Cable’s disabled childhood

As an X-Men character and member of the Summers family Cable has an extensive and convoluted story so I’m only going to cover a small glimpse of his childhood to look at his disability and disability narrative.

Mutants are considered a marginalized race in the Marvel universe and mutation is used as a metaphor for disability; Cable is one of the many mutant characters who are also shown to have real-world disabilities. As a baby he was infected with a “techno-organic virus” by Apocalypse resulting in his iconic appearance. The techno-organic virus is functionally a terminal disease in which cells cannot duplicate or regenerate and even within the superhero world Cable was born into there is no cure. His father, Cyclops, allows him to be taken to the future where there is available treatment in exchange for never seeing his son again.

Cyclops questions whether or not this is the right decision, specifically wondering if Cable would be better off dead. He questions Cable’s quality of life.

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As Cable grows into a teenager he struggles with non-passing privilege and the need to hide his disfigurement and assistive equipment to assimilate and remain safe.

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Aside from suffering culturally and socially Cable deals with tangible disability and chronic pain. He has to manage these things in order to live and his motivation to do so tends to be based on his obligation to others.

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The character Cable deals with disability so directly that his mutation never quite becomes a metaphor. Like all disabled children, his family struggles with what to sacrifice for his medical care, ceding control of his care to those who can offer assistance, making long-term decisions in his stead, and whether or not having a life unlike those they are familiar with means he should have one at all.

As an adolescent, Cable has to live with the decisions his family made for him and struggles with being raised by various people whose only concern is what he is able to do. He is visibly different which puts him in danger in a way that is unfamiliar to most people and hiding his differences takes a physical and emotional toll. Cable has no role models that look like him and has experienced what he has, he has to develop based on a template of humanity that is fundamentally different from his natural state.

I love my disability

My public persona IRL is incredibly friendly and funny and “eccentric” and I know I obviously developed these characteristics to a cartoonish level because of my disability. You have to survive off of the benevolence of others. But one of the things I do that people refer to as “eccentric” or me just being me, like boys are boys, when I want to leave a conversation I do it blunts to the point of offensive but so jovial that people always think it’s endearing.

I curb my language depending on who is around me or where I am but if I’m with someone I consider my friend I will just suddenly say, “okay, you’ve been here enough, get the fuck out.” It’s a passive-aggressive spoon theory. Or friendly–aggressive? My disabled game is off the charts so I easily hide the fact that I always feel ill, in pain, and I will push myself to limit. Most of us do this among some people but I’m still self-centered enough that I’m not going to “borrow” any spoons for anyone.

Of course that hurts all of my relationships but besides that I wonder, if I didn’t closet the fact that I have a chronic illness would I be even remotely like myself? This is then obvious observation but it’s one of those things I’m realizing our a basic skill we are seemingly born with like their ability to swim. They can throw their babies in water right after they’re born and they can swim.  Their babies will almost immediately lose the ability to swim, they don’t need to survive in the water so they don’t bother remembering how to swim, it’s logical. That’s why they don’t utilize the all of the resources they can find in nature.

We can and do use just un–fresh water to use more ideal environments for ourselves. To be their equivalent of or demolishing everything and building from scratch, I don’t mean this in a long term evolutionary scope, right now they still keep building society in ways they themselves are constantly complain about. Their thing is building big shit, I get it, but it seems so counterintuitive.

But maybe I’m being naïve myself. Maybe there is a big detriment to our fixation with continuously churning out content like art and writing and music and innovation… And astronomy, astrology, you know, anything that’s ever had any cultural value.

Maybe Freda Carlo was their Hitler.

But back to myself,

Obviously my being closeted most of the time would help the eccentric thing but I wonder how less “funny” I would be if I were one of them?

I’ve been disabled my whole life so it’s not like this isn’t actually a part of my personality, it’s just a nicer version I use in public like everyone else does but it really seems like it would change the fundamentals of how people perceive me just as a person.

As much as I roll my eyes over the word eccentric and my reputation of “oh my God, she’s so funny, she’ll say anything” makes me swallow my eyeballs I like who I am.

I hate that AB (able-bodied, and I totally don’t mean that as a slur) have such a hard time getting out of a simple conversation. There have been thousands of times that I’ve been with and ABs so awkward with someone they are talking to that it wastes time and both people are dying to get out of the conversation.

My disability is why I don’t have that handicap.

Applicably, I take any complement badly because to me it feels like I’ve made commitments to be certain ways with certain people at certain places. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for this either but, fuck it.

It sounds cold or embarrassing even though everyone who is the “funny guy” feels like this but I have so many social tools to manage these things that people have “crippling” anxiety over. ABs will agonize about this happening just one time in their life… For the rest of their lives.

I have no idea what that’s like.

I can intellectualize it but I really can’t empathize. Caring so deeply about someone’s opinion of how you ended one interaction, especially when you never see that person ever again, are things that ABs deal with so often that it’s a cliché on sitcoms. It’s something they use as their representation.

It’s something they even put in their intentionally bad representation of those in their society that they’ve marginalized.

You never see a cripple on TV being embarrassed about calling someone by the wrong name, no matter what race or gender or sexuality.

In the real world there isn’t this petty bullshit. Not on that insignificant level.

We stress over conversations about whether we get to live or die.

ABs have no concept of how common violence is for disabled people because harming someone weaker than you is something that is not done. But that’s the thing, it doesn’t happen, not in that society. It happens in the real world.

There are people who leave the house worried about whether they have their wallet or not, they don’t make conscious decisions of whether the reason they’re going out is worth risking their lives over. It explains why ABs don’t believe that authority figures in their society treat us well. Their job is to treat the weak members of society well and a nice courtesy would be to extend it to others.

There are mutations and illnesses common to ABs so that’s why they find it so shocking that when we go to their doctors they use Wikipedia, our version of the DSM I guess.

It’s also why they don’t consider things being segregation when it comes to anything other than specifically race or gender.

To them we all look alike so they can’t tell the difference between someone with a physical disability or neurological divergence or even be aware that they usually intersect even though that’s common sense – wait, I guess it’s not common sense to them, I take that back. Either way they can’t tell any of us apart. They don’t even recognize their own that they threw out.

And just like every great Society they get rid of the elderly only they do it by but they do it by just perceiving that the old ones don’t exist anymore to kick them out. That’s some real world quantum physics.

That must be hard, knowing that either because of time or something random at any point in their life you will become worthless eater.

They are either in denial or very naïve to be able to go about their lives worrying about things like what their voice sounds like.

This offends some people but honestly, that’s why they are going to die out first. Their infants can swim but it’s the first thing conditioned out. Does it seem as bizarre to anyone else that they brag about evolving past the need for water environments? That’s somehow better than the animals that evolved to be able to live in both? As juvenile as it sounds it actually is homosapiens vs homosuperior and Magneto was right.

David is disabled

David was discovered trapped in a concrete box and once he escaped he was transported forward in time where Bishop resided. It was a dystopian future and David was immediately captured and put into slavery.

Before we begin let me preemptively respond to your complaint: I talk about neurological divergence because, guess what? Some cripples are mentally ill, Becky.

