Disabled Girls Who Lift

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E12: How to Treat Your Token Disabled Friend

January 20th 2020

On this episode, Marybeth & Marcia discuss the meaning of ableism and everyday examples from personal experiences and shared stories. We also explore the pitfalls of inspiration porn, and why g... More

this is disabled girls who lift. We are reclaiming what's rightfully ours. One podcast at a time. It's mary beth Chloe and Marcia bringing you the thoughts and unpopular topics to get you out of that. A bliss comfort zone. Mm hmm. Welcome. Welcome. Hello again. Thanks for coming back. Or if it's your first time next time, I'll tell you. Thanks for coming back anyways. So have you ever asked yourself how should I treat my token disabled friend if you have today, we're going to give you that answer. Two of our hosts are joining us today again, I'm marshall from California. It's mary beth from California. So we're talking about Abel is um we're going to talk about inspiration porn and why we hate it. And also a little bit about how to support your friends with disabilities or yourself with a disability in sports and everyday life, how to be an ally if you don't identify with all of the things someone else identifies with, but you still want to support them.

It's a very real impossible thing. So mary beth start us off with one of our favorite ISMs. Yeah, it's almost too real because a lot of the times I'm like, I'm fine, I'm good. I you know, I survived just like anybody else and boom, it hits you. Um so what is able ism Abel is um just like any other disadvantaged group we experience or um differently abled folks. Experience our own prejudice discrimination or antagonism So able ism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical intellectual or psychiatric disabilities and often rests on the assumption that disabled people need to be fixed in one form or the other. So it's the assumption that we are less than we are other. We are not the normal, we must be some sort of broken or missing something. All of those kind of thoughts and feelings that doesn't make you a bad person in your heart at the start of it.

But it's the system that was created and you know, we're just asking you to think about it. Yeah. The idea that we need to be fixed or cured or killed off before we even grow in our mother's womb. And we're not, you know, we have our own privileges as well. We're not immune to able ism towards other people with disabilities or internalized able ISMs towards ourselves. That's very real because you can spend your entire life having somebody telling you you are less than you must be working harder than everyone else. Well, you're not going to have this, you're not allowed to dream. And you might believe it. But no, that's not you that's able ISm. Exactly. And you're right. And that some some of the people who are the most able lists are other differently abled folks who see themselves as either more disabled or more, you know, um deserving of a handicap placard or that a d a spot or seat or whatever in the house.

You know, there's just constant battle definitely and I and, and I can explain it in a way of um you know how like color of the colorism exists. You know, if you're closer to the norm and what's the norm, quote unquote sis Eurocentric, pale white, blonde, blue eyes. And if you're in a culture, let's say you live in the islands or in certain parts of Asia to, I don't know if it's everyone, I'm not going to lump it. I don't know, lighter is better. You know, you'll, you'll see people covering themselves up staying inside just because they want to look lighter, which is closer to the norm, which is better and that doesn't make them a bad person, but they just internalized that racism and took it to be, you know, like a reality. Oh my God. And growing up and other filipino listeners out there, you probably know this exists, but there's this papaya soap that's called whitening soap. That some of our moms carrot soap.

That's actually what Yeah, mine was carrot. Don't tell me it's in your house. Yeah. Shit like that is out there. Yeah. And that that came to you that exists because of a system that perpetuates that this is the norm. This is what we like. This is what's good and we're saying now fuck that that's not what's good fucking able ism for racism. Funk, all the ISMs. We're all out here and not one group is better than the other. Um Yeah, I mean, it's just it's such an interesting or sorry, it's such an important topic because I hear it, I hear it in conversations at work or conversations on other podcasts and that those of us who talk about disability justice and disability equality um are are so triggered and angry and sensitive all the time. And we're we're not allowing for able bodied people to learn.

