Why I need my queer disability spaces

Content Notion: Internalized ableism

 

I’ve just spent a couple of hours enjoying blogs, tumblrs and Instagram accounts that are as free from ableism, hatred towards LGBTQI-people and other kinds of oppression as I can possibly imagine. For once, I didn’t check out Twitter, newspapers or any of the other mainstream media platforms that I usually follow. The effect is quite astonishing.

I feel so much better about myself. Giving myself a break from the constant reminders of what a burden people like me are – it was well needed. I was emotionally exhausted from the descriptions of people who are ill and disabled as problems, not worthy of respect and love. So why don’t I do this more often? Honestly, I don’t know. I forgot about it at some point during the last couple of years, since most of my time has been about being ill and fighting to get through the day and creating a good life for my child. I’m so used to being told what a burden I am that I take it for granted and very often I don’t realize how much harm it does.

Being told that I should be grateful for not being punished for who I love and desire (even though I have been more than once), being told that I should be grateful for receiving healthcare (even if it’s worsening my condition or making me feel bad) is making me feel horrible about myself but it wasn’t obvious until I took a break form it. I internalize so much ableism and I want it to stop. I thought I knew a lot about fighting internalized oppression from my time as an LGBTQ-activist but since I didn’t know I was disabled at that time, and since it was a fairly ableist community, my own internalized ableism was never addressed.

I want to spend more time exploring all the interesting virtual spaces that actually celebrate people like me. Fighting oppression is crucial to me, and having a good time can be a way of fighting. I need to never, ever forget that again.

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