“We love our community on social media but…
Sometimes social media can be extremely difficult.
I think it’s gotten so easy for people just to bellow out their beliefs without consequences on their platforms.
We see people trying to be the ‘loudest’ sometimes, for just the sake of being loud.
We see hypocrisy and ignorance being held up in the name of ‘educating’ people.
We see people being shamed and their dignity torn apart in this ‘cancel’ culture.
The other day, an able-bodied person sent me a DM and told me I was ‘incorrect’ in the usage of the word disabled to describe Callie. She informed me I needed to do my research and do a better job with my platform.
Mind you, this is the term my daughter chose to use.
Mind you, this is OUR platform.
Mind you, her opinion is not our truth.
Mind you, no matter what her intent was, my daughter’s experience and voice as a disabled person will always supersede that of someone who is able bodied.
So… in the spirit of National Limb Loss and Limb Difference month, we are sharing this story.
In the hopes that we can continue to raise up the voices of those with limb loss in the disabled community.
Even though I try my best as Callie’s mama to share her story, ultimately she will have an even more powerful voice than I could ever have.
Her voice matters. Her story matters. Her experiences matter. We have to stop silencing the voices of the disabled community and start listening to them.
I also hope we can truly look at the intent behind the interactions we have on social media.
I love seeing things like, ‘Tell me more. What’s your perspective on this? Where can I read up on this?’
Those things show a growth mindset, an empathetic nature, and a willingness to have an open mind/discussion.
Telling someone to, ‘Go educate themselves,’ on a life they already live? Not so much.
As an advocate, you will never hear the words ‘Educate yourself’ coming out of my mouth—because that’s what I’m here for.
I’m here to give you a peek into our world, our lives, and our experiences so you can learn directly from us. I consider this an honor, and as Callie’s mama, I have the privilege of taking on this role with her.
I’m not an expert, nor will I ever pretend to be—but I will open our hearts to you and continue to raise up the voices of people like Callie.
Thanks for being here.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jaime. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her blog. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Jaime:
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‘He saw my hand. ‘I was born like this.’ He left and stopped talking to me. I knew then I didn’t want to hide it anymore.’: Woman shares limb difference acceptance journey, ‘I have the right to a normal life’
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