Gimpunk: Remembering that people with disabilities have always existed



Content warning: This post talks about institutionalization in graphic terms. Proceed with caution.

Sometimes people say things like this:

  • “When I was a kid, no one had all these learning disabilities and syndromes!”
  • “We’re all so much…

I live in the heart of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, which means the cities here are the oldest Western cities in the country. Every time I have difficulty navigating a cityscape (cobblestones, anyone?) it’s become a black joke between my partner and I: “How did cripples survive when these sidewalks were made? Oh yeah they didn’t.” This extends well beyond those literal barriers, and things like this, the forced institutionalization? It still scares the living shit out of me. Part of me knows I’m a part of society and would be missed, but another knows that I’m a cripple with a “dangerous” mental disorder. I could be locked up against my will, people still live this nightmare. And its threat lurks in the minds of so many of us.

Yes. It’s horrifying. This isn’t over. People who have never faced this threat often think of it as something that used to happen - but, it still happens, people still do this.

And it has to stop.