Expecting people to “act less disabled” in spaces.

This is the closest that I have come thus far in this entire blog, aside from writing about… various experiences that I have had with attempted religious indoctrination as they relate to Bub’s father’s family, in writing about specific experiences with people, but I felt like they had to be addressed in the way of disability advocacy: the expectation that non-disabled, or sometimes even other disabled, people have in expecting disabled individuals to “tone down the disabled parts of themselves” in general, to “act less disabled” in mixed spaces, and not to talk about the parts of their lives that have to do with their disabilities, even if being disabled “takes up a large part of their lives” and they are proud of being disabled. Like I’ve said, this seems to be something that society does in general, whether it is being done by non-disabled members of society or even disabled members of society who do not feel that they are “as disabled”, who have better passing privilege (the ability to be seen as non-disabled by society if and when they want to be, or simply to “turn off” being seen as disabled to their advantage), or who are not as proud of being disabled as the disabled person in question. I’ve noticed that this intersection can also sometimes occur when the disabled person in question is a member of the disability advocacy community, or “disabled community”, in general.

I do not like having to “tone down the disabled parts of myself”, as I feel that being disabled is an important and integral part of myself. I can not be myself without being disabled, and I should not have to expect to “be the non-disabled part of myself”, because that is a large part of my identity. If I were not disabled, I would not be the person that I am. If me being who I am makes you uncomfortable, that is something that you need to reconcile with yourself. That should not be something that I need to “tone down” in myself to make you more comfortable with me. I should not be expected to “act less disabled” in mixed spaces because there are non-disabled individuals present, because what sort of standard does that set in the era that claims to be all about social justice? Not a very good one, I’m afraid. Disability is not, and should not be, something that you can “turn on and off” to make other people’s lives easier. If that is something that I feel I have to do to make a group of people’s lives easier, maybe I need to consider how much time I spend around that group of people. Me being disabled is simply me being myself. If someone can’t tolerate that or doesn’t like that, then they need to tell me that they can’t tolerate me and that they don’t like me. It’s just that simple.

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