Thursday, January 19, 2012

Butt of the Joke

Yesterday morning after I dropped Ian off at school, I was checking my Facebook newsfeed and I saw a status from a close family member that said something like this:

The dating pool is like a parking lot -- all the good ones are taken and the ones left are handicapped.

My gut reaction upon reading this was anger mixed with sadness. Anger because it had been said at all, and sadness because it had come from someone I was close to. I didn't want to make a quick, angry comment in response, so I said nothing for a few hours, and, honestly, forgot all about it. Later in the afternoon I saw the status again and decided I couldn't say nothing. I simply commented on the thread "Just so you know, I don't appreciate this comparison". An hour or so later, the poster messaged me to say he was sorry and he had taken the status down. I replied back that I knew he hadn't meant it about Ian, but that these kinds of statements or jokes are hurtful to me because someday they could be, and probably will be, hurtful to Ian.

Teasing and name-calling are normal parts of childhood, and I accept that, but what gets me down about people making statements such as this is that it's implying a handicapped person is actually a lesser type of person -- not worthy of dating, in this case. Thinking that people could potentally say that about my wonderful, smart, funny child, just because he has a disability, is enough to make me want to stay in bed for the rest of my life. I have dreams for my child just like any other parent -- that he'll go to college, get a job, have a family. I don't know for sure that any of those things will happen, no one ever does, but I'd like to hope that society doesn't think they can't happen because he has a disability, because that's just not true.

I told my family member that to make it up to me he should post a link to 3E Love's International Day of Acceptance (which is this Friday!) on his Facebook page. He did.

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