This is seriously not that much to ask, but if you find yourself cringing take it as a sign you’ve got some shit to work out:
If you are going to call yourself an “ally” to (the hugely diverse group of people collectively known as) Disabled Folks, you’d better be prepared to do some actual, real, tangible, ongoing work.
This shit ain’t free, doesn’t come with reward miles or cookies, doesn’t offer lifetime membership, and often you likely won’t notice the benefit, and receive little-to-none of the “inspiration in the work” on demand which is so often and so sweetly promised by ableist culture when you “work with the disabled”.
And sometimes? Sometimes even disabled folks won’t notice what you’ve done,
and/or it won’t have an impact on our lives,
and/or we don’t show up to your now-accessible-to-us event anyways,
and/or we don’t give a shit that some non-gimp has done something while we’ve been slogging away at the same shit for decades and you’ve paid no attention.
This is the real work. This is installment plan shit. This is bit by bit. This is revocable at any moment. This is life’s work, not a weekend workshop, not one ramp, not one action. Life’s work.
i’m in it, right in it, with this shit, every day, for life. Are you? If our oppression and our liberation is indeed bound up together, are you in it?
And now, take the basic sentiment of this and apply it generously several times per day to EVERY OTHER SITUATION IN WHICH YOU OR I CONSIDER OURSELVES OR WOULD LIKE TO BE ALLIES. And i bet (fine print: NOT a guarantee!) that that ongoing rash you’ve/we’ve had from the butthurt of being called out (or even just asked to listen or “having” to have conversations about tough stuff like oppression and whatnot) begins to ease some. Again, no guarantees, but totally worth the grease.