Beat up and battered
Like my body, broken
Yet, battery powered, it carries on
Moving me throughout my day
Allowing me life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
My chair and me
Everyone likes a feel good story.
“An overcomer, how wonderful!”
Except, when it isn’t.
Now, I have no problem if you find my sermons moving as you would another pastor or if you think I did something good, regardless of the body in which I live, but overcomer stories are insidious. Here’s why.
When you focus solely on achievements in light of my disability, my real life needs are overlooked.
As disability advocate, Stella Young said,
“No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp.”
This is what happens: If I have to overcome my disability, I also suffer from my disability.
What if my disability is not the cause of my suffering?
My body sucks sometimes, sure. Nobody likes being sick or in pain.
Do you know what would help? Access to affordable healthcare. A ramp.
Those are the things I need. We have the technology. We just gloss over the effort.
I’m not bound by my wheelchair. My wheelchair is freedom. Just like those ramps and curb cuts.
I don’t need to be free from my disability.
I just need you to help me create a world that includes me.
Otherwise, telling me I’m inspirational is meaningless.
In fact, people viewing me as an inspiration is killing me.
Love Always Includes Justice.
Wherever you are this day:
Love Accepts You, No Exceptions.