Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I'm Tired of Asking You To Consider My Humanity

TW: ableist language 

To all of my "progressive" friends.......

I'm tired of feeling like I did something wrong when I say that you should not compare the people that you disagree with to those with psychiatric or intellectual and developmental disabilities.  I am tired of constantly having to defend my existence to those of you who claim to be my friends and family.   

You are free to use whatever ableist language you want.  I am not here to police your words.  But your words have consequences.  And one of the consequences of your choice to do and say these things is that I will think you are an ableist and I will know that you are not safe for me or my kid.  And those things are not my opinion.  They are facts.  You are not safe for us if you make us have to defend our humanity.

If you think it is okay to call someone a "moron" and "idiot", I will know that you equate the value of human life with IQ.   I do not have a high IQ.  I have been called the R word and "borderline" by teachers and professionals growing up.   I am learning disabled.  I am developmentally disabled.  I am autistic.  I am not a bad person because of these things.  My friends with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not bad people because they are not as "smart" as you think that you are.  Stop using us as your scapegoat when what you really mean is "this person I am talking about is an asshole and I disagree with them."  

If you call someone that you disagree with a "psycho" or "bipolar" or "borderline", I will know that you think my life has less value because I am neurodivergent.  I can list all the things I've been diagnosed with over the years, but I want to keep this short.  I have said before that I am "neurodivergent as fuck".  I have confused and annoyed therapists when they are supposed to be helping me because my brain works in ways that probably give them more questions than there are answers.  I am "mentally ill" by your standards.  I am one of those crazy people.  These things do not make me a bad person.   These things are not why I make mistakes.  These things are not excuses when I am less than stellar at human-ing.  

I am tired of the fact that the longer you blame people like me, the longer these problems of injustice and inequality will exist because you are ignoring the fact that we are all complicit to some degree in upholding oppressive systems.  The root of the problem is not found in the existence of neurodivergent and disabled people.  

I mean, when you fuck up, do you blame your neurology?  


Then stop blaming  mine.  

I am tired of feeling guilty because some people don't like that I ask them to consider my humanity and the humanity of so many others who don't fit into your narrow and incorrect view of what makes a good person.  I am tired of worrying about upsetting my friends by asking them to not be a jackass to people like me when trying to make a point.  I am tired of feeling like it's my fault that I lose friends who think that the freedom to call people an "idiot" without consequence matters more to them than me. 

I am not asking for perfection.  I am not expecting that of anyone and I would be a hypocrite if I did.  I did not grow up in a fucking vacuum.  I have absorbed these messages about ableism and human worth just like everybody else.  I still mess up.  But I try to do better.   I just want you to consider for a moment that maybe you need to do better too. 


  1. Thank you for this, Lei.
    I will be sharing widely...

  2. Yep.

    I've been making this argument as well and the mentality I get in response is "You have to sacrifice yourself for the greater good." In other words, their idea of the greater good doesn't include us.

    I'd like them to sacrifice themselves first instead of asking someone else to do it for them and tell us how good it is.

  3. Your words are beautiful and inspire me. I'm touched by them.

  4. Your words are beautiful and you inspire me. I am touched by what you have written. Thank you!

  5. Your words are so beautiful and they inspire me. Thank you for writing this!

  6. Excellent and powerful. I am sharing on my page and on a page I am admin as this message needs to be seen and heard by many. Thank you.