Wherever You Are Is Where I Want To Be: Crip Solidarity

clasped hands with boldly colored thread twisted around each wrist.I want to be with you.  If you can’t go, then I don’t want to go.  If we are traveling together, sharing political space together, building political family together, then I want to be with you.  I want us to be together.

We resist ableism dividing us.  I resist my disability being pitted against your disability.   We will not be divided.

What does crip solidarity look like?  Between crips?

We are traveling, trying to track down food.  My chair can’t go into this restaurant, your dog isn’t allowed in that restaurant; so we will order in.  You can’t fly to the meeting, so we will come to you—all of us.  They won’t let you go to the bathroom because they say you’re “too slow”, so we will demand they do—and make them wait for you—together.  Sometimes we are comrades, sometimes we are strangers, but we will stay together.  We move together.

I know what it is like to be left behind, left out, forgotten about.  I know you know as well.  We vow to not do that together, to each other.

I am not “giving-up” an evening out with able bodied friends.  This is a glorious evening in with crip love as opposed to a night out without you (and without parts of me).  Loving you more helps me to love me more.  Loving me means loving you.

Because the truth is, I am continually giving-up the able-bodied-washed version of myself that people have come to know.  What I came to know as a disabled child because I never knew things could be any other way.  For most of my life it has been easier to perform a survival able-bodied-friendly version of myself, rather than nurturing the harder to live disabled-self-loving version of who I ache, desire and need to be.  Because it has often meant the difference between a-little-bit-more-connection and a-little-less-isolation.  But what is the point of connection, if you still feel isolated and alienated from your self?  And what is that connection built upon and from?  How do I want to be connected?

And it is not easy.  But being together helps.

And when taxis won’t take us because of one of us, or both of us.  And I can’t use mass transit, but you can.  Then we will use our crip super community powers and do what we do best: make shit happen; make something out of nothing; and survive, one ride, one pill, one stop to rest at a time.  Together.

We will find other ways (create our own ways) and talk liberation and access and interdependency with our comrades.  We will weave need into our relationships like golden, shimmering glimmers of hope—opportunities to build deeper, more whole and practice what our world could look like.  We will practice what loving each other could look like every day.  Courageously.  And we will help each other to do it, in the face of seductive ableism; in the face of isolation as queer people of color, again; in the face of isolation from political community and movements, again.  We will help each other love each other and, in doing so, love ourselves.

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “Wherever You Are Is Where I Want To Be: Crip Solidarity

  1. moyazb

    love you, loving all of you.

    Powerful and so needed!

  2. wonderful writing.

    please keep it up.

  3. leah lakshmi

    so many thank yous.

  4. leah lakshmi

    also, I bawled. so did other Oakland crip brethren and sistren.

  5. This is community and solidarity and love. This is extraordinary.

  6. Yeah! In Poland it is popular not to believe in community (because that is what communist party does) and not to believe in solidarity (because that’s what the catholic church and the like people believe they believe in). I kind of don’t get either thing. I just keep believing in people. I must be mad or Irish ;-).

  7. breathing deep long happy sighs. want to talk through this more soon.

  8. amy sonnie

    mia. thank you. thank you. thank you. this made me weep. then i forwarded it to the people i love. as an offering. a promise.

  9. Beautiful! Thanks for writing this, and for sharing it…. In love and solidarity, Laura

  10. I’m so honored and blessed to have you as a friend and part of my crip(queer)family. Thank you so much for this. <3

  11. I don’t know you, but your words spoke to my core. I am able-bodied & a queer woman of color. I felt what you said as deep truth. Thank you.

  12. romham

    i dont know you either, but damn. this is beautiful and right on.

  13. siam_blue

    thank you, Mia, your words resound deep within me and I thank you for sharing them with the world.

  14. Thank you for saying this so well and so beautifully.

  15. MechaBrat

    Thank you.

  16. brilliantmindbrokenbody

    I am so glad FWD linked here. This is beautiful.

    ~Kali

  17. NYLN Red Teamer

    Very. Powerful.

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  19. Fucking brilliance! I will post/FB/blog/tumblr and tweet this to the world!

    And you made me cry. Damn it.

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  21. Jamie J

    I hear you. Sometimes I wish I knew you heard me too, but I am frequently under-confident.

  22. I have a sticky on my desktop with a link to this page. I come back here on desperately lonely days like today, when I need to remember that there are others on earth who are committed to practicing life in this way. Thank you for providing a glimmer of hope in the darkness.

  23. this is so, so beautiful and moving and important and speaks to so many struggles i face as a genderqueer trans latina. i love so many people who are abled in different ways and have my own experiences with chronic illness and being pathologized… your writing is so, so powerful. thank you thank you thank you… <3

  24. billie rain

    i have this printed and framed in my living room. and i hope hope hope someday that this will come true for me in my life. because mia i get so damn lonely!! and so tired of feeling alone and left out left behind. and i love the internet where we can be together and talk to each other. but my body is real too.
    <3 <3 <3

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  26. Kristina

    Every time I read this it sinks into my heart a bit more. Thank you so much for this. It helps me love myself more. <3 You are amazing.

  27. i come back to and reference this post so often to try to fill myself back up, to try to reach out, to try to remember, not only but particularly when my heart hurts for this stuff. Thank you for writing it, thank you for keeping it available.

  28. AXS Map – to let us know where we can go together…http://www.axsmap.com/

  29. Alice Cook

    In complete awe. Thank you for articulating what we have so much trouble explaining to others – why this movement matters. The anger! The frustration! It doesn’t have to be this way. My husband uses a wheelchair. I do not. But wherever he goes is where I want to be. If he can’t get in, then I don’t want to go. We just had a child. This is the philosophy I will instill in him. We are together. Always together.

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  32. incredibly well written, wish I had done so quite honestly but you put it into words much better :) good work

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