking that away. For taking away the chance that another little girl might see Oracle and recognize herself or her family. Fuck them doubly for spitting in the faces of people who will never walk out of their wheelchairs.

I'm sorry, this isn't a very rational addition. Please just read what I reblogged.

thank both of y'all. 


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