But it's like as frustrating as racism or sexism as it happens on a daily basis. Um We're here to you know make folks more informed, make folks less ignorant and and actually just work together and give people the proper tools to change that dialogue. Um and especially the idea that you know accessibility and equity is just adding a a ramp to a building or checking off things off of the list so that you um you know can comply with a D. A. Laws that's that's not what it's about. It's about the conversations you're having with people the way that you look at people in the gym or at the grocery store. You know, so we've got some examples um for those of you that are still kind of confused. Oh man I got a perfect example, like a story we shared to the page um last week or so. People that come up to you, you know whether you are the able bodied or you have something going on or you don't whatever whoever you are but people that come up to you and say, oh you're such an angel for working with people that have intellectual disabilities?

You must be so patient, like bitch, I'm just working with people, What do you what do you mean? And that happens that happens in your workplace a lot, right? As a physical therapist and since you work with patients with intellectual disabilities and others definitely and there's levels of able ism in that place, even though these kids are special needs and have issues, there are kids that have, you know, sensory processing difficulties and they touch some sand and it's sucking freaks them out or they hear, you know, the ambulance, we're right by the hospital and this poor kid's freaking out. Doesn't understand what's happening and you might have the nurse like what the hell is wrong with this kid? Why are they acting like that? Like, hello, did you forget where we work? Just forget these kids are going through it. Like that's another example of of everyday able ism. And I think another way you could think of the term besides, you know, obviously discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Another way you could think of it is you're taking an everyday circumstance that for an able bodied person means one thing and not taking the time to consider what it means for anyone else. Yeah, yeah. And and it's that that little time and that consideration. So when people say we're angry when people feel like we're ranting all the time. When people say, you know, why are we so sensitive because you're not taking the time or the consideration? Yeah. Okay. Oh God. It's going to bring up a lot of, a lot of history, a lot of issues, but like think like I never thought once that I would be, you know, discriminated against or prevented from doing something that the rest of my family members or friends that I'm going out with, um to do like at six flags once I was told that I couldn't drive the um, go karts, you know, and, and it said on the rules somewhere that they had to have, you know, um, an extension of their arms and an extension of their legs.

And just seeing that I was missing a hand and I was already sitting in a car with my little brother next to me and the rest of my family and other cars and they pulled me out, asked me to get out of the car and and told me that I couldn't drive. And I was like, you know, questioning them is the first step like finding out why it is that I'm being discriminated against rather than saying okay and walking away and choosing a different, you know, amusement park or bride or whatever. I'm like, why? Like I've got a driver's license, you need me to like by the state of California, I'm allowed to fucking drive or like show me in the handbook why it is that I can't drive A go cart that goes around 20 km or whatever. It's embarrassing to me. It's embarrassing to my family. And of course there was a lot of emotion there, but like there's just so much like miss, like ignorance, you know, upon seeing someone who's different from you and saying no, they shouldn't do that.

It's a danger to them and others, okay, I'm going to make that decision for you even though the state of California said that you're fine. I don't think you're fine because you don't look fine. You don't fit my normal. So, nope. Yeah. Yeah. How did you actually end, did you like let me speak to your manager them or took too many many managers? And um, it led one of the, it led one of the associates to tears actually because they're like, I'm sorry, I'm just following the rules and I'm like, I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at the system or the idea that, you know, you feel like there are six flags feels like they have the right to take that away from somebody, um, and not show actual proof. So I grab tons of handbooks and whatever they had and threatened to sue them and um, so instead they gave me um, in front of the line passes for like 3 to 5 rides and I'm like, you know, this ain't Sullivan it coming back for you, so to be continued.

But you know just shit like that. And I mean, and if there is a disclaimer here because in every circumstance you might not be in that position, you might not have it, you might not have the energy, you might not have the time. You always have a voice if you want to use it. But if you just want to look this person and say, alright, funk you and just leave, that's cool. You do you um, you know, it's not everybody's mission or purpose in life to totally flesh out and fight everything. But, and I totally could have easily done that. I could have been like, okay, you kids go ahead, I'll stay out here because I, you know, I was the one that drove six or eight cousins to the six flags because I was in L. A. I was the one that took everybody and I wanted to be the bigger adult. But I was also frustrated. Yeah, definitely. But I think if if you in that circumstance was not comfortable going up to the manager speaking of this and you know, kind of fighting out and doing that extra level step, that would have been okay to, the only thing I think that would not have been okay is if you didn't talk about it at all.

