I have this incredible shame of not being who people want me to be.
Not just the ones who want me dead or want me cured, I’m ashamed of not living up to even my own words. I talk a lot about disability on social media and people get the impression of me that. I very brave and very strong. People share this with me by either praising me for being this impression or they send me messages of encouragement for when I get bombarded by hate. The latter are fantastic people with concern that the barrage of hate is going to hurt me but it can’t. I’m in too much pain to experience hurt.
In my real life I’m not at risk at sacrificing my dignity because I have none to sacrifice.
I apologize and thank people who hurt me physically and emotionally. I smile when I’m expected to and I cry when I’m expected to. I’m as shamed of existing as whoever I’m talking to is most comfortable with.
I don’t say the things I say online to people in public IRL. My primary concern when I leave the house is to be safe and to be safe in society needs to do all of these things. What I say and what I do are very different things.
And no one should have to feel ashamed for feeling similarly. Those of you who can’t relate because you wish to remain in the closet or simply don’t feel safe being publicly controversial may see other disabled people on social media as take no shit bad asses but they don’t feel that way about themselves. Not even the ones being murdered by police for protesting.
We’re all terrified. We’re all self-conscious. We’re all wrong.
We are all wrong as often as anyone else.
It is hard to do what a lot of the really cool stars in our community do. All of it takes giving more than you already had to give. You don’t have to make the same sacrifices but you do have to see everyone as a human being. Don’t be afraid for being wrong, take everything you’re favs say with a grain of salt. Think critically. That’s what makes us strong, not social media. You don’t have to put yourself at risk to be brave.