27 October, 2010


So you guys, I kind of think FDR is awesome.

I was reading this person's blog saying that he's not a good role model for disabled kids, which intellectually I get is totally true, but does anyone else find passing kind of swoonworthy? I remember when I was in high school being super enchanted by the movie Gattaca and not really understanding why at the time. But passing is so cool! It makes you feel so smart.

And passing is like smoking--looks awesome, not good for you. Except that doesn't work because passing hurts everyone, so passing is more like not recycling. But sometimes when you are tired don't you just throw your bottle of soda into a trash can because you don't know where to find a recycling bin?

I try to recycle. And in the past maybe six months passing has kind of stopped being a part of my identity--although I do get passed off of course, but that's not who I am. I know that it is better for me in a lot of ways, but I kind of miss passing, i.e. the act of actually calculating how best to frame myself or just flat-out lie. I just felt really clever and calculated and yeah kind of evil but in a cool way.

It's sort of a thrill. I don't know. Life Is Better. But if passing wasn't kind of fun, and if passing--my own and other people's--didn't make me sort of delighted in a mean, fucked-up way...well, maybe I'd feel more okay rejecting FDR.


  1. I love my ability to pass as NT (even if it causes me angst as well). I consider it a skill that I learned, and it's a skill that I'm willing to use to make things better for myself. I don't really see it as being deceptive or pretending -- it's more like I'm simply speaking a second language that I learned in my late teens/early adulthood. I get a certain pleasure out of "translating" my thoughts and feelings into social cues that other people can understand.

    But then again, I also like simply being at home with my partner, where neither of us has to engage in those processes, which can get quite tiring, even if I do find them fun sometimes. (He, on the other hand, doesn't have fun with them, so...)

  2. You've gotten me to think about passing. I'm not sure if I do it or not.

    I mean, I'm pretty sure I do because people don't lecture me all the time about how I need to change my behavior in order to seem less weird, like they did when I was a kid. And I act differently at home than I do at work, the biggest difference being that at home I twirl my hair as much as I want and talk to myself.

    But on the other hand, I don't feel about passing the way you do, which makes me wonder if I'm not passing as thoroughly or something. I doubt I'm really fooling anyone into thinking I'm totally normal, but I'm doing enough to get by and that's all I really care about.

    But I guess I'll sum up by saying that passing to me simply feels like something that's absolutely necessary to do in order to avoid a lot of unnecessary attention and criticism, rather than something dangerous and fun but bad for me. It's good for me in the sense that it allows me to avoid a lot of unpleasant bullshit.

    I think it would be really bad if I was trying to pretend to be a completely different kind of person than what I really am, but I think in my case I'm just making concessions here and there in order to not stand out too much.

  3. Need it be reminded that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the president of the United States of America and that he saw our great nation through not only the Great Depression but the Second World War. He gave us the New Deal, he set up freaking Social Security!

    Allow me to reiterate: he was one of the greatest presidents this great country has ever known, period.

    Not only that, he did all of this paralyzed from polio when being a crip was all but taboo.

    So, this is a man who kicked anti-crip prejudice in the nuts and proceeded to become one of America's greatest and most beloved leaders.

    Someone explain to me why this man is not a wonderful role-model for disabled youth!

    Maybe he did have to pretend to be abled. So what?