July is officially DISABILITY PRIDE MONTH in Salisbury, MD. Can I say that with anymore excitement? I don’t think so.
Major cities like Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago all recognize this with Parades and great celebrations! Now the city (where I call home) has decided to honor Disability Pride Month. This is a very personal and celebratory thing for me.
This is a big thing for so many disabled people who often hear the world disability and consider it to be a bad thing.It’s no great secret if you’re reading this that I use a wheelchair.
If you told the younger me that I would see Disability Pride, I would stare at you blankly. I could never grasp the concept of celebrating my wheelchair. I wasn’t proud of being disabled. I was beyond embarrassed by the pink wheelchair that has become centralized to my advocacy; almost to my outward identity.
I remember thinking that I could never imagine being proud of my disability because so much of the world had always told me that it was something to carry with shame. It’s difficult to put into words the progression that I have made. It started slowly, just like a seedling. One day this month, I’ll share more on that journey. Today, I want to focus on this specifically.
I want to put into words what it means to see the city I live in to make strides to make the progression to acknowledging me, my fellow disabled people, and all disabled people. It means something to have a seat and a table. My voice counts so does yours.
When people Google “Disability Pride Month” – they’ll now see Salisbury, MD. Seriously. Isn’t that incredible? We often joke about the Eastern Shore of Maryland and its archaism, but I’m proud of so many things that happen in Salisbury.
This is one of them.
It matters when your city is doing things to improve the lives of disabled people. They’re working towards the betterment of disabled people locally.
Disability is visible, invisible, and can represent people who are on the neurodiversity spectrum (Autism for example). Disability is a broad spectrum to display an entire representation of people. It’s diverse, just like the people themselves. No matter what, we must fight on for all disabled people.
Especially for those who can’t always advocate for themselves or are not in positions to do so. This is one step though that is huge. It means so much. I can’t say enough, but to simply say:
THANK YOU, Salisbury Maryland!
On behalf of this Salisbury girl,
Now go celebrate Disability Pride Month!
Even if we can’t celebrate here with festivals: go take a photo of your smiling face, snap a photo of you with the Disability Pride flag (yes – it exists), or go celebrate in your favorite adaptable way! No matter what you do, I promise you that this girl right here will be celebrating Disability Pride Month all month long! I’ll still be talking about Salisbury. I also want to talk about ways that you can “celebrate” with me.