By Dave Hingsburger
I was supposed to be in Ottawa today to speak, from a disability perspective, at a parliamentary luncheon around the issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Life intervened and I simply couldn't do it. I have turned my speaking notes into a blog. Here is a very adapted version of what I wanted to say.
It starts here. It always starts here. It doesn't start with me, though you think it does, it starts with you. It starts the moment you see me. It starts the moment you lay eyes on me. Judgements, evaluations, valuations ... you start to look at yourself in relation to me, and that's when it happens. Stereotypes, assumptions, prejudices and biases come into play. Before I open my mouth, my worth and the worthiness of what I have to say, have been calculated, and typically, found wanting. Who I am as a person depends, not on me, my life, my history, but on the perception you have of me, of fat people, of disabled people, of gay people.