Let me give you an example, many years back, when I was in my teens, I picked up a magazine that had a story about an out gay couple. It was clear that these two men took a huge risk to be out, to be public, but they did so because they wanted to reach kids like me. Kids who would read the magazine, in secret and then store it, for year, to be read a thousand times over. The concept of ‘Gay Pride’ wasn’t around back then but ‘Gay Pride’ is what I felt when I read the story. I was proud they were my ‘kin.’ I wasn’t ‘inspired’ by them, I was proud to be like them, to know that there were people like me, other ‘sissys’ other ‘faggots’ other ‘poofs, and pansies, and powderpuffs’ who had courage to be who they were publicly.
I do this because I’m about to show you a story about a guy who just made me feel wildly proud of being in a community with him as a member and I want to be clear that this is about pride in membership, not about ‘inspiring the normals’. It’s like if he was in a disability clubhouse, I’d be shaking with delight just to see him across the room, sharing the same space with me. Being proud to be disabled, to be a member of the disability community is still such a new concept for a lot of people – it isn’t new to disabled people, though we’ve had the language of pride for considerably less time than other minorities, we’ve still had it. And like other minorities, we’ve had out and proud disabled people from the beginning – they just weren’t ever acknowledged.
Anyways, here’s the television clip that I saw this morning, pasted on social media, that made my heart swell with pride. This guy is OUT, and powerfully so, as a disabled person and makes me feel proudly proud, well, you’ll see …
OK … tell the truth, did this guy just up the cool factor for being in the disability clubhouse?