February 8th 2016
I found a place where I’m nobody special <3.
For years, I’ve been told how brave and amazing I am for everything I’ve been through and fought against. Is it true? Maybe. That’s a matter of interpretation. In my daily life and in most of my friends’ and families’ daily lives, I am one of, if not the only, handicapped person they deal with or know personally. With that being said, you can imagine all the help and fussing over I’m given everyday. Along with all this help and fussing, I also live in LA, where there are over 10 million people (according to the 2014 census) and only around 900,000 (11-ish percent) of them are disabled. With that being said, I am also used to getting stared a lot; from the other 89% of Los Angeles as it were.
The combination of staring, fuss and help can make wanting to go to really big events with a lot of people some what nerve racking…even events like a convention for the disabled. Wondering why that would be as scary? A disabilities convention scary? It’s not, but to me it’s a lot. It’s admitting I am part of that community which for many years (as my previous posts have shown), I haven’t wanted to admit. Last friday, after many years of pussin’ out, I finally went to the Los Angeles Abilities Expo for the first time.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I go to Downtown LA, park at the Convention Center, push my chair to the entrance and roll into the West Hall.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry like I never have before. I had never seen so many wheelchairs. I had never seen so many people not give two fucks about what I was doing when entering the room. I am so used to being the person people fuss over and look at because I’m typically the only handicapped person in the group where I go. Here, at the convention, we were all the same! Nobody was special because we were all the same!
I was able to meet, see and do so many great things at this convention! I rock climbed for the first time ever! I was part of the biggest wheelchair painting ever attempted! I met two of my favorite reality stars from Push Girls on IFC.
Mia Schaikewitz and Auti Angel in picture with me.
I got acupuncture done, was able to try a bunch of cool outdoor and sport wheelchairs and I even got to see some dancing and service animal demonstrations!
This expo really was something that I’ve needed to go to for a long time now and I’m so glad that I did. This expo has opened my eyes to some degree. Knowing that there is a community where I’m just there enjoying with everyone else instead of being the gravitational pull is comforting 🙂