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[personal profile] boxofdelights
So I cried at three panels this Wiscon. Personal record. Fortunately none of them were panels I was on.

The first was Pan Morigan's voice workshop. (Which anyone might cry at. Though I think I was the only one who did.) The second I already told you about. The third was "Living with Invisible Disabilities".

On the topic of deciding when/whether/how/to whom to come out about your disability, a panelist mentioned skepticism. (Yes, really, when you disclose your disability, some people will decide that you must be making it up. Sometimes they'll say so to your face. No, I don't know either, why anyone would presume that having a disability is less likely than pretending to have a disability.)

I wanted to point out that the skepticism increases exponentially when you admit to two unrelated disabilities, and ask for advice on how to deal with it. Unfortunately, thinking about framing the question made me think about unpleasant coming-out experiences made me feel anxious and embarrassed to begin with. And then, in order to improve access for people with hearing impairments, we were going to the front of the room and taking a mike instead of speaking from our seats. So I stood up in front of everybody and took the mike and suddenly couldn't speak because I was crying! Gah! But eventually I burroed through and got the question out and got good advice, namely: network. Advocate for the accommodations other people need and ask them to advocate for you. Disclose to individuals who (you trust) want not to be assholes, and point out their opportunities to be allies.

ETA: I was telling this story to [personal profile] wild_irises and she was going to give me some advice about reframing it when I got snatched away by my moderator responsibilities! Debbie, do you remember what you were going to say?

Date: 2011-06-01 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] vito_excalibur
I adore the phrase "burroed through".

Date: 2011-06-01 12:25 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
It wasn't about the invisible disabilities, it was about the crying. I can't remember exactly what you said, but the implication I got from it was that you were unhappy with yourself because you had cried so frequently in public. I talked with Eileen Gunn about this also a little bit after she cried while remembering Joanna Russ at the GoH ceremonies--I genuinely believe that crying in public releases other people. Almost always, you're not the only person in the room who feels that way, and it's a real gift to let other people see how deeply you are affected. Something like that, anyway, it was Monday morning.

Date: 2011-06-01 02:01 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
"crying releases other people" is so true! Crying in public is taboo because we're supposed to be cool and calm and control constantly. But what is th value of such non-engagement with ourselves and the world around us?

Date: 2011-06-05 08:44 pm (UTC)
amaebi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
That's something I tell bereaved family members coming in for funeral service consults.

Date: 2011-06-01 04:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com
I was surprised that I didn't cry a few times. I came close. *hugs*

Date: 2011-06-01 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lookfar.livejournal.com
No, I don't know either, why anyone would presume that having a disability is less likely than pretending to have a disability.

I do; accusing you of faking it allows the person to blame you for your symptoms, and relieves the person of the burden of empathy. What is more, if you are faking it (goes their unconscious thought) then it will never happen to them because you have done something wrong. If a disability could just happen to someone, then - it could happen to them! and o no! but if what is wrong with you is really made-up and your fault, then it won't happen to them because they would never be so naughty as to tell a lie. It's a primitive defense.

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