We’ve Only Just Started to Exist

Published: Aug 20, 2017

“But where were you?” they ask, “when the buses and buildings and streets were being designed? Why didn’t you speak up and advocate for something different? Why did you choose to not engage in a dialogue with us and help design something that works for everyone? Why do you spend all your time complaining on the Internet instead of actually doing something?”

You know what? They’re absolutely right. Let’s quit being lazy. Let’s take the buses we can’t ride, pile into the cars we can’t drive, and make our way to steps of the government buildings where they decide how to design things that “work” for disabled people and start advocating for change. Let’s pool our non‐existent resources together and finally choose to stop being sick by doing a juice cleanse and that one weird trick all our friends have been telling us will cure out autoimmune disease.

Where were we? I’ll tell you exactly where we were: trapped in state-run institutions, hidden away from the world by a society to ashamed to let us see the light of day and too cowardly to kill us outright. Society realized that our labor had no value and by extension neither did our existence. Because we had no perceived value, we had no real voice and those cars, buses, and roads were designed both without us in mind and even to explicitly exclude us.

So don’t you fucking dare ask me “where were you?” when I’ve just now fought my way onto the scene. Don’t tell me I should try harder when, historically, I was never given a chance. The real question that needs to be asked is: now that we’re here, why aren’t you listening?