Tuesday, March 22, 2011

change is good!

Accountability and solidarity time.

If every queer non-gimp who supports various groups/events/etc which actively or passively exclude queer gimps like me, would simply not allow themselves to use excuses like "i'm speaking for disabled folks who can't be here"* and "i can agitate from the inside"* (all the while attending and promoting the event of course), shit could change, like, rapidly**.

For me, its about a fundamental lack of understanding/ recognizing/ fully respecting disabled people's own voices, our autonomy, whether or not nongimps can understand/ recognize/ appreciate that. It's painful to have something like that said about you, especially when you try best you can to be a solid ally. But believe me, it's infinitely more painful to have it be a truth that personally, directly impacts you on a daily basis. To have it be a truth of how you do or don't get to navigate your communities.

i dont know how it could be more basic:

If all the nongimped queers who go to inaccessible queer nights, as well as the artists/performers/volunteers of those events, would simply not show up, and make statements about why they're not showing up, and also perhaps provide alternative ideas? Can you imagine? 

Oh yes, shit would change!

* both have been said to me on multiple occasions by perfectly well-meaning folks

**and i really do have an understanding of how hard it is. It's not this simplistic, but it's a start to think about it, yeah? How do non-gimps help increase the capacity/ likelihood of gimps to participate in communities without taking a paternalistic approach so already widely experienced by gimps?  It can be done, it has to be done. There are ways. We can find them if we pay attention and work together. i think one of the first steps is acknowledging where we can't currently participate. Some of those ways are really obvious. We're not even there yet. So let's keep the ball rolling, ok? ok. <3

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