Yes, you heard the title. I am not anyone’s inspriration in life.
This post was thought of because I had a conversation with someone during December and I had to sit down and explain why I would never want one of those overcoming the odds documentary stories done about me unless I had 100% of the control over. Surely it must be a privilege to get your story told for others to here? Well not really, and here is why.
Inspirational documentaries actually do more harm than good.
They are always centred solely on a persons struggles and then how through help of “supportive” people they are often able to perform a task as if they couldn’t do it themselves. When written like that it seems totally harmless, but the reality is that these documentary stories are then forced on other folk who battle the same issues and are then told that if this person can do this then why the fuck can’t you. They force trans people to be accepting of bullshit, they force POC to educate white folk about racism, they force disabled people to attempt things they might not be able to physically do, and why? Because we have been made to feel guilty because we can’t do these things.
When I was asked about how all of my struggle should be documented, it honestly felt like a knife had gone through my heart because I was that person watching inspirational porn once begging to at least have the confidence to live my life as well as that. The truth of course is that I wouldn’t, and neither would the thousands of others who had been in that situation because all of our lives, our circumstances are entirely different.
I had this fear rush though me that they would only want to show the airbrushed pretty version of my life, and that haunted me more than anything. Not everything in life is pretty, and I have not overcome my challenges. I couldn’t sit there and tell everyone that if you try hard enough it will be OK. Because it fucking won’t be. You don’t need to try hard to just be you and you certainly for not need to look up to every minority because we have a shiny relatable backstory that’s made for films.
I’m not the shining example of what someone who’s trans and disabled should be. I fuck up. A lot. I’ve done shit to get by that would honestly scare people and often lay in bed at night thinking about it. I resolve all my trauma by pretending it never existed in the first place. This is both the story I don’t want to tell, yet do not want to be paved over because it would look great for someone like me to be an inspiration to others. I could never look someone in the eye and tell them that with a bit of work that they can do anything they set their heart to, because the reality is that you can’t.
Disabled people get enough exhausting bullshit enough as it is without having to pretend to be a “normal” member of society. We have to navigate a world aimed solely for physically able people enough as it is without the extra pressure of being told to act confident, be more positive, get out there. Trans people are told that in order for them to be “accepted” into society, we must conform, we must be quiet and we must listen to everyone else unless things are not going to change for us.
WHY THE FUCK SHOULD WE THOUGH?
The truth is, everyone is different, everyone is unique and whilst there are folks doing amazing jobs in the lime light, there are still 10,000+ other people just hoping that they can make it through the day without struggling to perform even the most basic of tasks.
If a story was ever going to come out about me, I would want 100% control or be dead well before it ever saw existence, because the truth is, I am not, nor ever will be anyone’s inspiration.