You know, we cripples know how to rock, especially here in London. Last night, Lyn and I went to an event called Club Attitude, an anual event run br disability organisation attitude is everything. It took a while to get there, and we stopped for a curry on the way, but once we had reached the venue in Shoreditch, I wondered why we had never been there before. It was not unlike a normal nightclub, complete with bar and band, but people with disabilities were everywhere. I instantly thought ”This place rules – I must come here again.” The whole place was fully accessible, geared to accomodate the needs of people with various disabilities: a bar well stocked with straws, part of it lowered to accomodate wheelchair users; there was even a sign language interpreter on stage – the sight of someone trying frantically to interpret grunge metal into BSL totally ruled!
I’m sure this is not new to some people, and I expect to get comments asking why I’m writing about this as if it is a novelty, but I’d never been to such an event before. Lyn, however, had played there before we met each other. Of course, I’ve been to clubs – love ’em! – but none run by, for and about disabled people. I was taken by the idea, and what an awesome expression of crip culture it was: it did not seem like one of those patronising events run by norms intended to let the poor little cripples have fun, but simply a normal club run with disabled people in mind.
A short while into the evening I got chatting to one of the organisers: I was eager to ask when the next even was. Much to my great disappointment, he told me that they can only put it on once a year due to funding – were they to have more such events, they would have to charge a great deal more for tickets. I saw his point: the venue alone wouldn’t be cheap. Yet such events strike me as great opportunities to chill out, network with fellow crips and show the world that ‘we’ can party just as hard as anyone else. Surely after the Paralympics there must be something one can do – we crips need more parties!