FX aired a new show called Legion this year based off of the character Legion from X-Men. The show exists in the XMCU which means he lives on Earth-10005 or Earth-TRN414 (it involves time travel and everyone has their own opinion) so it’s the “real world” except mutants exist and therefore so do the X-Men. The MCU with the Avengers and such have absolutely no relation outside Easter egg jokes.

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I’m going to give you a summary of Legion’s canonical history that the show Legion was based off of. Legion from FX diverts from the source canon but constantly makes callbacks to it which takes it from and incomprehensible show to just pretty confusing.

I don’t feel like I’m selling this as I intended… The show is the most amazing thing ever made and despite my affinity for comic David I actually like it more than the comics. That’s a big deal. If I had said that in certain circles I would be killed on sight.

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Legion is a Jewish kid named David Haller and the the son of the most iconic disabled superhero, Charles Xavier. David Haller was never more than part of a secondary cast until a few years ago when Simon Spurrier took over X-Men Legacy and made David the star.

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Legion’s real name is David Charles Haller, a Jewish man from Haifa Israel who canonically can’t grow his hair into anything but a gigantic mohawk, and he is an omega level mutant which means he has practically God–like powers.

His father is Charles Xavier, Proffessor X himself, but his mother, Gabrielle Haller, kept that a secret for a very long time. Gabrielle met Charles at a hospital where he was using his psychic abilities to alleviate trauma of the Holocaust survivors. They had a short fling in which David was conceived but Gabrielle, suspicious of his psychic abilities, kept David a secret and David’s godfather, Daniel Shomron, stepped in to help raise him.

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When Gabrielle entered the Israeli Diplomatic Service she and her family were attacked by a Palestinian terrorist cell. Gabrielle and David survived, but Daniel used his body to shield David from the bullets and was killed. The trauma activated David’s mutant genes early (he was 10 years old and they don’t usually manifest until puberty) and as his psychic abilities turned on he killed all of the terrorists. David went comatose and absorbed the psyche of one of the terrorists who took control of his body, still comatose, and fought the growing alter egos forming in David’s Mindscape due to his DID

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Gabrielle turned to the renowned geneticist Moira MacTaggert, coincidentally another one of Charles Xavier’s ex girlfriends, who insisted Charles come to treat him personally. Charles found that David had very similar mutant abilities to his own, only much stronger, then found out he was his father.

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By joining the war in David’s Mindscape Charles was able to wake David back up and most of the alter egos were destroyed but they continued to develop unchecked.

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Legion/David gained and lost control of himself many times, hurting many people even murdering Destiny, Mystique’s wife, when she tried to intervene with him and he saw through her precognitive abilities how devastating his future would become.

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David decided he would realize his father’s dream of mutants and humans coexisting and to do that he traveled back in time to his own conception to kill Magneto who Charles was also with at the time.

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Time travel shenanigans ensue and Bishop ends it by showing David what future he is actually creating. David was ashamed and in the reconstructed timeline he was thought to be dead, his mother even questioned his conception.

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Years later David was discovered trapped in a concrete box and once he escaped he was transported forward in time where Bishop resided. It was a dystopian future and David was immediately captured and put into slavery. He got out of it somehow, these sort of things happen quite a bit to him. The X-Men finally took him in and Karma and Magik began working with him to get better but he still had major reality twisting hiccups while he was trying to be good but his ever increasing alter egos keep taking over. Meanwhile his relationship with his father continued to be estranged; Charles seemed to think he was too dangerous unless he wanted to utilize his powers or alternate personalities. Magick  is the only one that seems to consistently try to help him but sometimes with ulterior motives

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Now for the really good part. X-Men Legacy: Legion written by Simon Spurrier.

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Up until this point Legion was very inconsistently written because he had been a very minor character but in Spurrier’s Legion series the loose ends of the story are tightened and we actually see David as David. Before he only momentarily surfaced to find that he had caused a disaster and everyone was debating on whether or not he should be put down.

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Charles had sent David to a secluded place for rehabilitation and never came back, as is his pattern with David. After the event of Avengers vs X-Men where Charles dies David finally had to face the fact that his father was never going to come for him, he was never going to publicly acknowledge him, and he never planned to let David return to the real world.

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When he felt his father pass away David’s power surged and he wiped out the community he was living in, before his Guru died he told David to wait for the X-Men to come to relocate him again but David left, deciding he finally needed to change the pattern of his life, get a grip on himself, and find a way to see his father’s dream of coexistence come true. He does this by making himself somewhat of an invisible mercenary, trying to save mutants the X-Men hadn’t gotten.

David turns his Mindscape into a prison to keep all of the alter egos contained which worked relatively well, all things considered

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Blindfold, a mutant nearly as powerful and ostracized as he is, seems to have an instinctual connection to him.

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imageBlindfold is Ruth Aldine, and she takes after her legendary grandmother Destiny. The Destiny that David accidentally murdered years before. Ruth has a very traumatic history; she was powerful she was born with her mutant abilities already developing and she was born blind, specifically she was born with no eyes at all. When Ruth’s father left her brother Luca blamed her because she was a mutant and tried to kill her but accidentally killed their mother instead. Luca joins a radical anti-mutant group and ends up fracturing her mind which gives her schizophrenia and a very prominent speech impediment

She takes refuge in the X-Men mansion/school but the way she speaks, looks, and is unable to restrain herself from reading everyone’s minds makes her a social outcast

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The X-Men eventually track David down with the help of Ruth’s powers

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And David isn’t having it

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The X-Men try to keep Ruth from him but through their mysterious connection Ruth easily enters David’s Mindscape where she is partially able to speak normally, depending on her mood

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She is able to get through to him until one of his altars breaks out and attacks her, knocking her out.

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David lets the X-Men take the mutant children he had found and secretly follows them back to watch over Ruth who is now comatose. He enters her subconscious and sees her whole life, specifically her bullies

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He brings her back to consciousness and they meet briefly as he escapes

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She keeps track of him by following him in her astral body, not understanding quite how powerful he is and that he always knows where she is

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He tracks down the radical group her brother had joined and sets out to destroy them and her brother. She “reveals” herself to him telling him to knock it the fuck off.

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She makes him promise not to hurt them so he sort of complies by messing with their minds so they will no longer be a threat. David continues on his mission to save mutants and impress Ruth and she continues to be his conscious while they secretly meet on the astral plane

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As this is all going on David is trying to deal with what looks like his father’s consciousness personified in his Mindscape jail. The entity does claim to be Charles Xavier and it continually terrorizes all of the alter egos and mocks David, among other things…

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The golden pervert, David and Ruth’s inherent connection, and because it’s X-Men everything is leading to a future dystopia where David loses control again but this time destroys everything. Ruth will have to kill him because she’s the only one strong enough and deeply embedded in him to destroy all of the alternate personalities along with David

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but David insists that he can change fate. He’s powerful enough and with Ruth as his one that gives him “purpose” he’s pretty sure he can pull it off

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But he’s going to do it by changing the will of people that will influence the dystopian future. Ruth argues that it’s immoral, especially to punish people for things they haven’t done yet. It was against Charles Xavier’s dream to force people into anything (although he often did it, unbeknownst to them) but David isn’t empathetic, in fact he already took out Aarkus before asking her permission. Ruth was mad but soon thereafter she sought him out again by using Cerebra

