Black and white photo of skeleton sitting in a hospital-style wheelchair in front of stairs.

Disability Isn’t a Halloween Costume

Last year, a friend who hadn’t seen me in a few years asked whether my bright, sparkly purple cane was part of my sense of style. I dress whimsically in colorful outfits with a lot of patterns and he’d never
A trolley with people on it in rolling through a march.

Picture This: a Disability Community That’s Truly Inclusive of All

Close your eyes and picture a disabled person. At work, one of my jobs is finding images to pair with our weekly newsletter articles. Since we are a non-profit that advocates for people with disabilities, I often find myself combing…
A dark navy blue watercolor painting of a person lying on the floor in the fetal position. Small yellow dots surround the person, giving the picture a space-like quality.

We Need to Break Through the Silence on Abuses of Institutionalized Children

Content note: this post discusses psychiatric hospitalization and sexual abuse. When I was thirteen years old, I was sexually abused by a staff member in a psychiatric hospital. The first time she abused me, she took me into the examination…
A supporting hand waves in front of a rainbow flag flying on the sidelines of a summer gay pride parade

It’s Time for LGBQTIA+ Communities to Celebrate Disabled People

LGBQTIA+ spaces are supposed to be environments where we can be our true, authentic selves without stress. Where we can revel in being surrounded by our people, feeling safe and at home; places of queer joy, shared rage and frustration,…
Alaina, a white thin femme person, standing in front of a crowd at Pride in Boston. She is wearing a dress with rainbow castles all over it. I have long hair that is dark brown on top and a mix of blues and purples on the bottom. She is standing with hert lavender cane with a rainbow flag attached to it, and smiling.

If Your LGBTQIA+ Pride Event Isn’t Accessible to Disabled People, You’re Missing Out.

Like many other disabled people, one of the first questions I ask when I’m making plans is, “Will this be accessible?” And as much as I love going to celebrate at Pride events, the answer is often, “No, or pretty
Brown and black dog in an orange vest that says "service dog."

I’m Tired of Being Accused of “Faking” My Need for a Service Animal

This blog post was re-published on HuffPost. Recently, while on a date, the subject of service animals came up. My date spoke of a female coworker of theirs who would occasionally bring a service dog to work. They expressed…
A female presenting person in a white hat, dark brown jacket, and light brown boots, walking down a road alone toward a mountain range, surrounded by wide open space with browned grass.

My Fight for Independence is a Fight for Disability Rights

For the first two decades of my life, I was never alone. Growing up with vocal cord paralysis, I was always accompanied by either my nurses, my parents, or another adult who was trained to work with kids who wear…
A woman wears headphones sitting in front of an iPad with a concerned look on her face. a picture in picture of Rachel Maddow is in the top corner

VIDEO: People With Mental Health Disabilities Shut Down Dangerous Ideas About Gun Violence

The assertion that severe mental illnesses cause gun violence, specifically mass shootings, is not helpful and not accurate, but it is harmful. It is a dangerous idea. And we hear it from the media and our leaders all the time.…
A silhouette of a person speaking into a megaphone, surrounded by other silhouettes.

When Do I Get to Say “Me, Too?”

I love the word “disabled” because it speaks to the heart of the matter: my ability to move freely through life is hampered. As an “invisibly” disabled, white-passing, biracial, queer femme, I wear my privileges like armor. Pretty masks queer.…