Disability Pride Month Can be Hard to Celebrate
July is Disability Pride Month. While a lot of disabled people consider this a month to celebrate our unique differences, it can be harder for some to accept and embrace their disability as a core part of their identity. There are so many facets of life with a chronic illness or disability that may make it hard to feel like something to celebrate. While I know there is a huge community of people who rally around disability issues and support chronically ill people, there are still stigmas about health (both physical and mental), societal expectations, and outward and inward expressions of ableism abound in our daily lives.
Last year I wrote this column explaining my mom’s journey to attempt to accept her progressive disability from IPF. She never really got there, as her condition worsened quickly enough to necessitate a lung transplant. But now, living as an immunocompromised individual–especially in a pandemic–my mom embraces her transplant story and is never afraid to advocate for accommodations when she needs them.
What is your relationship with the word “disabled”? Do you identify with this word and this community? If not, why not? Has there been something in your life that has helped you to accept your illness and/or celebrate your disability?
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