Being hyper visible in society can be really difficult. There is a huge assumption because it is “obvious” that you are disabled or “visibly queer” you get life a lot easier because you are seen in society. Trust me, whist we are talked about, no it doesn’t get any easier. It is often used more as an excuse to patronise you or treat you like a lesser human being. I do also want to add before I continue that I suffered years having my illnesses being “hidden” and yes it was shit, and people didn’t often believe how much in pain I was or how tired I was, but it was nothing in comparison to what I experience now when I am out in my chair.
Being visible doesn’t mean you are free from discrimination. Trans people who are “visibly trans” are still getting murdered, gay men and lesbians are still being forced into heterosexuality and wheelchair users are seen as second class citizens and have to deal with unemployment based on employers unwilling to make “reasonable adjustments” to the work place.
Gay people do not suffer less oppression because they are more visible by being in same/similar gender relationships. Gay people do not get it easier because they are known more for being gay. There is a huge wave of how gays and lesbians are taking up “too much” space in the LGBT community and that we should bring forward B and T … For starters trans people can be gay or lesbian and secondly talking about same and similar gender attraction does not invalidate bisexuality because that is a part of it and “straight passing” relationships are never the ones that are under attack and subject to violence and oppression. I also hate the phrase straight passing in this situation but trying to word it as cishet by society standards seems wordy as shit.
The same can be said for disabled people who’s disabilities are visible. This doesn’t mean that people with invisible illnesses and disabilities are being talked over, but that there is different needs for different communities and that creating accessible spaces, work laws and equality polices for the ones that are most visible will in turn also make all this safe for those who are not visible in society because everything will already be in place. For example, we need lifts – wheel chair user shouts at person for lift access.. Lift access is now for all people with access needs.
Reasonably short post but in summery hypervisibility does not equate to safety.
Saturday I received some abuse from three women who got on the bus, because I was in the priority seating and that it was “Fucking Disgusting” that I was taking up the seating for them.
Do you know what this is? This is a Priority seating required card. This was made by Brighton and Hove bus company because they were horrified about the amount of disabled and physically struggling people that were being abused on busses.
The people who did this were very loud in informing everyone that it was disgusting that young people were taking up the valuable seats. Now I’m going to point out a few things that were wrong. I’m appalled that its come down to this, but I am so upset with the situation.
1) I’m not actually a young person. I’m close to 30 now, but thank you for the compliment. No wonder that young people actually get upset over the older generations though, by the way you treated them.
2) After your comments we did shout how we are entitled to sit in this seat, but your sarcastic smile didn’t help the situation. Instead an apology would have been nice.
3) You were moving far faster than I ever have been able to. Maybe it was a good day for you, I don’t know. But assuming someone’s physical needs based solely on age is pretty pathetic.
4) Finally, as well as needing a priority seat I often do need a care giver with me. Saturday was one of those days. My partner is also a qualified carer and was entitled to sit with me. Also, should mention that he has massive joint problems too and that also entities him to sit in the priority seating, but that’s not the point.
For the benefit of new readers, this is what myself and (one of my) partners looks like.
Now I would like to finally say one thing. I sometimes have to use the bus as transport. I have to use the closest seating (especially recently since I do not have my stick). I have arthritis, a busted spine and I’m also epileptic. This is only a tiny amount of the physical issues that I have, which leaves me in a lot of discomfort through out my day to day activities.
If you are one of those people who “have a go at young people”, I hope that you reevaluate your actions. There are 10000s of people with hidden/not obvious illnesses, and you attacking them is just as bad as you attacking someone with obvious physical issues.
Please share this around to as many places as possible, there are many people affected by actions such as this and are often treated poorly. I know I am not the only person out there who has been shouted at because of assumptions.
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