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But he had already made a deal with the golden pervert in his brain that in exchange for checking on the future again the pervert could have controlled his body for one minute. (Each of David’s altars personify one of his thousands of powers.) David sees the apocalyptic future he creates and runs off to an ideological facility that “cure” mutants by giving them medication that will give them brain damage, blocking their ability to use their powers. Ruth goes to her peers and the X-Men asking for help to get David out of this but it takes a lot of convincing

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David he realizes that although the patients seem to be well their minds are shattered but another apparition of his father appears, reminding him of his failures and making him feel guilty for denying his heritage but David blocks amount and decides to go through with the cure anyway

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The operator of the facility reveals himself to be the Red Skull and the one that caused him to see his father because he had implanted Charles Xavier’s brain into himself, hoping the shame of giving up would make David want to fight but David still doesn’t want to

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He is given the medication and they air his conversion live on TV

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Ruth appears with X-Men she had convinced to come help her save him which is what the Red Skull had apparently been aiming for and the X-Men are live on TV appearing suddenly in what appears to be a peaceful facility to stop a man who admits to being a monster from “rehabilitation” but David had planned on him planning this and uses that moment to bring in a young mutant he had saved earlier. The boy’s ability was that everyone immediately believes anything he says, practically giving him the ability to change reality. Through live TV he convinced everyone watching that the mutants weren’t their enemy. He tries to evoke empathy but that doesn’t work as well

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Of course a battle with Red Skull ensues which is when the golden pervert who looks like Charles Xavier comes to take his one minute with complete control of David’s body. He wants Xavier’s brain for himself.

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Ruth fights to get the minute to run out so David can take control of his body again and then we have this really funny moment

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Read X-Men Legacy: Legion Vol. 1: Prodigal

Mutant Millennials

Everyone wants us to die, it’s unanimous. They have the capability and the inclination. So why aren’t we dead yet? We don’t have the power that they do. We don’t have autonomy. Our humanity is still disputed. We aren’t alive because we fought hard enough, we’re alive because they need us.

Being born disabled is pretty fucking weird. That’s why I like the X-Men.

ac567f35f7c3890387ba4fdb26860e10A lot of people complain about how disingenuous the “mutant metaphor” is but when I was a child it’s the only thing I recognized as mine. It is what first introduced me to the disabled community.

The “disabled community” was another little girl my own age that I rode the short bus with. She and I loved the X-Men cartoon and every day we would act out our favorite scenes to pass the time. Most days we would pretend we were living on Earth 811, Days of Future Past. We used to role-play like we were mutants being shipped off to a concentration camp.

In case you’re one of those losers who doesn’t read comic books like the writers of Big Bang Theory, here’s the rundown on the X-Men:

Evolution is moving forward and a dormant gene referred to as X is emerging under the ca96b3977b10cb2bec7eb3048835e58bincrease of electromagnetic radiation (aka the Sun because of deterioration of the ozone, radiation, x-rays, gamma rays, radio waves, etc.) Except in rare cases the gene isn’t active at birth and unless DNA tests are done you don’t know if someone will be a mutant, X gene carriers, until they start developing in puberty.

Someone once asked me why mutants were in the same universe as people like Captain America and Iron Man (both gain their powers by “curing” or “overcoming” disabilities) but be treated so differently.

Mutants work best when they are an allegory for disabled people despite the fact that many X-Men also have real-world disabilities. They represent people like me, people who are disabled due to a gene mutation. Their existence scares people; your child could be one and you won’t know until they hit puberty. The way their bodies work is scary. Some of them are scary to look at but some of them have passing privilege and look like everyone else which means anyone could be one and you wont know. And honestly, it’s so hard in the world for cripples mutants that it’s kinder to put them down and out of their misery.

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Even the kindest humans (including mutates) who don’t wish them harm agree that the world would be better off without them. It would be safer. People like Captain America are different because they are selected to be given powers that don’t make them look frightening. Sometimes bad people select another bad person (or themselves) and give them powers but they can be easily targeted by the likes of Captain America and taken care of. Mutants can come out of nowhere, anyone can be one with the right recessive genes.

No one wants a disabled child. No one wants to see a disabled child. No one wants disabled children to see adulthood. The fact that we are born into families outside our communities is our biggest threat.

The gas lighting, the isolation, the emotional, the physical and sexual abuse,  etc. begin as soon as we’re born. We are cut off immediately regardless of how “Christ–like” our family and friends.

5c9ad2f7ea8827be5aca82f9a70e2e8eI was separated from my disabled peers because I was going to mainstream school (normal school) and then I was separated from my NTAB peers. I was constantly late to class because I had to use the short bus and would randomly be pulled out of class to go to some required special ed shit. Sitting in the back of the cafeteria to watch kindergartners get a speech from inspirational speaker who was usually some guy named Chad: the most popular guy in his high school that got in a car accident because he was too shit faced to drive one night and now he’s paralyzed and has charges against him so he’s trying to avoid jail time by doing public service as an inspirational speaker.

9abd06a48515eb99299773bbd7e3326bAt Thanksgiving I would have to sit in the entryway of my aunt’s home because she had white carpets and didn’t want me to dirty them no one said anything but they always wanted to ride in my family’s car because we had a handicap placard.

I was always partially integrated.

Whenever I was called into the portable shed that was special ed (I swear to God, but they insulated it and it had air conditioning so it wasn’t bad) it always had to do with something I hated. Inspirational speakers. Physical therapists. Special ed in general.

The only conversations I ever had with any of the kids that weren’t mainstreamed were in ASL behind the staff’s backs.

I was also constantly being monitored; which they often reminded me of. If I was caught associating with anyone that wasn’t seen as a good influence I was taken inside. even if they hadn’t previously told me that person was off-limits.

55539d0aea39cf3f2f23ea6591a627daAll I had were those long bus rides to be around people like myself that wasn’t a predetermined interaction with adult ABs. That being said, all but a few bus drivers in my life had a silence policy on the bus. We weren’t allowed to interact with each other. We couldn’t whisper because we were too far apart and it’s apparently a law that every bus driver has to love country music but can only listen to it on blast.

I’m ashamed of it, but I really bought into that “other” cripple thing. My whole life I’d grown up with people telling me that I wasn’t like “other” disabled people and since I really didn’t know any I had no reason to disbelieve them.

That childhood friend of mine was different because I was different. I guess my inclination toward egotricities led me to misunderstand what everyone was talking about when they mentioned miracles so I thought I was a special snowflake. The kind of asshole who makes up words like egotricities.

There hasn’t been a moment in my life where I’ve had the opportunity to forget that every aspect of my welfare is based off of the generosity of more privileged people so interacting with other disabled people was pretty scary. It was bad enough being cripple on my own, if I was around someone else it would’ve been fish in a barrel and we’d be asking for it because we were wearing wheelchairs. Acting all marginalized and shit.

f72f830447836c26f4a8d00a5a408309I was thrown in the deep end of a self-loathing head trip when it comes to this Jerry’s Orphan sort of behavior but the final straw, so to speak, was when I published my first book.

I never advertised it so it started to become a rumor about me writing something in a magazine or on a bathroom wall. When I said it was a book they were all immediately struck with inspiration for me. I should write an autobiography!

I was offended. I was in my early 20s, why would I write an autobiography? Over and over again it was explained to me that I’m disabled and if I wrote an autobiography it would be really inspirational. That’s what I should be doing. I wasn’t like other people. I can get a lot of money out of this.

