(This post was originally posted to fb and instagram on October 8th, 2016)
During the stretch-out part of one of my boxing sessions my trainer once said, “I can always tell when you’re upset.”
“You don’t know me.” I said.
“I do. You cover your face with your hair when you lie on the table.”
I peaked out from the veil of my hair. “Shut up.”
Being born disabled is like being born into royalty. The role comes before you can be anything else. The attention follows the role. Strangers approach you, interrupt you, touch you -daily, unreservedly. They feel like they know you - they’ve seen your #image, it meant something to them, you owe them rights to your identity. Oh. Hell no. Unlike political royalty, I have no#duty to fulfill that I didn’t give myself.
But let's be real, I #thrive in these constraints. I am not trying to fit in - I’m declaring#sovereignty. In a world that continues to believe I can’t possess any #power - not even over myself. I know how to refuel from the drain of daily maintaining a sense of dignity and autonomy under steady assault. The way I am was perfectly designed for me. That's not how it feels for everyone. I know from all the people who email me to ask me how they can feel like a #sexicon, too.
Know what you need, I say. Then ask an #ally for it. When the public gets too invasive and my resolve runs low, I need to feel powerful and protected. Not rescued. Protected. I’m not a damsel. I am a Queen. And there is royal protocol. Never touch the Queen unless she touches you first.
Allow me to demonstrate asking for what you need:
Me: Ugh. The world. I need to rest. Will you be my security detail and handle the commoners today?
Him: of course