Channeling Pride

I ended up in San Francisco yesterday for the first night of the American Library Association Annual Conference, listening to everyone buzzing about the SCOTUS decision and their plans for the weekend. I think the concept of pride as a movement is amazing, and a reminder to channel my own disability pride. I mean, I’m active – sometimes too active! – in the Moebius syndrome and Canine Companions community, but does that mean I actually have pride? Do I wear it proudly like a huge splashy rainbow? I don’t know. Sometimes I think I don’t, then sometimes I think I shouldn’t have to then sometimes I think I am failing everyone (lord knows who ‘everyone’ is!) for not being prideful or active enough. That is the paradox of being from a minority group that is diverse and doesn’t have the cultural cohesiveness of other minority groups. I go days without encountering someone with a (visible) disability, months or years without encountering someone with my rare condition. I get complacent. I sometimes, honestly, don’t care anymore. Then I see something – the Hearing Dog graduation I watched on my phone before the opening session yesterday, a new family discovering the online Moebius syndrome community, and am reminded that I do actually have a lot of pride. The rare disorder community and the service dog community are pretty darn incredible. I need to step back, and to have more pride in these groups… and in myself.

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