I busted my ass my whole life trying to pass as AB even though it’s laughable for someone like me. Being in the closet with a wheelchair is impossible because it won’t fucking fit.

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NTABs don’t want to understand the reality of disability. Every hell they have ever created has been based on what they’ve done to the members of society that they’ve disabled, we have always been the canary in the coal mine and inevitable end game.

9f49d84e8b528c90dee418f7bf5fa4f6We live in the hidden city buried in the heavy-handed metaphorical sewers of social class. Living in the cold and the dark and the loudest silence you could never imagine. We are living reminders of everything that shouldn’t be living. I can’t blame myself for being terrified of actually planting roots down here, Morlock adjacent. For the first time in my entire life I don’t feel like I’m alone. There are a whole lot of cripples on the Internet and they can’t judge me because I’m the same as all of them, another loser blogger.

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This morning I got a message from someone who needs to wear braces but is too scared to wear them in public. In my response I included a suggestion that they decorate their braces and make a spectacle of it. To not let ABs make it about them.

a37f330c563694ea1ac44f977a709923It’s a trick I discovered a lot of us do. A few years ago I was chatting with someone who had just been released from the ER. So had I! In our conversation we found that we both used our hair to broadcast that we weren’t like Other Cripples™. It always made the nurses make eye contact with us because they were already looking at our heads. My chat buddy shaved their head in different ways, I dye mine blue. I had a bunch of other little fashion quirks in common with all these Other Cripples I was meeting like useing tattoos, nail art, and eye make up as your aesthetic identity because no one can take it from you, even if they cut your clothing off of you. I’ve lost all my favorite pants that way.

I sent the person who had written to me a collection of photographs of decorated wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, neck, leg, arm, and wrist braces I had gotten on Pinterest and in doing so I was looking back at my Cripple Punk board and noticed that a lot of the aesthetic™ pics had been linked to random X-Men mood boards by other people.

I’ve only ever considered X-Men to be a representation of my disability. They were like the usual crip face but from…the cripple’s POV?!

b4651acf25b63e479dd4c04d5fd10f95They got to be bitter and inspirational at the same time. They were allowed to hate humans. They bridged the gap between those who were born with their mutation and those that had gotten their’s after completing a human childhood. Different people had different rainbowed  hair and others didn’t have hair at all. Everyone was the same.

Everyone was different. Everyone came from different places. Different people had different colored skin and body parts. Different people had to communicate in different ways. Some wear grunge and some wear glitter. Everyone had families that weren’t like them.

Everyone was different but they were a family because they were all even more different than everyone else.

Everyone had the wrong bodies.

Everyone was a monster.

Everyone is a villain.

No matter who we are or what we do we’ll always become ghosts in the abandoned asylums getting called sluts by Zak Bagans.

In his article, “A Country of Words: Conceiving the Palestinian Nation from the Position of Exile,” Glenn Bowman speculates about what sustains Palestinian culture and identification, things like stories and music being something people are able to hold onto despite becoming displaced.

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“All ideas of community are ‘imaginary’ constructions in so far as community always exists through the imaging of the group of which one conceives oneself a member. Darwish’s phrase, ‘a country of words,’ has pertinence not only to Palestinians and others who have suffered from nation theft and can only locate their countries in reminiscences, stories, songs and histories, but also to those who, living within existent communities, take the presence of those entities as given” – Glenn Bowman

This is where the disabled community runs into a problem.

633c53355a62d7b8aacacf5fee437f5eAs a community the disabled didn’t have their own traditions or fashion or art. There are a lot of people that happen to be disabled who contributed to these parts of culture but it was a contribution to NTAB culture. Since they were the only ones allowed to use it. Various aspects of our lives has been appropriated for scene aesthetics like various types of Crypto and S&M, Guro Lolita, Bionics, Goth, Cybergoth, Cyberpunk, basically all the cybers, and so on.

Death and the romanticized future. Goth and Cyber are both disabled aesthetics.

Disabled people have been isolated from not just society itself but from each other. Those of us who weren’t put down when we were born or diagnosed were put into slavery, donated to science, or locked away in an asylum. That makes teamwork hard. When the medical field backpedaled after World War II we were allowed to live to be tested on in institutions. But this time with air conditioning like the portable shed my special ed was held in. This sounds better if you don’t account for how fun “portable shed special ed” a0b0bcaf1a58055003d9f109f2c76faeis to say.

It’s segregation that persisted legally in the United States until the end of the 70s under what were called “Ugly Laws” which forbid disabled people from being seen in public. It’s segregation that still exists in plain view with brightly colored signs but yet NTABs conveniently never see it.

The end of the 1970s hasn’t been that long ago. Throughout the 1980s we were finally able to move a little more a little freely and we could interact with each other outside of the operation gallery where our brain fluid were being drained just to see what would happen. Shits and giggles.

a5d237c127869d1d9e446d4085fb658aABs believe that these are problems from the distant past. They make use of all of the advances in science/medicine and never question where it comes from. Just like they never question where charities are putting their money. But rational thinking is not something that they have the neurology to do, it takes a divergence to detect that paradigm.

Everyone wants us to die, it’s unanimous. They have the capability and the inclination. So why aren’t we dead yet? We don’t have the power that they do. We don’t have autonomy. Our humanity is still disputed. We aren’t alive because we fought hard enough, we’re alive because they need us.

I’m a mutant. I have a very rare mutation that seems horrific to humans but really my body just produces proteins differently. Whether it makes me stronger or weaker doesn’t matter. It’s not that big of a deal.

Except that it is.

Physical strength, stamina, sustainability; these are all things ABs daydream Übermensch having as superpowers as. Things numerous economies depend on achieving. It’s evolution. Biologically and economically. It’s Darwinism, a relatively new religion based on the teachings of a ND man. Irony is a hell of a drug.

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ABs can’t live without us because their only coping mechanism is self-destruction. They don’t have the resilience to be in a painful and humiliating position for any extended of time, let alone a lifetime. They don’t know what it takes to retain any self-respect when your voice and body have been taken from you. They have no idea how our bodies work so they keep us on retainer until they can figure out how to take our mutations to enhance themselves and attain unnatural control over creation itself. Stop me if the metaphor gets transparent enough to forgo the window cleaner.

I’ve been in some new Weapon X facilities. Everything is plastic, monochromatic, and cold. The only warmth is from the sterile white sheets bleached thin after being soaked for centuries to erase the bloodstains. And the thread count is always, like, crazy low.

a354b6c30082baa24323d922110efe70It wasn’t William Stryker that drove me to escape, it was a med student. They were blatantly nervous when they entered my room but when Stryker put his hands on me it was startling enough that one student accidentally made eye contact with me. I held that eye contact, even when his fingers were inside of me. It took less than 10 seconds for them to adhere to the status quo and quietly put their head down.

In 1990 we finally got the ADA and Internet.

Those of us who weren’t willing to let the media make live snuff films out of us started talking. The ability to speak for ourselves on an equal platform and then be able to signal boost each other has made our community evolve from a nightmare to a group of actual people. People who have developed their own art and style and language.

35ba124d059b1deb5552c3a485be6eb0You know who wanted to be called handicapable? No one. (Dis)abiled? No one. No one but ABs and Chad The Paraplegic.

