Well, it's official. I have a cold. I'm pretty sure that I picked it up while at the cancer support group event on Sunday. It isn't exactly a surprise.
Immune-compromised body+large crowd=high probability of catching airborne viruses
Oh well! To tell you the truth, I'm still glad that I went. Even though it can be really difficult to get myself together and go out some place, I think that attending events like Sunday are important part of maintaining my mental health. It's a time when I can let my hair down and not have to worry about pretending to feel great when I don't. The members really do care about each other in ways that I don't usually see outside of that setting.
There are women wearing diamonds on their hands and ears, kids missing limbs, Nascar dads, emo-kids, and teens in hip hop gear, Asians, Latinos, Blacks, and Whites, Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals, Buddhists, and atheists. Despite all of the differences between individuals, I have NEVER witnessed an argument take place--seriously, not even one. I'm sure that political affiliations vary within the group but it's never stood in the way of us getting together and supporting each other.
I know that none of these people exist outside of the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, ablist systems of the world. However, there seems to be a greater awareness of how problematic these hierarchies are for everyone. On Sunday, one of the (white) mothers was talking with me about where we were considering sending our same-age daughters for high school and she brought up the fact that racism is a problem at the school where she had sent her older son a few years ago. I mean, how often does a white person in this country initiate conversations about race or racism outside of the context of claiming a person of color is "playing the race card" or engaging in "reverse racism"? It's certainly pretty rare for me to hear around here.
Right now I'm sitting here wondering about how disability unity affects the blogosphere. For instance, I can't remember ever feeling hesitant about bringing up something pertaining to race on the blog of someone who identifies as a person with disabilities. I can go to Crip-Power or The Gimp Parade and talk about being black, multi-ethnic, or middle class without having to worry about whether I'll be told that my issues are irrelevant or of less importance than what someone else is experiencing. Why is that? I mean, Blue is white and Miss Crip Chick is Korean but they seem perfectly comfortable with conversations about race even when it isn't involving to their own.
I've also never seen a blogger who identifies him/herself as a person with disabilities write blatantly transphobic, fatphobic, or homophobic posts. I've certainly met my fair share of non-disabled people who are marginalized in some way but still proudly cling to bigoted, hierarchical views (e.g. classist Blacks, racist lesbians/gays, and sexist heavy-set people). However, people with disabilities seem to be less likely to use their status as a member of a marginalized group as an excuse for engaging in the marginalization of others. What is it about disability that makes people with disabilities more accepting and more willing to acknowledge the significance of other forms of oppression?