For a good seven minutes, I had nothing to say about this. I was appalled, to say the least. Seriously, it's a miracle I'm finding enough to say to write an entire article about it.
But here it goes.
Trans-abled. That's right.
Again... That's a perfectly able-bodied person DELIBERATELY altering their body so a physical, and permanent ailment can become their lifestyle. Examples include: Making yourself blind, deaf, or having a limb (or limbs) amputated. Still not uncomfortable? Let me help with that.
It was said in an article I read (Boesveld, National Post), people who feel like they should alter their body to become disabled, often felt 'body dysmorphia,' which is a common feeling that many transgender people feel. Now, I hate all of this as much as you do, but it is certainly, without a doubt, such an insult to not only the transgendered community, but the millions of disabled people who are permanently physically disabled.
As a physically disabled person, it took me almost 21 years to find a solid job. Why? Because no one wanted to hire the girl with one leg, because of liability and physical limitations that might've put a damper on their work force. As a physically disabled person, it took me almost a full year and my previous college to get ONE handicap parking spot put in front of the dorm I was residing in... And yes, in front of. They didn't have one in front of it. As a physically disabled person, it took me years and years of prosthetists to get me a leg I'm comfortable in, and can work with.
As a physically disabled person, it took me all the strength I had not to commit suicide when I was at my worst, because of my disability.
Now, before I get backlash... I am not saying that because I am disabled, my depression, life story, and struggles are any more important than the next able bodied person, but it does mean that I've had to work harder to even get accommodated at a freakin' university, where they prided themselves on inclusivity.
Being physically disabled has seriously put a damper on my mental health. And that's not the whole reason why I've been down some dark paths, but it's certainly a strong contributor. All my years growing up, I would get point at, and laughed at by people. I remember distinctly in 5th grade, when I went to go use the restroom, I was waiting in line and a girl pointed at me, and called me an alien because I looked different. When I was a fourth grader, the sixth graders asked me to play hide and seek with them, and it wasn't until the school was closed when the teacher found me and said everyone had gone home. I was seriously bullied because of my disability.
Again though, my struggles are not more important than those who have both their legs, and all of their fingers. But it does put things in perspective doesn't it?
For those who call themselves 'trans-abled' I would just like to say a big: Fuck you.
We who are physically disabled have had to overcome twice as much as an able bodied person. There aren't always elevators, jobs are scarce, and schooling is much more difficult. Socializing is more difficult, because we get tired more easily. For me, I can't go around DisneyWorld without being in a wheelchair. And when I see able-bodied people abusing that system, or any system in which they believe that physically disabled people "unfittingly benefit" from, it sickens me.
We do not unfittingly benefit from a system in which we have to work twice as hard to get half the accommodations we need to survive.
Just remember that the next time you call me "lucky" for getting to sit in a wheelchair all day at DisneyWorld, or get to use my handicap placard to park closer to the grocery store, it's only "lucky" that I got to participate in an able-bodied world in the first place.
For a world that is catered to the able-bodied community, having someone purposely cut off their leg just because they want to be disabled and reap the so called benefits, I would very much like to talk to you. (Or maybe not so much, because while I may be five foot three, I am still feisty.) All the times I had to turn a social event, because my physical disability hindered me, makes me want to throat punch someone who would actually choose to be wheelchair bound, when there are millions of people who would do anything to have the choice to not be physically disabled.
So before my rant is over, I would like to apologize on behalf of the 'trans-abled' people, because it is an insult to physically disabled people that they would purposely alter their body just to be confined to a wheelchair. I would like to apologize to the transgender community, because abusing the feeling of 'body dysmorphia' just to try and justify their ridiculous reasoning for it, is no excuse for their behavior. I am sorry.
Dear Fellow Physically Disabled Friends,
I am here for you. I will always be here for you. No matter what you see in the mirror, or what you think about yourself when you look down and see that you are not able-bodied... I will always be your friend, sister, companion... Protector. No one will ever hurt you. Because friend, there are some things in life that will never change, and that's your heart. Don't give up. Don't see this as an opportunity to think any less of yourself. You are beautiful.
You are enough.
Because believe me, I have been there. Almost 21 years later and some days, I am still there. I look down, or in the mirror, and all I can think about is how 'incomplete' I am. It's a thought that goes through my mind more than I'd like it to. The feeling that God, or whoever you believe in made you incomplete, or forgot about you... I know. And I have been there before. I prayed to God so many times, asking Him why He decided to do this to me. But I am here to tell you, that no matter what we think about ourselves, we have each other. And that support system I've found, is more important than anything.
This feeling of being incomplete will one day go away, but until that day comes, I will always be your friend. Together, we will make one complete person until we're strong enough to be on our own. And who knows, that might take seven days, years, or decades... But I am here for you. If you ever need to talk, I am here for you.
I don't want anyone with any sort of disability to think that they're alone. Because I have been there.
In high school when I was in a wheel chair, I didn't have anyone take me to class, and so I sat in the hallway alone, until my teacher came and got me. My mom recalled the event as one of the hardest, and saddest things she's ever seen. But it happens. And we've all been there.
But now, I am here to tell YOU that you do not have to fight alone. You are not alone. You are enough. And I can't wait to see the day where you come that realization, and see yourself through the eyes of someone who has already come to that.
You are you, fearfully and wonderfully made.
Don't let any trans-abled, able-bodied, jerk off tell you otherwise.
I am here for you.
And I love you.
We are people too. Don't treat us like something that comes with benefits you can't wait to take advantage of. Treat us like human beings. Respect us. And we'll respect you.
It's that easy.