We are disabled. We have been disabled. Our bodies are natural but society has been built in such a way that excludes us and thus we are disabled. If you don’t refer to us as disabled you are denying our oppression exists. That we exist.

Insisting that my community was real became important in 2016 after the Sagamihara genocide. It certainly wasn’t something new but it was about that time that the Pulse Shooting happened and the contrasts in coverage was devastating.

As someone who is really fucking queer I did not enjoy the Pulse shooting. I was a little surprised at how surprised everyone else was about it but then again, being disabled you only really hear about people like yourself when they are murdered in theatric ways. I also wasn’t shocked about the Sagamihara genocide. But, I feel naïve; the lack of coverage in independent and social media were enough to make me reassess my life once again.

7057e2f69171799ea1cbe5acbe558645 (2)I was listening to the names of the Pulse victims on a podcast when I lost it. I had been hearing the list all throughout the day but this time I had just read the news that the Sagamihara victims wouldn’t have their names released because it would be too embarrassing for their families.

I was incredibly touched when I read about the handful of citizens who were insisting that they be able to at least leave flowers to show their respect. All they were given was a folding table and trash cans.

Not all humans are bad but sometimes it’s hard to find a good one.

We might finally have a community but one of the unexpected drawbacks is the infighting. It’s mostly generational but there is a divide between those who want to integrate with humanity and those who want to destroy society.

I’ve been involved in this debate my whole life, constantly switching sides, but as I get older I find myself saying that Magneto was right* more and more often.

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*Cyclops was also right

Deadpool is disabled

Although not a mutant Deadpool is part of the X-Men franchise and what is X-Men? Disabled metaphors!

But Deadpool is one of the (more than you would think) comic book icons who have real-world disabilities to take subtext to text.

What I’m presenting to you now is an introduction to Deadpool in the specific context of his disabilities and I will try to point out the most reoccurring themes that disabled people know to be ableism but NTABs always miss.

Deadpool has a variety undiagnosed and undefined mental illnesses. Most assume they are either the result of his brain cancer or the ongoing medical torture he’s received throughout the years

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Very little is known about Deadpool before his diagnosis of terminal cancer but regardless of whether he was ND before this time or not his childhood was very hard in ways that disabled children are very familiar with

Parental/caretaker abuse/abandonment

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(Which recoccurred in his adulthood)

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and socially “other–ring” in childhood

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As stated before, Deadpool has undergone medical testing and abuse time and time again to the point where one diagnosis we can easily make is PTSD

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Anxiety also seems clearly straightforward

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as is depression and suicidal tendencies

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In fact, his most popular romance with the personification of Death itself is debated to be real (as the personification of Death is an actual character within the Marvel 616 universe) or “all in his head”

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The only clear physical disabilities are his deformities

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(which formed as a result of medical experimentation after his diagnosis:)

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and chronic pain

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What isn’t as clear are what fans debate might be schizophrenia

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and DID

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Along with both forced and voluntary medical treatments he has also undergone forced and voluntary psychiatric treatments

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Although Deadpool primarily seems ND he struggles with not having passing privilege

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or self acceptance

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But his self acceptance tends to be of the “fake it till you make it” variety which is handily torn down each time by an NTABs

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And whenever he genuinely deals with ableism openly people judge him as bitter

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and lazy

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Although he tends to make friendships with the less advantaged and likewise disabled people

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people tend not to want to be associated with him when in “better” company

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and they are willing to use him as a scapegoat for any shortcomings they don’t want to take responsibility for

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Despite actual ability or qualifications Deadpool is denied legitimate work

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He experiences discrimination

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has been raped (something that happens to disabled people more than any other marginalized group)

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often lives in poverty

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and he has to do destructive things as coping mechanisms

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More often than not Deadpool gets simply disregarded as “crazy” or people try to find a “method to his madness”

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but Deadpool is simply Deadpool and although no one else can understand it he makes it work for him as best as he can

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What is cripple punk? #cpunk

I saw Kevin or Chad or whatever; he’s an aryan dude who was captain of the basketball team but then he got drunk or fell off something he was climbing or some other dumb shit and now was paralyzed and he was constantly telling everyone how he was proof that you should treat disabled kids like they’re real people.

I mean, yeah, duh, he was one of them who accidentally became one of us so of course he was like them.

Cripple punk is like punk but there is a lot more sitting.

I think it’s also the only legitimate subculture in the disabled community. There are many subgroups but they fall short of an individual culture. Cripple punks refer to themselves as cripple punks, they don’t consider themselves to be a part of AB (able-bodied) culture, they have their own language, they (seemingly coincidentally) have a similar aesthetics, they are creating their own art solely meant for their own community, they have their own doxa, and they are creating traditions.

This isn’t unusual for a marginalized group but it’s a first for disabled people because up until the last few decades those of us who were kept alive were isolated from society and each other.

James I. Charlton made a great observation when he said, “The key to unlocking the dilemma of identification and its failure lies in the phenomenology of oppression itself. Fundamentally, identities are contrived because they only exist as products of domination. Social groups exist as collectors of people whom the dominant culture selects for exclusion.”

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We struggled to build communities but our history was effortlessly appropriated to be a brand for “edgy” people

Disability is a cultural construct.

If you don’t know what that is, Google it. It’s not my responsibility to educate you.

Except that’s kind of what I’m doing.

It was about 10 years ago on Tumblr back when it only worked 90% of the time (as opposed now when it only works 80% of the time but never the way you want) as the “social justice warrior” term was being coined I was seeing more bloggers coming out as disabled. Before that there weren’t many of us and a lot of us didn’t last long. Suicide was one of the major causes.

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I never understood why the term “social justice warrior” was supposed to be offensive. It’s kind of like when men were afraid of suffrage and made political cartoons about the slippery slope leading to their having to wash their own dishes.

It wasn’t “online bullying” although we would be hard-pressed to go a day without death and rape threats but it never seems like a big deal because to a lesser extent you get the same thing simply blogging as a woman. We were killing ourselves at our national average but suddenly people were noticing because blogs would suddenly go dead. Able-bodied people would follow us because of shared fandoms so when we disappeared the void was felt because of the sudden drop in content being produced.

It was actually able-bodied people taking note of the suicides that made me stop blogging about disability for a long time.

There was this disabled blogger who got popular for constantly starting arguments when people posted ableist things and when she killed herself no one saw it coming. People knew that we were friends so I kept being asked what happened and I didn’t know what to say. I knew why she had done it, I had discussed it with her many times and I supported her decision. I didn’t condone it but I wasn’t in a position to condone it. When I told people that she had her own reasons and I respected her decision they got really mad.

Which made me really mad.

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I’ve always wondered what “temporary problems” people who say this are referring to. Temporary how? Like a herpes flareup?

She was in an impossible situation and there was no helping it. People felt sorry for her, they would send her messages about how she was unlike any other cripple person because she stood up for herself. These people couldn’t understand how a person that inspirational could just give in. They were so shocked they forgot everything about her besides the fact that she had committed suicide.

I tried to explain to people there was nothing I could do to make her life better and neither could she; the one thing she had control over was her death. She could choose to wait until one of her family members killed her or her insurance didn’t approve something serious enough but she also had the option of deciding she was done and die in a way of her own choosing.