That's the only thing that wouldn't be okay if you just went home and he said, alright guys, see you see you later and they got off those gold cards you go and you went and did some corn dogs and acted like it didn't happen. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. That would have been some shit. And I mean it's it's, you know, only one example and it's only one instance where I did act upon it and I'm sure there were probably others where I was a kid and my mom walked away and said, okay, my kid can't join. Then I'm going to choose something else. It's the same thing as the organizations that were fighting now with power lifting one federation doesn't allow us to compete, then we'll compete in another. But that's not how it should be. We're fighting for inclusivity everywhere. And just like these types of conversations about hearing us out. You know like we're not we're not an endangerment to anybody else. Yeah. We're not an endangered species that need saving or anything like that. But I think if you if you left that situation and and didn't talk about it at least at least bare minimum with the people you came with about how it made you feel because the people around, you need to understand also what it means because then they could affect the people around them, right?

So let's say you don't get anywhere with six flags. Let's say you you followed up, you don't get anywhere or you didn't follow up at all just talking to the people that you came with and like look I want you to know and understand like that was sucking able ism. That was some bullshit. This is how I feel. I feel like this should have happened. You know, maybe the next day they'll be somewhere else with their friends, yo you know what happened to my cousin and that was some bullshit, right? You know, you never know that person they talked about was with their friend and then somebody was doing some able ship and they could just be in the back of their head. You know what I heard the story the other day that got me pretty riled up. I'm going to get riled up like you never know how far that will take it or even the employee who was touched by that situation and like was confused herself and was in tears. I was on I was in tears. You know like we were all very emotional and didn't understand why I wasn't allowed shit. Maybe they went up higher because that was what 678 years ago, six years ago. Um Maybe some changes happened but I was you know, I wasn't emotionally ready to take that on.

Um but I started hearing it more and more in this community like Christie um will lift her food. She she was denied the right to get on a water slide, you know like or you don't even have to use your hand makes sense aren't you strapped with a seat belt or something? I don't like, I don't understand hearing more and more about these situations. You know, it's unfortunate that it's so common, but it it drives me into DJing shit definitely. I just but I definitely want to make it clear to folks like if you don't think you could be the activist, you don't have to sue anybody. I need you to talk about it though. Don't take that ship home with you. Like, I need you to talk about it. It's not cool. It wasn't okay what they said or did or treated. It wasn't cool to talk about it. Get it off your chest, affecting people around you and it's okay to question it. It's always okay to question the status quo just because it's written on a fucking handbook or in governmental laws, the IOC what have you like?

Doesn't mean it's set in stone. No, it's not gold. It's not gold standard. Yeah. For me, I think any other example I could probably think of the top of my head for, you know, everyday able ism is just going to get a massage and you know, you have like the regular like health check off list and you know, I'm just minding my business and you know, like I said before, like, I don't I don't need to hide, I don't hide what I'm going through if it comes up it comes up. So, I mean, oh, I didn't put any thought into it. Autoimmune disease. Check heat intolerance, check skin sensitivity. Yeah, I got that. All my traps are sore, yep, check feeder an area, you know, I'm living my life and filling out a stupid questionnaire, whatever. But then I get into the room and the lady reads it and it's just wants to know my past medical history, like, what kind of autoimmune disease? I'm like, why are you asking me this? No, but like what kind of, like, it doesn't really affect this, I just checked it off because it was there. But what about the heat sensitive? You just don't turn don't don't heat the bed, that's it, that's all that's the only as far as it concerns you.

And this lady was like, afraid to touch me and she literally spent, I don't know how long, just basically lotion in my body, I didn't get a massage. And I would repeatedly ask her like, yo this isn't, I'm like, what are you doing? And she'd be like, oh, are you sure this is okay? Are you sure you've gotten a deep massage before? Are you sure you could do this? And I'm like, I went through that over and over with her by the time, I was like, you know what, I'm just gonna go an hour passed. Yeah, so I got out to the front desk, I'm like, yo, first of all, I'm not paying for this ship it and second of all what she said to me and how she treated me was not okay but I mean that's as far as I took it, I just went home after that. But you know what the hell? For what? Shit damn. Yeah. I mean and and it's just a constant struggle to find these places that are one accepting and listen to you like no I can't take it, give me more more pressure please. I'm not made out of paper. Yeah. It's so funny that you mentioned that because I I wanted to talk about this in a different episode.

