Hey there, I acquired your electronic mail, letter, tweet, or direct message. Or possibly I met you at a web based occasion or at a celebration pre-pandemic. Or possibly I met your mother one time I used to be procuring, and he or she stopped me and cried, telling me how wonderful it was to see somebody such as you out in public however older. Or possibly it was a good friend of a good friend who linked us as a result of we each occur to be Asian American and disabled (we aren’t a monolith, and but folks presume we robotically have lots in widespread). Both manner, right here I’m, replying to you.
Thanks for sharing your story with me, your questions, and your request for mentorship. To begin with, I see and listen to you. I hoped issues can be higher within the twenty-first century, but it surely’s clear that disabled folks of shade, together with Asian American girls and women, nonetheless really feel disconnected and alone. I didn’t got down to change into a storyteller or activist, but it surely emerged organically as I struggled to search out myself and my folks. I hope my story and work assist you think about different paths, however please bear in mind I’m only one instance. There may be lots of work forward, and collectively we will achieve our personal methods.
Shit is difficult, proper? Rising up and changing into extra comfy in our personal pores and skin is a tricky, nonlinear course of. I’m nonetheless engaged on myself as I think about you’re, too. Within the midst of your challenges and searches, I hope you’re taking time to search out pleasure on the earth. Constructing and nurturing relationships provides me pleasure. It would take some time, however you’ll finally discover individuals who have your again whether or not they have the identical incapacity or come from the identical tradition or not. And possibly there aren’t any options or speedy solutions to the questions you’re asking. All we will do is uncover what or who makes us completely happy now.
We don’t want a nonprofit to ascertain a neighborhood only for us…we don’t must determine, use the “proper” phrases, or carry a membership card to be linked. We exist and that’s all the things! It’s simple to say and more durable to simply accept, however you’re sufficient. In actual fact, for those who’re an excessive amount of, rejoice in being all that and extra. This will appear to be a cliché, however you do you.
Don’t really feel obligated to characterize or communicate on range, intersectionality, or id. There can be folks on the market who see you solely in these slim phrases. These usually are not your folks regardless of how good and “useful” they appear. You possibly can speak and take into consideration incapacity nonetheless you need, particularly the uncomfortable, troublesome, shameful, messy stuff. Fuck the foundations. Fuck the mannequin minority fantasy and respectability politics.
There may even be instances you’re made to really feel like you possibly can’t be your full self, that it’s important to select. Or that it’s important to be grateful to be in America as a result of issues are “higher” right here (on stolen land, by the best way). Resist the notion that incapacity rights and incapacity justice in the USA are extra progressive or a beacon to the world, as a result of that’s some capitalist colonizer bullshit. We are able to take one of the best elements of our cultures and allow them to inform our understanding of what it means to be human. There may be knowledge and sweetness from disabled folks all over the place. We simply need to look and have the humility to be taught.