I’ve been away from Tumblr too long.
When I started disability blogging 2 years ago, I also started reading disability-related Tumblr blogs more or less daily. It helped me get a feel for, I suppose, a younger, more spirited, less careful community of disabled people. I carried on with regular Tumblr reading until maybe 6 months ago, and then for some reason fell out of the habit. I kept posting to my own Tumblr, but only rarely latched onto or “liked” other stuff on Tumblr.
1. Ignore their stares. You owe no one an explanation.
2. If they are rude, be witty. If they are rude, be sarcastic. If they are rude, be ruder.
3. Never sacrifice yourself for their approval. You don’t need it.
4. Laugh in the faces of those who call you “faker,” those who call you “scammer,” those who call you “liar.”
5. Walk as slowly as you like. Let them sigh loudly behind you - you are doing nothing wrong.
6. If they’re in your space, tell them. If they don’t move, make them.
7. Don’t feel obligated to “look sick.” Don’t feel obligated to “look well.” Don’t feel obligated to look any which way except how you do right now.
8. Use their words against them. Take the ones they hurl at you and embrace them. They are yours now.
9. Flaunt your “imperfections.” Show off the things they hate. Put stickers on your braces and tattoo the hip that never stays in place. Don’t let them ignore you. Don’t let their eyes slide over you.
10. If they hurt you, if they slip past your defenses and under your skin, if their ignorance is more than you can handle. If they hurt you. Don’t let them know.
I don’t agree with every bit of it. For instance, I think that if “they hurt you,” it’s sometimes important to “let them know.” But it’s all good stuff to think about. It’s the sort of thing disabled people who are still struggling with their disabilities and internalized ableism need to read. I’m talking about youth with disabilities, and people of any age dealing with new disabilities. Parents and families should read it, too. It’s the nuts and bolts of disability pride, in very concrete, non-theoretical words.
Must not forget Tumblr.