Just didn't like it didn't whatever. But massages are the number one like test to how customer service um Or the type of customer service one can receive as a disabled person because I have, you know we have our eyes closed or are we're facing down on the bed or whatever. Um They don't notice that I'm missing a hand or you know missing a body barred until they open the blankets up. And whether they decide to touch my entire left body is is up to them. But I also need it. You know and a lot of the times that that side is ignored because like you said um they're scared or they have they have fear that they'll hurt you just because it looks different or because you check something off of the list. Yeah. All the time. Like I really had to convince this lady and it didn't work. Yeah or nail salons, you know Chloe says that she doesn't um she doesn't want to go to a nail salon because she fears how they'll treat her her her two hands, you know um Me I'm just like well shit y'all better give me 50% off because it's half of the work and half it's half of labor, it's half of the supplies that you're using.

And I've been blessed to have you know a really good um nail text. But I'm still working on those massage therapists man. Yeah yikes. That's terrible. That's terrible. And I'd love to hear listeners, you can actually leave us voice messages. Um Or you could D. M. S. Whatever but I'd love to hear any examples you guys want us to share because these things are happening to all of us. Like it's not just you and it's again it's not okay. So I guess another example of able ism can be, well not just the discrimination that's very obvious, you know um where were denied care or were denied you know? Uh huh. Everything another thing I can think of is say you walk up to the counter or somebody walks up to the counter and it's one disabled person, one non disabled person don't only speak to the non disabled person assuming that um the person in a wheelchair or what have you is nonverbal always.

Yeah. Yeah. Just assuming that they can't even speak for themselves, like make their own decisions like what are you doing, It sounds so obvious to us, but this shift happens all the time and it's and it's me being in customer service, it's something that I I preached my, you know, my employees is that treat everyone exactly the same. Just. Yeah, definitely. And that that extends to treating everybody the same extends to the achievements that you see people with disabilities um you know going after so able ism extends in a way to inspiration porn and a lot of people don't really get what that means or why people hate it and obviously we don't speak for everyone of disability, some people love being an inspiration. They don't give a sh it, you know, like that's not, that's cool, whatever, but we hate it and this is our podcast. So you pointed out a really good uh blog or website um that caught the attention of of some some businesses in the last few days.

But L. K. Bridge furred, she put out something on how she was constantly being called brave for living with a disability. So, her her definition of inspiration point, it refers to considering an achievement, something that isn't considered extraordinary. So if you take disability out of the context, so people with disabilities are seen as objects of inspiration rather than real live humans with their own values, aspirations and emotions. Um you see this a lot in commercials where they try and you know, they feel I'm not gonna put Nike on blast, but might get put on blast here. Ah they feel as though they're, um, they're being inclusive or they're showing their token disabled athletes. Um, but rather than rather than just enjoy them and oh, hey, my athlete happens to be disabled, It's like, oh, hey, I'm put this disability on a pedestal by my ship.

Don't you love us? Like, what are you doing? It's a person treat them like a person first. Yeah, exactly. And there are people that, that want you to, um, to further like that kind of idea. You know, if you say you're a disabled girl who lift or you put something in your bio or you don't maybe use a hashtag one time, there are people that will be like, oh, but what is it? Oh, but what? Oh, but what, what, like, why? Why do you need to know I'm just a person that happens to have something extra going on. This is what I'm doing a regular everyday things like what's the, you know, people are out there applauding, um, you know, wheelchair users that are parents, like they're doing an everyday thing and it's harder. But most of the reason that it's harder is because of the able bodied person creating a world that doesn't include them. There's nothing inspirational, like they're just living their life unless, you know, they're an all time champions at an all time champion. They're breaking all these records.