Her life never belonged to her. She hated that. She decided that she wasn’t going to let them have her death either.

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The suspension of disbelief starts with her access to bleach and hair dye. And romance novels. And everything else.

I wish I could give you her name but of course we all went by screen names and that was a time where you would change it depending on the season or your mood. She’s just another one of the nameless dead. She knew that’s what she would become and we joked about it.

It was either that or become a poster child for some charity and we agreed we didn’t want to do that anymore.

And as someone who was a Jerry’s Kid whose image was used without her family’s knowledge or consent I’m not being facetious.

I’m sure everyone has a version of the way it happened but from my perspective I saw people come out explicitly to reprimand some of the increasing pro–eugenics posts. Most of the posts weren’t intentionally pro–eugenics. Most were things like people advocating for legal abortion because… You know. Us.

I was one of those that accidentally came out enough times and got enough followers that I realize I could never go completely back in the closet like I use to do when things got hard. I specifically made a side blog which I named gimpunk; obviously I still like the name, combining the “p”s seems cool to me.

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God, I’m jealous

Death is not something I’m unfamiliar with I was born with a terminal illness so I regarded my death like many middle-aged people, it’s going to happen at some point and I wanted everyone to remember who I wanted my stuff to go to.

I’ve also had a lot of people in my life die, most significantly my father who raised me; his funeral was set on my 13th birthday because everything bad that happens to me is also kind of funny.

The hardest funeral for me to get through was a friend of mine at 16 who had the same disability as me. We met a few times at MDA camp and, remember how I said everything was funny, years later I found out we actually lived in the same town all those years. We ran into each other vying for the handicap space at a movie theater.

My friend got pneumonia and it wasn’t too long before she was hospitalized. With something like pneumonia and conditions like ours it be like the equivalent of ripping your heart out and seeing how it goes, there is no surviving it. No one could really understand why she was so unphased by it or why it made her mad when people said she was an inspiration.

My friend was cripple punk.

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Model: Bukashka
Artist: Ram Zorkot

My childhood best friend from kindergarten on had a pink wheelchair, she taught me how to smuggle things into school with it. One of my mom’s favorite anecdotes was when I brought the channel changer to school with me and spent the day pushing the buttons, hoping the TV at home was changing channels, hoping dad would think the house was haunted. Everyone laughed at the time but you can do that shit from your cell phone now so I was a visionary.

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Devin McGrath

My best friend would do these amazing things, things I couldn’t fathom and most days still can’t. She called people’s bluff. She was willing to face her punishment for not finishing her meals in the 15 minutes we were given to use the cafeteria before the normal kids would come in and could see us. She was willing to face her punishment for not referring to herself as handicapable. When we were all lined up against the side of the “portable” a.k.a. special ed, waiting for buses and other kids for being assholes she was willing to face her punishment for talking back to them.

One time she just left.

She went to sit under a tree.

That tree we always talked about looking so nice in the summer when we had to lineup on the pavement facing the 3 PM sun against the beige plastic backdrop.

When they brought her back she left again. She would keep leaving until they could think of the ultimate punishment for us. We didn’t know what this punishment was but it was supposedly worse than what our peers were doing as they passed by.

They would sit on her footrests.

tumblr_lbytqmwVgk1qa38rro1_500She laughed when they did it because that meant they had to come out of the shade as long as we did so it a bigger punishment on them. I didn’t dare laugh but I tried to convey through eyes and smiles “OMFG I love you.”

After I started joining her to sit under the tree they separated us but we were together as much as possible and we had those 3 to 5 hour bus rides home together.

That amazing supernova shit kicker is cripple punk.

Like I said, I thought gimpunk was a little more clever, but whatever. (Actually I really liked it because it started with “cripple” and calling myself crippled was the one thing I refused to cave in about.)

There have been cripple punks all throughout history. Ones like…

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I saw someone make a really good point once, the fact that it was trendy to publish black and white photos of news events in the early 90s makes it hard to convince people that these are current events.

There have to be some, right? I know it’s not just millennials, I know the ADA was created in the early 90s because I’ve seen the pictures of disabled people climbing the stairs of the White House while I was surfing through Google a few times. I’ve seen those really cool pictures of abandoned asylums where people like me would’ve gone but other than that I didn’t know anything about disabled people.

Maybe it’s better that I’m sticking with gimpunk. I don’t know if I can call myself cripple punk just yet but I’ve been a hard-core fan girl of it my whole life.

Most disabled people were horrible like on TV, either bitter or able to get better and I wasn’t able to get better.

I would get reprimanded when I said that given the chance I would want to keep my body like it is. I was obviously not like disabled people. That’s what people kept telling me.

I was praised for not being like other disabled people. For not being bitter, for not getting in the way, for not talking back, for apologizing when someone hurt me, for smiling, for looking able-bodied outside of a wheelchair, for being willing to be seen in public in a wheelchair, for not killing myself like they would have in my situation.

They always got really upset if they weren’t the ones responsible for our deaths.

Death has always been omnipresent.

I kept getting different expectations of what my life span would be and over half the population thought I should kill myself which I don’t get, it just sounds like they’re admitting that they’re weaker than me. If they thought sitting in a wheelchair all the time was bad enough to kill themselves they were obviously very sheltered. It was amazing how sheltered people were even if they “know exactly what it’s like” because they once spent the day in a wheelchair to see what it was like. Everyone was sheltered, especially the medical professionals who swore they knew better than me and never were.

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Speaking of Harley Quinn…
Physical handicaps are made the emblems of evil… Giving disabilities to villainous characters reflects and reinforces, albeit in exaggerated fashion, three common prejudices against handicapped people: disability is a punishment for evil; disabled people are embittered by their “fate”; disabled people resent the nondisabled and would, if they could, destroy them. In historic and contemporary social fact, it is, of course, nondisabled people who have at times endeavored to destroy people with disabilities. As with popular portrayals of other minorities, the unacknowledged hostile fantasies of the stigmatizers are transferred to the stigmatized.
– Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond

Normal people had this weird version of my world where everyone was nice to me, everyone likes me, no one would hurt me, no one would intentionally physically hurt me, no one took me places that weren’t exactly legal, and I never saw or heard anything that weren’t age-appropriate. People thought that those really bad things, the things TV dramas always talked about, didn’t happen to people like me.

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This is the equivalent to the “I’m so excited” episode as far as I’m concerned

I thought there were probably like a handful of other disabled people in the world and if they were alive it meant they were the kind cripples like the characters in wheelchairs that would suddenly appear in “educational entertainment” shows and cartoons. The episode would be about how the normal characters learned that cripple people were just like everyone else. I knew they had to say that because it was one of those shows that was trying to outdo the others by being more “progressive.” Sometimes they had the cripple kid also be the black kid. That’s when you knew they were on a tight budget.

 

I’m saying this sarcastically because I now have to admit I thought that all other disabled people lived lives like able-bodied people thought I did. They told me I was rare, sometimes miraculous, and they were supposed to know because they were the ones that were constantly telling me how much more they knew of the world and I did.

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I think this was edited with whatever software the US government used to start doctoring photos around World War II

But they weren’t necessarily wrong, we were from completely different worlds. I was in their world and for some reason I accidentally got born here. I didn’t know what my world was and I was too afraid to think about it because everyone kept telling me how much I should appreciate this one.

