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.