They're the fastest athlete and they happen to be disabled. Yeah. Use them as an inspiration, but not on the sole fact that they have a disability just because they can do it. You can too like inspiration porn. I feel like is only used um with the person being inspired um as context, you know, it's only to inspire the able bodied. Yeah, it's not you're not looking at the person to be like, you know what mary beth I'm happy for you. Look at your dead lifting, That's awesome. That's amazing. No, you're looking at me like, oh, I didn't hit the gym today. She's hitting the gym. I should hit the gym funk. You like that. It has nothing to do with you. She didn't do it for you. She is not going to do it for you. You live your life and find your motivation elsewhere. Like what's going on? Oh my God, or the or the whole like, I don't think I could do that the way that they can like uh constant um comparing and the way that I see it in a lot of um I guess I guess organizations that try and and be more inclusive or try and um be more accessible.

They're like, ok, let's think of it as someone who's missing a leg. So let's all hop around on one leg or let's all walk around um blindfolded. So we know what it's like to be blind, like why don't you just ask the person next to you um how this building can benefit them best, or how this sport can be more inclusive towards them than you know, playing pretend and then not actually having any discussions, right? Yeah, that makes no sense. And I mean, I don't know how much you get that personally. The inspiration porn. Outpouring, but I do get it and I'm gonna be honest, like I said earlier, you know, if you if you're not in the mood to be an activist in the moment, that's fine, I'm not always in the mood, like I might not always check somebody, I might just let it go and I just, you know, I leave that conversation and I'm not coming back, but every time it happens it's like a little, just, you know, just another little dagger in your heart. God, Goddammit, not today.

I was having a great day like, oh goddammit, another person, you know, I made a post, I made a post that was like, you know, this is how I feel every day, kind of a post. Like every day my nerve pain makes me feel like I'm walking in hot water with needles and that really moved this, you know, able bodied person, like, oh you know when you put that, I was like damn if she's doing it, like, I really got to get like, I don't give a sh it about you. I'm sorry. Like, how do you expect them to react to that? Like, Yeah, like what value does that bring to me? I don't understand, like, if you if you are also a spoon e and you're going through some tough times and you didn't think that you could, like, lift the log over your head and you saw a video of me and you were like, okay, if she could do what I could do it to, like Yeah, that applies to you. Yeah, cool. Because I'm literally doing what you literally think. You can't do apples to apples, okay, we're on the same wavelength. But this other person that was just, you know, hasn't hit the gym because of whatever reasons their motivations aren't there? Like, I'm not going to be your motivation were not on the same page because you're only calling me brave or inspirational or motivational with the disability in mind.

If we take that label away from us, we'd be an average joe or joe vina, but in the mind bank. But why the hell? Like am I all of a sudden inspiration now? Just like, I mean, and again, we can all take it with a grain of salt. You know, I don't blow up in somebody's face when they come up to me after a dead lift or after squat at a competition? They say, you know, you're so inspirational? Like, okay, I'm not, I'm not going to fall head over heels for you because you feel that way. Um but you should understand that we do things the same way that you do, like we shouldn't be applauded for just stepping outside or or acquiring a job or, or starting a family or squatting, benching and dead lifting, you know? Um but if we're squatting benching and dead lifting world records, alright, I'll take it. Yeah, exactly, and if and when I do compete and people see something man, your dad was cool and that's it, like, thank you, great.

You know, I mean, I don't have a physical disability that they can see and instantly be inspiration porn but but so that's awesome that I don't always have to experience that no matter what as the default, but you still get the, I didn't even know like, oh, why didn't you tell me if I would have known if you would have known what you would have felt more sorry for me like so what Yeah, I mean like I'm really, I'm pretty strong, I have some records for my state, like that's cool, but like on a national level, like I'm not it and I know that and that's fine, so if anybody, you know wants to give me extra. Oh well at least you were there like no, no anybody could be there. Like that's not, no, calm down, inspiration porn is giving us participation points you don't need Yeah, it's inspiration porn is like, like when you know when you see a celebrity die and everybody post their picture with the celebrity like okay, are we talking about you or the celebrity that died?

