Recently on the ABC RN show, 'It's Not A Race', one of the questions that the panellists were asked was what conversations they would rather be having about belonging to an ethnic minority.
While I'm not claiming to belong to an ethnic minority, being disabled does place me in the minority.
When you're disabled, there are a lot of assumptions placed on you and conversations that able-bodied people think they are entitled to have with you about your body and general existence.
These are some things that I wish I could be talking about:
- people doing it for themselves rather than only seeing People with Disabilities within the dichotomy of 'victim or hero';
- how I can add value to the wider community rather than just the disability community and where the opportunities are to contribute;
- my other interests, I am more than a one-issue person. I am more than what is holding me back;
- what defines me and how my disability is actually not a big deal. It is not a huge part of my identity, I promise. I do have many other interests and there are many other factors that make up who I am and don't ever try to fiddle with that!!
So the next time you meet someone who is slightly different, just chill-out and treat us like anyone else.
It is not that hard!