TW (violence): This is what a stop and frisk looks like
Message me. I’m writing an article about Tumblr’s lack of support for black users who have been threatened or racially abused.
Open Letter to Dan Savage
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.
10 Things You Should Never Say to a Deaf Person -
We all occasionally say things we really wish we hadn’t, especially when meeting new people. For some reason, meeting a deaf person seems to really bring out those moments in people. In the hopes of helping you avoid these embarrassing moments, I’m sharing 10 things you should never say when meeting a deaf person. All of which, in case you’re wondering, have been said to me. And my friends. More than once.
1 – Oh, I’m sorry. (And then walking away.)
Deaf people are really not that scary. When someone tells you they can’t hear you, try making sure you’re looking directly at the person when you talk to them. Speak clearly, but don’t exaggerate your lip movements. Or, hey, get a piece of paper or use your phone to write down what you’re saying.
2 – How do you drive?
I use my eyes. How do YOU drive?? I’m amazed at how many people think that deaf people cannot–or should not–get their driver’s license. Studies have shown that deaf drivers are no more likely to get in to an accident than hearing drivers, and actually tend to have lower accident rates.
3 – Can you read?
I have now been asked this twice, once at the doctor’s office and once at the DMV. My Deaf friends have told me they get asked this all the time. On one hand, I understand the question- after all, English might not be my primary or first language. On the other… guess what? Deaf people go to school, have jobs, and do everything that their hearing pals do. Oh, except hear. Assuming that deaf people can’t read is just insulting.
4 - Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I think I have hearing loss, too – I have a hard time understanding people sometimes. You know, like at concerts and moster truck rallies.
Seriously, why is it that everyone I meet suddenly has hearing loss? Not being able to hear people talking when you’re in a loud environment is not exactly the same thing as being deaf or hard of hearing. I understand that people’s first instinct is to try to find common ground, and connect. I recognize that this statement is supposed to show understanding and support. That said, it usually comes across as dismissive, and completely misses the point. When someone is telling you that they need you to look at them when you’re speaking because they can’t hear you, they’re not looking for you to say you know all about it. They’re just trying to let you know what they need in order to understand you. Do that.
5 - Oh, but you can lipread, right? Neat. Can you tell what the guy across the room is saying?
To this I say, lip reading is NOT a super power. No, I cannot tell what that guy is saying from across the room. It’s hard enough figuring out what’s going on in the conversation I’m currently having, thanks. Also, stop being a snoop.
6 – Oh, I’m so sorry. Losing my hearing would be the worst thing in the world.
It has its down sides, for sure, but really it’s not that bad. This response makes me feel like I’m something to be pitied, and completely dismisses the awesomeness of Deaf culture. Even if you’re thinking this, please don’t say it. Just don’t.
7 – But, you have hearing aids.
Yep, I do. They’re pretty awesome, and I’m glad I have them, but they’re not miracle devices. They don’t suddenly “cure” my hearing loss. I still need to read lips or use ASL to know what people are saying. They tell me THAT people are talking, but it’s like catching shadows of words. I have to fill in the blanks. If someone has hearing aids, don’t assume that they can hear things–or that they can’t, for that matter.
8 – Oh, are you going to get that implant thing to fix your hearing?
I’ve had people launch in to how the cochlear implant is a miracle within 3 minutes of meeting me. They’re usually basing this on a) seeing Ellen talk about it on TV and b) the fact that they like hearing birds chirp, or whatever. The decision to get a cochlear implant is a big one, and involves a lot of factors that you probably aren’t aware of if you haven’t been around the Deaf community for very long. Besides the fact that this question assumes that something is wrong with me that needs to be fixed, it’s a really personal, complicated question. If you’re going to ask someone about CI, please be sensitive to that. And maybe wait until you’ve known the person a while before you bring it up.
9 – But you don’t sound deaf.
Of all the things said to me on a daily basis, this is the one that drives me the most crazy. This is the reason I usually go voice off in public, like at the grocery store. People have a hard time understanding that just because I have good speech quality does not mean I can hear. It makes me feel like I need to explain myself – no, really, grocery store clerk, I’m not purposely ignoring you, I just can’t hear you. Closely related to this one is…
10 – Wow, your speech is really good!
I get this well-meaning comment from almost everyone I meet – even interpreters sometimes say this to me. There are several reasons why you should never say this to someone. For one thing, it makes the person feel awkward and self-conscious. For another, the underlying message is that speaking skills are to be highly valued, and praised. It implies that people who don’t have clear speech are less intelligent, capable, or aren’t trying hard enough.
This comment makes me feel like I’m being patted on the back. I didn’t do anything special to earn my speaking skills. My speech says nothing about my intelligence or abilities. I just happened to grow up with enough residual hearing to make speech work for me. In some ways, my clear speech is a drawback – it makes it that much harder for other people to understand my deafness.
I agree… and will never!!
Transgender Reforms Announced for NYPD Patrol Guide -
(Source: transqueery, via quentinandrew-deactivated201303)