Everyone knows about the two types of disabled people. The traditional type is sad and inspirational, like the tiny boy with crutches who begs Ebenezer Scrooge for tidbits of hard bread with cold porridge. The new type of disabled is totally different and very cool, like the hot people with mobility aids from the woke TV commercials.
If you’ve found yourself caught between these two worlds, here are five easy ways to make it clear to those around you that you’re the fresh, badass, better kind of disabled.
1. Curse excessively
While traditional disabled peopled say things like “please sir” and “ouch” and “for just one dollar a week you can support people like me,” badass disabled people say things like “fuck yeah” and “check out this crip dump-truck ass.”
2. Disregard your safety by doing risky things for fun
It’s tempting to stay in bed all day knitting and counting your pills, but it’s also important as a badass disabled person to do extreme things with an element of danger. Try bungee jumping, tongue-kissing strangers or crowd surfing in your wheelchair at a punk rock concert. This subtle disregard for safety lets the ableds know you have something in common with them and can be trusted.
3. Dress like it’s 2047
It’s not enough to dress like an average 2023 person. Trash all your blue jeans, raggedy flannels and anything beige. Instead you should wear neon colors, sport grungy tattoos and get a radical new haircut. Make it clear that you belong in a cyberpunk video game and not in your grandma’s nursing home.
4. Avoid looking directly into the camera
When a camera is around, you probably feel an innate urge to stare straight into its cold lens and thank the generous viewers at home for their donations. If you find yourself in this position, you should look away from the camera, become elusive and make it chase you around town like a disabled version of Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot.”
5. Be proud of your disability
This one is tricky and might have some people questioning your sanity, but that’s OK. In fact, sanity is for the ableds and the traditional, boring type of disabled people. Make it clear that you have no shame or embarrassment, and communicate that your disability actually makes you superior. This badassery flips the narrative and proves once and for all that you are the good, new kind of disabled.
by Steven Verdile