Message me. I’m writing an article about Tumblr’s lack of support for black users who have been threatened or racially abused.
In which I attempt to explain that giving disabled folks electric shocks is not hilarious, and also that some queer people are disabled as well.
Dear Dan Savage,
When I read about Miracle!, your new Helen Keller-themed drag show, my first thought was to search for reactions from Deaf or Blind folks who had attended it.
My next thought was to wonder whether you had made the show accessible to people who are Deaf and/or Blind (with audio-description and sign language interpreters), so that the people being mocked therein could judge it for themselves.
Then I read this: “As the audience walks in, there’s a giant written announcement up on stage that warns ‘this play will be deeply offensive to the deaf/blind community, so please don’t tell them. Keep your hands shut!’”
So let’s recap: you, a non-disabled guy, put on a show devoted to mocking disabled people, a show which you intended to be hurtful and offensive to disabled people, and that show starts with you bragging that you care so little what disabled people think about this, you don’t even want them to know.
At this point in my letter I should give you some info about me: I’m disabled, I’m queer, and I’m pissed the hell off.
I don’t get your selective engagement with the concept of human rights. Your commitment to the It Gets Better Project suggests that you wouldn’t find a comedy send-up of queer teen suicide very amusing. If someone put on such an awful show, you would definitely object, and you would want them to take your objection seriously. But a non-disabled actor who “stumbles and bellows” around a stage, pretending to be a Deafblind person getting shocked by a dog collar, is hilarious, and when disabled people inevitably object, you intend to ignore us.
You might find that comparison unfair. You might say, “Queer teen suicide is an ongoing problem! The idea of giving disabled people electric shocks was cooked up to be ridiculous; it’s campy! It’s not like that’s actually happening.”
[Read those, I’ll wait.]
I’m not going ask you to publicly apologize and change your ways, because your idea of apologizing and changing your ways is to say “leotarded” instead of “retarded,” and throw in some sarcastic “I know, I know, I shouldn’t mock the weak” grumbling for good measure. You don’t have a good track record of sincerely changing when people point out ways in which you are being prejudiced.
So I’m not asking for an apology, because if what you have to offer is a defensive, half-assed cop-out like “leotarded,” I’m not interested.
I’m asking you to stop pretending to care about me.
If you care about me as a young lesbian, but are willing to use slurs and stereotypes against me as a disabled person, you’re not helping me. That goes especially for LGBT folks who are Deaf, Blind, or Deafblind. Surely you’ve seen the It Gets Better videos in American Sign Language? You’ve just made it abundantly clear to the people who made those videos that you are willing to fight for their rights as young gay folks, but when it comes to the oppression they face as disabled people, you couldn’t care less.
If you encourage society to respect queer folks, and then you encourage society to mock and stereotype disabled folks, and to ignore our objections, how much do we disabled queers benefit from your work?
You can claim to be in our corner, but we might not believe you if you’re actually pointing and laughing from across the room.
Dan Savage, just another privileged white, fully able(bodied) cismale, acting exactly like everyone expects someone like that to act-like a bag of shit.
i’m sorry this has to go on my dash but i HATE him and i really can’t. like if he comes back to my school i’m going to jump his white ass.