Monday, January 31, 2011

i'm less a "build it and they will come" kind of person as i am a "come and fucking build it" person. Slight word difference, hugely different outcomes. 

Creating accessible spaces are a ground floor affair, in all ways. You can't just say (as has been said to me so often as a gimp, usually by temporarily able bodied folk) "if you want X, if you're not seeing X, make X!". Sounds good. Sounds empowering even. Sure! Let's make it happen!

Thing is? When all or most of the spaces in which one might hope to find or create X are inaccessible, those spaces cannot contain/celebrate/what have you, X.
So, the answer for me is not simply and only for X to create new X spaces, because really, not many of us have the ability or resources to do that in all instances. And it's not simply a matter of X showing up and saying "fuckit! We're here!" That does happen, and when it does i think that's amazing and is something i actively support (by giving what money i can to sustain it, by volunteering, spreading the word far and wide, showing up, etc.)

But it's also about working together with what we've got, working together to change the status quo. And "if you want X, if youre not seeing X, make X!" rarely seems to cover that. Stripped down, it tends to be more a "stop 'complaining' and do something!" than it is an invite to fundamentally change the way we view spaces and communities and who has the right to be there and how we're going to make that happen. Which is, in case it wasn't clear, what i prefer.

i prefer it because it means i stand a better chance of going to things, of accessing parts of my communities. And it means that others have increased option for doing the same. 
Which is the whole point to me.
Reality check: i try to balance that with the reality i happen to live, which is that, in general? There aint a whole bunch of people showing up to do this work, consistently. And the reality that many gimps where i live (extrapolable most places) are living on the barest minimums financially due to government "assistance", or no help whatsoever, which renders people fucked. And i balance it all with living in a culture that is still so mired in ableism.
Anyways, instead of "don't see X? Make X!", how about "hey, we're not findig X, how can we actively work together to change that?" Mhm. Sounds good.

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