Tag Archives: Disability

Here’s Why I Endorsed Elizabeth Warren for President

My entrance into hands-on political engagement began in 2008.

President Barack Obama was the first president I could vote for after I turned 18. I volunteered for him in both 2008 & 2012 & shook his hand at a rally a week before the 2008 election. His hand was soft & wrinkly & thin. I didn’t wash my hand for a week for good luck (ok, yes, I know that’s gross).

I grew up overhearing whispers about President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, his iconic, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” soundbite & then the grumbling about President George W. Bush’s “nuke-yule-er” pronunciation & his politics.

Obama restored my patriotism. I remember wanting to be a proud American again during his campaign and after his first election.

In college (2007 – 2008) I researched media portrayal of US womxn running for President & Vice President. There were only four to research: Shirley Chisholm (#BlackHistory), Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin & Hillary Clinton. Since then, the number of womxn who’ve viably run for president has more than doubled.

For me, since college, jobs, moves across the country & buying my house; I’ve continued to be politically involved in different ways.

Since being diagnosed with AS, a debilitating progressive disease (watch my TEDx talk about it), I’ve seen a lot of politics via my healthcare advocacy/activism on local, state, & federal levels.

I know how politics work on the inside, from the outside, is what I’m saying. Continue reading Here’s Why I Endorsed Elizabeth Warren for President

Disability Justice: 2020 Sacramento Women’s March

I spoke at the 2020 Sacramento Women’s March about disability justice.

Below is video (by Denice Ristau) and the transcript.


Disability Justice



Transcript:

Is there power in standing up?

That was a trick question.

Is there power in sitting down?

I’m disabled whether I’m standing or sitting. And I’m powerful both ways!

So, let’s change this phrasing: is there power in showing up?


Let me tell you about Rosa.

Rosa May Billinghurst would ram her wheelchair into police during protests in the early 1900s. She continued using her wheelchair to make a path for herself even after being violently thrown out of her chair intentionally damaged by police.

Rosa was called “the cripple suffragette.”

Rosa claimed her space and she made it known she would be counted as a disabled woman and nothing less.

So I’m here to tell you:

Continue reading Disability Justice: 2020 Sacramento Women’s March

The Privilege of Having Enough

Black Friday, the day that foreshadows how the market will perform through the new year, was actually a dark day in history (in case you didn’t know) representing a large-scale financial crisis because of greedy Wall Street financers in the 1800s.

Gosh, sounds familiar.

Now we’ve reclaimed the meaning of that day, or rather, corporations have reclaimed it and turned it into a day of splurging and materialism. Cash flows from regular folks’ pockets into the wallets of billionaires and executives who source labor from the underemployed and materials from China. I mean, I am exaggerating a little.

A little.

Let’s Back Up a Bit

I used to spend the day after Thanksgiving going on hikes or long runs and enjoying how empty everything was that wasn’t a store. The outside world was my oyster for that quiet, quiet day.

I refused to utter the words “Black Friday” because I staunchly opposed what the day had come to mean: greed and a blatant disregard for the environmental destruction that comes with unfettered materialism.

Instead, I called it Buy Nothing Day along with millions of other environmentalists who human-cott the spending spree that is Black Friday.

On Buy Nothing Day, I distanced myself from over-stressed employees and screaming throngs of people breaking down doors, running people over, and fighting over highly discounted flat-screen televisions. I was horrified by this violence that resulted in mountains of plastic, cardboard, and Styrofoam and; inevitably, piles of broken electronics and discarded toys after mere months of use.

To me, Black Friday represented the worst humanity has to offer – a piling up of vices so-to-speak – and I stayed as far away as possible.

Then My Life Changed

In 2013 I was diagnosed with a disease that runs in my family (Ankylosing Spondylitis)  that upended my world and disabled me in a matter of a few years. Continue reading The Privilege of Having Enough

Ableism Killed My Christianity

I rarely write posts here about my spiritual journey, but in this case I have chosen to share a deeply personal experience that addresses why I have left The Episcopal Church. Whether or not that’s a temporary decision, I can’t say.

Below, I am sharing an edited version of a Facebook post I wrote on March 29, 2019:


I have been quiet.

I have been quiet this week, but I have also been quiet over the last year and a half about a life calling I was responding to after years of holding off and saying, “No. Not yet.”

This is long. You might want to get tea before reading. I’m serious. Also, this post mentions topics and words related to Christianity, disability, and trauma.

When I was about fifteen, a dear mentor and mother figure was dying. Marny was a saint whose gifts were more powerful than a single person could hold. I was so intimidated by her holiness that I was afraid to ask her about it. Something about her goodness opened me up to my own light, giving me permission to grow into whoever it was that I should be. I wanted to be like her, but with a collar. At the age of fifteen or sixteen I realized a calling to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church. I couldn’t express what my call looked like, but I could feel it.

My community was supportive of me pursuing it and provided all the necessary details, should I move forward.

In the end, though, I decided to wait. To grow up a bit. To learn more about life. To see if, down the road, being a priest was really my calling. I pushed it to the back of my mind. Every few years I’d get a reminder to think about it again, but I’d keep it to myself. I’d push it back again to the back of my mind. And I would say, “No. Not yet.”

Continue reading Ableism Killed My Christianity