 

And this one sucked.

We all know this is the part where I talk about where I “overcame” which, as I’m saying this, I’m realizing how nasty that sounds in the past tense.

I never overcome anything. I didn’t want to overcome anything.

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Model: Olga Moskvina
Artist: Nika Kurnosova

 

I preferred it when people didn’t even try and they would just leave me alone instead of forcing the other kids on me which only  made them hate me worse.

Long story short, death was just something that was going to happen in the future like any other future event. I wasn’t having a super great time here and it didn’t seem like anyone else was either, why was everyone so concerned with this shit ending?

I said “fuck it” and only thought of events in the near future. Only the things that interested me.

I fucked that, didn’t I? It would’ve been really helpful if someone had taught me any practical skills when I was a kid. Like how to get your social worker to call you back.

Everything I had ever been good at wasn’t worth a shit because those sheltered mother fuckers would dump all these useless ribbons on me and gush about how proud they were. If anything I had done was any good it was tainted by proxy. If they were going to make a big deal about anything I was going to be so passive aggressive that they lost all faith in humanity. God willing.

Don’t get me wrong, I did see disabled people.

tumblr_ldmu80JaL21qfak7ao1_500I saw Kevin or Chad or whatever; he’s an aryan dude who was captain of the basketball team but then he got drunk or fell off something he was climbing or some other dumb shit and now was paralyzed and he was constantly telling everyone how he was proof that you should treat disabled kids like they’re real people.

I mean, yeah, duh, he was one of them who accidentally became one of us so of course he was like them.

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Those were different kinds of disabled people. Beyond our dispositions they were fundamentally not disabled like me. If I tried to point that out to anyone they would try to make me feel guilty for hating myself. There was always some kid worse off than I was and I should feel lucky for being allowed to do as much as I do.

They were Victorian–fainting–couch–style horrified that I didn’t realize how much I got away with because if I wanted to live I had to do what the state said so I really didn’t have any rights, being allowed to live was a privilege. I was living on the People™’s  dime. I needed to remember I was still one of those kinds of kids. It wasn’t politically correct to say special ed at the time so they called us “County kids”

This is cripple punk.

Don’t mistake it for an antisocial or subversive movement or trend, it’s nothing.

It doesn’t matter. Not unless I want it to.

How normal people feel about anything relating to me is not something I give a fuck about. Everything I do is for me, no one else.

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My own life story feels fake. I feel fake. This is all really a stretch, right? I’m telling myself that no one is going to believe this and I’m probably crazy because I know I actually did have it good. I had it better than the disabled kids that weren’t white.

I keep telling myself I’m exaggerating. It seems just like those “special episodes” on TV  that pretend to show how bad being disabled can be. But it don’t care. I don’t care what ABs think.

And I don’t care what other disabled people think.

If you don’t like me making jokes about me killing myself I don’t care. If you don’t want to hear me talk about anything but disability™ I don’t care. I’m done. I’m calling everyone’s bluff.

What can you do to me? Hurt me?

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Evan Keeling

By the way you people talk about pain I would sincerely be interested in knowing how much pain you thought “bad.” Where you would put it on a scale of 1 to 10.

Are you going to kill me? If you’re going to kill me you’ll do it no matter what I say.

And I’m trying not to care that this is coming off across as some liberal diatribe about free speech.

Look, I see absolutely no point in the Special Olympics. Unless you are my kind of cripple I can’t relate to you at all but good on you, I’m happy for you, dude.

I don’t care what I look like. I don’t care about what you think I should do two or about my body.

I don’t care if you think I’m fake because I don’t go to any protests. I don’t have have to prove I was sick enough to be able to avoid it.

I don’t care if you care that I don’t care.

But if you’re cool we should follow each other.

That’s cripple punk.

That’s the tag I would go to when inspirational porn bots infiltrated the “actually disabled” ones.

I had asking my followers for a few days who thought what was better, cripple punk or gimpunk. Both terms were floating around. Gimp was not going to work because SJW ABs wouldn’t share something that had a slur in it. I spent all my time being told that gimp was a slur and I shouldn’t use it.

tumblr_okzgr0I0dN1qeklrro5_250_zpsgnickvn6It was ironic given that cripple is also a slur.

ABs found out that you can’t speak English fluently without using ableist language and when I told people that it made them even more angry and I got more hate mail but I didn’t care.

And then people sent DMs about how much they thought some of the stuff I was doing was cool but explicitly assured me that it didn’t “inspire” them. They sent me encouragement because they thought the hate was obviously getting to me but it didn’t bother me because I don’t care. If you can find something to say that I haven’t heard before I’ll give you kudos whether you think I should be murdered or not.

I don’t care if you use words like stupid and I don’t care if other disabled people tell you you can’t.

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Artist: Robbie Ausberger

But I don’t care about these things equally which is a problem because it inadvertently makes me care that you listen to what the other disabled person has to say and pay them some fucking respect.

I really care then. I’ll metaphorically curb stomp you and if we’re on the Internet that means I’ m coming for that jerk off dream you’re having that you’re allowed to have an opinion. It’s over before it began.

If you agree with me by putting another disabled person down I’m only going to make you suffer more so don’t bother trying to kiss my ass.

That’s cripple punk

And I don’t care what your definition is unless you’re one of my kind. Unless you have a chronic physical illness.

 

Why Captain America and the Avengers are racists

The X-Men are great metaphor for disability and the Inhumans are great metaphor for second generation disabled people, people who weren’t born disabled but became disabled. The two groups are very similar but the X-Men got that way because of genetics and Inhumans got that way because of the physical act, entering the Terrigen mists.

The X-Men are great metaphor for disability and the Inhumans are great metaphor for second generation disabled people, people who weren’t born disabled but became disabled. The two groups are very similar but the X-Men got that way because of genetics and Inhumans got that way because of the physical act, entering the Terrigen mists.

Gifted is the new TV show based in the XMCU, about the X-Men, and the MCU is releasing their show The Inhumans.

It’s confusing because both are from Marvel but different studios own the movie rights to technically in the movies the Avengers and the X-Men don’t live in the same universe. Spider-Man is now with the Avengers because of a business deal between Fox and Disney.

Still, I thought it might be a good idea to share the dynamic between them in the comic. I think it’ll better explain the metaphor and people like Captain America too much.

Mutants are legitimate race

In the Marvel universe, specifically the 616 which is what we used to refer to the main comic continuity, mutants are an actual race. They were created to be an allegory for all marginalized people and so unlike characters like Captain America who was mutated and is categorized as a “mutate” the X-Men, and other mutants, belong to the “mutant race” which can and does intersect with all other races. Some people argue that just being an allegory isn’t enough, that they aren’t actually good representation, but you would be hard-pressed to find a straight white able-bodied cis man in the X-Men.

Havok is a good example. He is a straight white able-bodied cis man who also happens to be a mutant. When he joined the Avengers he did so by making a public statement that he didn’t want to be known as a mutant

This is the equivalent of saying “your race doesn’t matter, we are all a part of the human race”

Kitty, a bisexual Jewish WOC and one of the highest-ranking X-Men, spoke for most of the mutants when she dismissed him

More than anything, mutants work best when they are an allegory for disabled people despite the fact that many X-Men are also disabled. They best represent people like me, people who are disabled due to a gene mutation. Their existence scares people, your child could be one and you may never know until puberty, the way their body works is scary, some of them are scary to look at but some of them have passing privilege and look like everyone else which means anyone could be one and you’ll never know.

