Community is very important, especially in times where it may not be possible to gather in person. Some people often look online to find such a community. This has been especially important to those who are disabled and may be looking for a support system.
Sadly it is also not an uncommon fact that some people will leave others out because they don't fit their definition of disabled
Here are a couple of examples.
One of the most common instances involves handicapped parking, some people may not necessarily need a wheelchair all the time, it doesn't make them need that spot any less. Just because we "look fine" doesn't mean that we are fine. You should never judge what you don't know, don't forget some disabilities are invisible.
Sometimes the parents of autistic children are the worst offenders. Sometimes in Facebook groups when autisic individuals try to give their two cents on for example "ABA Therapy" they get offended and say that we aren't like their child. My response is that just because we arent carbon copies of your kid doesn't mean we can't help one another out.
There is also an instance where some autistic people are ostracized by their own community. I came across an Instagram page (whos name will not be included because I don't want to give people the opportunity to harrass them, I don't believe in that) that has been bullying self-diagnosed autistics, just because they don't believe they should be part of the community. The biggest gatekeeping I have seen from them is that if you are on Tik Tok then you aren't autistic and you are just faking it for the clout.
So this person has enough medical knowledge to make a diagnosis just by watching a Tik Tok video? Autism is a spectrum, so just because someone doesn't seem like the stereotypical definition of Autism doesn't mean they aren't autistic. They can make Tik Toks if they want to, if it helps them educate others and gives them a distraction from the real world, then let them do it and mind your own business.
Its also horrible when mental illness is left out of the mold. Reddit often calls those kinds of people out, when Mac Miller died from suicide everyone was so sympathetic, when Demi Lovato had an overdose she was called names such as a "junkie" "druggie" the butt of a lot of jokes. Why is it that people are more nicer when that person dies than when that person survives. Are they not worthy of the same love, they both needed help, it makes me wonder if others would have been that way if Mac Miller survived.
The pandemic has bought out a lot of gatekeeping, especially in the disability and chronically ill community. They get told to "just stay home if they are scared'' well many of them have jobs, and families to support so they can't just stay home. The fact that people are in such a hurry to move on and get on with their lives shows that they don't really care about the community cant get access to food, they can't have the usual college experience because of an illness, they can't go to in person learning because of an illness. So when you tell them to "stay home" you are saying you don't care what happens to them.
Please do better, there are just some of the many examples of gatekeeping that I have read about. We don't get to decide if they are worth getting help or not, nor do we decide if they are allowed to reach out to a community for help.
End gatekeeping once and for all, community is for anyone.