Like inspiration porn is you made something about you that wasn't about you? Like what are you doing? Like I'm glad I assisted you in some way or another to get off of your couch or your bed this morning, but that wasn't our intention and I'm applauding you for doing that because there could have been other things, you know, unraveled within that via depression or other disabilities that you might have. But like why can't you let your own? You know your own reasonings inspire you. Yeah. Why why can't you think of, why can't you just view somebody else's existence and just leave it there? Why do you have to attach something about yourself to it? I don't get it. I don't get it. But on the opposite end of that, like I I mean I'm again, I'm glad that I haven't trained in a commercial gym in a long time or a college rec gym. But the opposite of our inspiration porn is the mansplaining of oh, I think you should do this the better way because I know what's best and I'm able bodied, although you have no certifications, you are not a coach.

You're not. I did I do I pay you sir. Excuse me. Yeah, stop that to stop it. Yeah, that's not helpful. And I mean at base level we're already, you know obviously women right? So that's already like she doesn't know how to live and let me tell her something and then you have something else on top of it. Oh here we go. Because you're like a wounded deer, like they must be saving you. It's absolutely ridiculous. But I think for that it's like not only just don't mansplaining, but just stop giving unsolicited advice. You know, if you want to have a conversation with someone, get to know them, get to know what they're lifting is about to get to know what their struggles are cool, have a conversation but just stop going up to people and saying, you know for you, I think you should dead lift like this. I see you're missing a hand, why don't you try that? No, I don't know you like no. And and even in other ways like for me, how many people coming to me? Like oh well why don't you try gluten free vegan? I don't Excuse me.

I don't know you who are you, are you my nutritionist? I didn't step into your office? Like just chill. Yeah, the unsolicited advice is is a bit and unsolicited. I mean like compliments to sometimes can be unsolicited like or just coming from a very wrong, you know way like again, I think the best way to kind of align inspiration porn can be say going up to a person of color or or a black woman and calling her um well spoken or educated or sounding this and that that sounds like a compliment but really? What the fuck? Excuse me. Yeah, that's coming with the assumption that all black women should be uneducated and not well spoken or coming with the understanding that all disabled people don't get into the gym, sit at home and and you know weep their sorrows and feel sorry for themselves because is that what you do?

Do you feel sorry for us? Like I don't understand where this level of thinking comes from So with all of that aside Marcy a how do you think people can be allies? How does this, where does this alley ship start? I think it starts, it always starts and it always ends with conversations just talk to people, you don't know something that's fine. Maybe you can ask, maybe you can't. And I feel like there's also that level of people who feel like they can just demand the information from whoever they want to demand it from. It's a conversation. A conversation works two ways so if somebody comes up to you and they offend you and they don't understand why and maybe you decide that that's too much for you. You end that conversation okay that conversation is over. But there are people that will enter it and be like, oh well she's just being a bit I don't understand and I'm not gonna be able to like no that wasn't, that wasn't your moment. Okay find some other resource google is free.

Google is always free. Like always also minding your business is always free. So if you don't, if you can't handle the conversation in that situation, if it doesn't work, don't take it personal. Move on, google is free. Also minding your business always free. Don't give unsolicited advice. Don't make assumptions. Don't don't assume that somebody is wounded and you need to save them. Nobody is your damsel in distress. If I hope you will ask for it like it's fine, chill out and say that and say that like you said that conversation say it doesn't play out the way you wanted it. Say your answers weren't questioned, don't victimize yourself like oh I tried I guess I'm not going to try anymore. Not going to try to educate myself. Maybe you didn't come out of it with true intentions. Like be intentional about your questions and your curiosity rather than you know separating yourself from disabled individual.

Like you could be disabled anytime you can get into a car accident you could become old you can you know knock on wood, get all these. Yeah you can have some random rare jeon beret because you got you know bit by a spider then. Boom now you're in the hospital really? It it can happen to anyone at any time and you can't come from a place of oh I am so here and I want information. They won't give it to me. They won't talk like no chill out. You don't know what that person went through. You don't know what their day was like for like for all, you know, like a family member could have died and you just making some random able last comment was like it and that's it. They're shut down for the rest of the day and after this conversation is then they're just going to go sit on the couch and cry all day. Like you don't know. So just make that assumption. Like I want the information. I have questions that need to be answered. Who are, you know, that everyone's experience is different just because every like, you know, somebody else that has a spinal cord injury. Um, and they aren't always in their wheelchair, somebody else that has happens to have one and is always in their wheelchair.

