I am proud, I guess. I am proud of my work here at MMU, and proud of my achievements. I am proud, I guess, of who I am and of what I have become. I’m proud of my girlfriend, Lyn; of the things she’s been through and the battles she’s won. I’m proud to know people like Katie Caryer, blazing the way towards inclusion, and Simon stevens, who I am only beginning to understand. I am proud to have known my friends from school who are no longer with us – the five of them. In short, I am proud, though I did nothing for it, of being a crip.
This struck me as I was going down church road this afternoon. There were kids around, on their lunch break, from the nearby high school. I passed a group, and they sniggered. I turned, and they fled. I decided I’d had enough – I am proud of what I have achieved enough to refuse to be a laughing stock. Why should we disabled people, after all the crap we put up with, have to bear being the butt of some snot-nosed kid’s joke? I went round to the reception of their school, and told the receptionist. The headmaster was called, and he apologised. There was a message waiting in my inbox to say that the matter had been dealt with. Good.
We live in a culture which values (or should value) diversity. Intolerance, of any kind, must end. Soon I will finish a 30,000 word research thesis, and I refuse to be seen as inferior to any child.