Saturday, December 09, 2006

Passing-A Rambling Essay

I have always felt a kinship with gay men. I think some of this has to do with the idea of "passing" or pretending to be something you are not in order to be productive in society. Fortunately, I think gay men are having to "pass" (for straight) less and less. Yet, it is still something that people with disabilities have to deal with constantly.

I have always felt that in order to get a job, I've had to prove myself far above the average person. I think I have to prove that I can do what normal people do, despite the fact that I have a disability. More, I've felt that I've had to prove that I WASN"T disabled (i.e. I had to pass). But, I am disabled. That is the fact. I can't do physical things as well or accurately as the average person. I tire VERY easily. But, I am educated, sharp, and one of the best writers around. But, somehow it feels as though these things don't count - even in my chosen career as a teacher. The society is so fixated on looks that this is that only thing people see anymore. Whenever I applied for a job, I was basically put in a situation where I had to say "don't look at me. Only see my brain." Most people cannot do this.

I feel uncomfortable even as I write this. I find it akeward and distressing to admit to my physical limitations. Why is this so? Why can't people see my limitations and it be okay? Why do people have to hide themselves?

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