I am an activist. I am a student. I am a girl who every day is evolving.
And I don’t know how to balance all of these things.
My activism is impacted by my disability. My disability is impacted by my being a girl. My brand of feminism is impacted by all of these things. I am being pulled and pushed from all sides, I find purchase for a second and then my fingers slip and once again I am falling, desperately trying to hold on to something.
Pieces of me exist in many circles, but there is no place designed for all of me. I want people to see me, see all of me. I want to get in their faces and tell them to stop pretending like I am invisible. Stop doing the little things, giving my receipt to a friend instead of me, asking them if I would like a seat. Stop it, stop it, see me!
Yet there are times when I relish that invisibility. Times when I am sad and ashamed that my blindness makes me awkward, that I did not pick up on a social cue and I internally beg the world to never see me again.
I am left asking myself how can I be a feminist? How can I be an activist or a role model for young disabled people when I still don’t know where I belong?
What does it mean to be a feminist, a woman, to be anything when you are disabled? I have been privileged enough to meet disabled people, and especially women who seem to own who they are, who are successful and to me, at least, appear to have found a place for themselves.
I want to ask them how, how did you do it? How did you balance all the complex emotions that arise from this, do you feel them like I do? I don’t know how to ask these questions, not really. I don’t know how to reach out with spoken words and say I am struggling, that I don’t know what it means to be me anymore.
So I am reaching out in the only way I can, begging for an answer.