I’m off out.
I’m out on the town and looking for a good time, a few beers (for dutch courage) and then, game face on. Watch out ladies here I come. I have on my smart jeans, I’ve showered, I am sex on legs. Oh I didn’t mention my shirt.. (except in big letters in the title) Yes it’s a sign post.. highlighting my urrm short comings. I figure it’s best to let people know, up front. I got this shirt in a set.
- “Will touch up your friend when drunk.”
- “Mood Swings”
- “No sense of Humour”
I think they are great. Unfortunately, not only am I drawing a blank with the ladies but I have been taken the piss out of numerous times and beaten up. I can’t think why..
OK, so who guessed that was bullshit. Hopefully all of you.
Imagine it though. Going out with a shirt declaring your shortcomings, personality defects or negative elements of your past. Whilst they could be informative, to the other clubbers or people in the pub, a bit like a penicillin allergy pendant, at best it’s likely to make people avoid you, at worst it might make you a target for emotional and physical abuse.
That is what is suggested very frequently to young disabled people. Wear a shirt or display a card proudly embossed with details of their disability. Now in a perfect world, this would be great. It would ensure that folks like me get doors held open, or people coping with high levels of pain will get cut a bit of slack when they shout at the checkout girl in Morrisons.
In reality what happens is that the disabled persons self esteem is damaged, they are actively encouraging disabled people to become the disability, instead of being a person, who happens to be disabled. Additionally the t-shirts are an invite for the bastards of the world to be horrible, because they are not even getting a chance to see a person. They see a label.
Personally I want people to find out more details about my disability the same way they would find out about my hatred of X-Factor and love of World Cinema (no not porn.. well that too) by communicating with me. If communication is not possible via the usual methods I’d still want people to want to find out about me, not read all about it.
You see, final reason why this doesn’t work. (promise) Even people with exactly the same disabilities can be affected by them in vastly different ways. For example I have a friend who’s speech is affected, mine is not. So if we both had a card saying “Cerebral Palsy: My speech is unclear” it would be wrong for one of us. The signs/shirts being offered are mass made remember.
I am not cerebral palsy, it is something that affects my life. Just like taxes, football and masturbation. I don’t wear a shirt telling people I’m a wanker… people have to get to know me (for at least five minutes) first.