Even the kindest humans (including mutates) who don’t wish them harm agree that the world would be better off without them. It would be safer. People like Captain America are different because they are selected to be given powers that don’t make them look frightening. Sometimes bad people select another bad person (or themselves) and give them powers but they can be easily targeted by the likes of Captain America and taken care of. Mutants can come out of nowhere, anyone can be one with the right recessive genes.

Throughout the years we have seen them go through genocide after genocide, internment camps, programs to make them human again (think straight camp or faith healings), required genetic testings to root them out of the population, segregation, etc. all the bad things that happened to marginalized people in the world.

What does this have to do with the Avengers?

The Avengers are sort of specialized police team. They have the same problems we have with police in the real world. The Avengers are a group of selected superpowered people used only to fight the world’s biggest problems, like alien invaders. Worldwide genocide (amongst the other things we listed) is arguably one of the world’s biggest problems and we’ve seen that it’s something they actually address. Captain America himself was ironically created to fight Hitler and the extermination of the Jewish race and we’ve seen the Avengers as a team fight genocide time and time again, even off the world with the Kree. The Avengers have never done anything to aid the mutants. They often facilitate their genocide.

What’s the Mutant Massacre?

The example many X-Men fans like to use for this is the Mutant Massacre. The mutant population was very scarce at the time and very divided between passing and non-passing mutants. Mutants without passing privilege tended to have to go underground and one of the largest groups was called the Morlocks to who lived in the abandoned underground and sewers of New York which they called the Morlocks Tunnels. Their leader was Callisto (well, some of the time Storm was their official leader but she is always busy running the X-Men so Callisto is always in charge)

Obviously mutants without passing privilege have had to stay in hiding or they would be murdered

So, the Morlocks were targeted and almost all were murdered

Parents lost children

And children lost parents

The only Avenger involved was Thor who came in towards the end, mostly to see the aftermath

but the culprits are still in the tunnel, and his enemy Hela shows up, so he blasts the tunnels

Not one of his best decisions but he got a pass because he didn’t hurt that many people even though he desecrated all the bodies.

This genocide had a huge effect on the mutant population and it’s considered one of the most important events of mutant history so even children are taught about it

Why did the X-Men hold this against the Avengers?

There’s nothing the Avengers could really do, they weren’t there at the time so they couldn’t have joined in the rescue effort but they also stayed silent on the event. The mutant population was almost exterminated, the world was in favor of that the extermination, and the most respected authority figures on Earth ignored it.

That, alone, is not why mutants hold a grudge, it’s the fact that things like this continue to happen and the Avengers never step in to help or even tell people “hey, genocide isn’t cool” so the Mutant Massacre is sort of seen as the beginning of their continued failings.

But there are mutants on the Avengers

Yes. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are mutants and also Avengers but they have always distanced themselves from the mutant community and even caused a genocide of their own (well, Scarlet Witch did) so they are seen as race traitors.

Namor is also a mutant but he doesn’t really identify as one. He has always lived separate from mutant communities, specifically in Atlantis, and considers himself Atlantean. He does fight against the Avengers to protect mutants but his justification is never based on race alone. Wolverine and Beast are mutants and a long time Avengers but for some reason get mostly a pass. Wolverine always claims to have no alliances and the two have been rationalized to have not been able to do anything to make the Avengers as a team help although they would leave to fight beside the X-Men. Not everyone forgives them. Arguably the only member (before Unity which we will get to in a minute) that is a mutant and powerful enough to have any sway is Storm but she was a recruit of Shattered Heroes which takes place after the Fear Itself event which was a time when the whole Earth was shot to hell thanks to Asgardian drama. She left later

So, why is Captain America singled out?

All this contention between the two groups came to a head during the Avengers vs X-Men event. Thanks to Scarlet Witch’s genocide mutants are nearly extinct at this point but there is some hope because a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force is heading toward Earth. Some mutants can become a host for it (mostly women from Jean Grey’s line) and do extraordinary things, like unsterilizing the mutants so there will be a future generation. The Phoenix Force isn’t always helpful. It got the better of Jean Grey and she turned evil but her daughter Rachel was always able to handle it well and now they have Hope who had been training her whole life to be the savior of mutant kind.

The X-Men are preparing for the Phoenix Force, to have Hope host it and save their race. The Avengers are preparing for the Phoenix Force, hoping to avoid the whole ordeal. Captain America goes to the segregated island where the mutants are living to take Hope into custody. She has done nothing but she has no rights and if she’s going to become powerful Captain America wants to be the one in control of her. He isn’t taking her from some evil group, he’s taking her from the X-Men.

Even Namor sides with the X-Men

Due to Avenger interference the Phoenix Force was broken up and absorbed by a handful of X-Men who use the power to re-fertilize the mutant race and to do humanitarian work all over the world to set an example for what the Avengers could and should have done.

This led to the creation of the meme “Cyclops was right”

Of course it all eventually went to shit because the Phoenix Force wasn’t absorbed into the right vessels but at least now mutants were beginning to be born again.

Captain America was sorry

Afterward Captain America considered their history and realized he had been an asshole so his solution was to put together a new Avenger team called “Unity” that has human members (like himself), Mutants, Inhumans, and Deadpool who is technically a mutate but is always associated with the mutants so he is kind of expected to be a drifter in alliances. Rogue is made the reluctant leader, never having been fond of the Avengers, but always siding with X-Men on their agenda to make peace among all the races.

Meanwhile, the Terrigen mists are traveling over the Earth and when they come into contact with mutants they make them infertile and give them a terminal disease but if they come into contact with latent Inhumans they come into their powers. Obviously these two groups are not getting along.

So, things escalate because the Inhumans now have a new member who can foresee possible futures and everyone is split on whether or not to preemptively stop possible tragedies. The Avengers are divided on how to use this intel but not at all concerned about this new genocide of the mutants.

Cable and Rogue decide to take care of mutant business by themselves.

Captain America smells drama and  is right that Deadpool is covering for the Mutants which was an easy enough guess because Deadpool’s ex-husband, Cable, is the one leading the “betrayal”

Cable and Rogue break into government laboratories to find out that humans are experimenting with Terrigen mists. It could be that they’re secretly trying to find a cure but considering that the government tries to either put them in internment camps or exterminate them every year that seems unlikely

but Captain America follows Deadpool and busts them

Cable and Captain America fight over a briefcase that has the Terrigen mist that the governments have been testing and Rogue gets bored

Deadpool follows the X-Men rule of “follow the highest-ranking woman” and now Captain America is extremely pissed.

Deadpool tries to explain that his allegiance to the mutants is because his daughter is a mutant (and with the Terrigen Mists going around it’s only a matter of time before she dies)

Captain America calls off the Unity team and says probably the worst thing he could think to say to Deadpool

He is, of course, referring to how Deadpool was in Weapon X and was tortured and disfigured.

What an asshole.

That should bring you to about 2017, I doubt the shows will refer to anything more recent and it’ll be interesting to see how they take these groups now that they can’t play off of each other.