You know, there are levels to that. There are levels to every injury. And um, every disability is different. Like the limb difference community varies so much. Um, and just, I guess opening your eyes and realizing that were everywhere whether you like it or not, whether you knew it or not, whether you like it or not and you don't need to know it all. Like you're on a need to know basis or a need to not know basis. Yeah. There are people that are out there that would be like I took a diversity class. Like I'm not patting you on the back. Like I'm still diverse every day. Like I don't live this in a one hour class. This is every day at all times. So I understand that that you can, you can get out of your comfort zone and have to do some work with an open heart and an open mind and that's okay. There's nothing wrong. Yeah. Yeah. And it's not just about the conversation. It's about people who are, you know, business owners or employers or casting agencies.

Like be intentional about your representation. Also don't just talk about how much you include, you know, your token black friend or your token um, body positive friend, you know, be intentional about that representation. And, and it goes a long way. It's very powerful, especially in this fitness and power lifting community, You know, where you participate is usually going to be the small circle of the same people. And if you're a gym owner and you see, you know, there's a certain culture here that's not really vibing with what I want to vibe with you. You can say something, you could perpetuate that change or even if it's something as simple as there's never any ramps at this event, say something, you know, it doesn't always have to be like a huge transformative experience. But you know, you just keep chipping away and some change can happen. You've got to start somewhere, nobody's asking you to be rosa parks, nobody's asking you to like quit your job and become a full time activist.

Just be a little more attentional, whatever that means, whatever that means in your circumstance, just do something. Yeah. And you don't have to wait until it affects you or it affects someone in your family. Like if you notice that something is lacking or something is missing to be more inclusive for all members of the community, not just a disabled person, but everyone um, then you know, you could be the first person to start that. There's a lot of ways. Pick one started there. Yeah. And I think about it all the time at my job because you know, arts and entertainment venues, performing arts venues. Um, you know, we have people with disabilities, heart of walking, people coming in and out all the time and we consider whether our walkways are clear whether we have and how many wheelchair spaces we have open. You know, it's not just ramps and rather than thinking of it as a checklist, it's more of like how can everyone enjoy this equally equitably.

You know, and how can we make it accessible for everyone. And so keeping all of those senses in mind, like someone who can't necessarily see or hear or smell or walk, you know, keeping all of that in mind when you're building a project or when you're building an organization. Um that's I think the easiest way to be inclusive, discovering how all of those senses can be targeted. Did you find a spider for those of you that don't know Marcia is joining in live from her? I am in my club. Why podcasting come at me? Yeah, yeah, definitely. I think when you're starting a project that is supposed to be for the public, you have to think about the public in its entirety. Like who is it? Not just someone who looks like me or talks like me, almost like me, there are other people out there. Just think about it.

So let's all start there please and not forgetting that we're we're paying members were paying subscribers, you know, where we're all your customer. Exactly. Any other closing statements you have, I think you're pretty solid so far uncovering that. That was good. That was good. You all thank you for listening. Thank you for listening. If you encounter some everyday able ism you want to share it with us, send us a voice message, linking our instagram bio or send us an email and we'll share it on the show because well, we'll definitely be revisiting this topic, you know, more than once and yeah, and it doesn't, it could be related to fitness and power lifting and strongman or it could be anything else, whatever you want to get off your chest, get it off your chest and in these everyday circumstances don't keep it to yourself Talk about it because it was not okay, disabled girls out. Thanks for listening to disabled girls who left. We appreciate all of your support and everyone who's taken the time to show us some love.

Don't forget to subscribe, rate already, review of our channel. We're on Apple podcasts, Spotify player, FM, google podcasts and more. You can also find us on instagram at disabled girls who left.

E12: How to Treat Your Token Disabled Friend
E12: How to Treat Your Token Disabled Friend
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