Today someone commented how “much harder it is to live with an invisible disability [*] than one people can see“.
Now, this kind of comment happens pretty regularly. And every time it makes me fucking cringe.
It’s actually not easier. It’s not easier to be seen by sighted folks as a gimp, to always be perceived as a gimp, to always have that on you no matter where you go. It’s not easier to always be a literal fucking target, to be called really fucked up things because people can perceive you as disabled, and to have all of their shit dumped on you -physically, emotionally, verbally, sexually– because you are what they perceive to be a problem. It’s not easier, believe me.
There are a whole host of things that folks with “visible” disabilities have to deal with that folks without generally do not, and there are things folks who don’t have “invisible” disabilities don’t necessarily deal with. So let’s just knock it off with the “you have it easier” bullshit.
How exactly does this unnecessary, ableist-based hierarchy help any of us? i mean how does it help us really? How does it get us closer to getting the services we require? Into the communities we have a right to be in? How does it help us feel welcome and lifted and understood?
When disabled folks, however you define that, cut at each other’s throats to get to the meager resources out there, to justify ourselves, to find ourselves in community with people, or for any other reason we do this to each other, we do the exact opposite, and we set up a situation where we can’t even trust other gimps to do right by us. We set up hierarchies –based in completely ableist traditions– to keep each other down.
And that aint liberation.
.[*] i’d love to have more convos that didn’t reinforce the notion that vision and the visual, but this continues to be the language used. “Perceived”?