Pride and disability

United Kingdom
June 16, 2011 4:04am CST
On the 18th June, it is "Autistic Pride Day". I have just been reading some views about it being silly to be proud of a disability or disorder. I hadn't really thought about it so much before. Of course, pride is something to be gained through hard work and achievement - not a condition which no one chooses to have. While there is no effort or personal achievement in having the disorder or disability itself, surely the pride in this case is of those who live with it every day and their achievements in over coming many things including numerous every day tasks which most "normal" people take for granted. Some people do not want their disabilities on show and want to act normal. Others are proud of the fact that they are different. Should we celebrate such things? I, personally, see it as a celebration of diversity and achievement. It's not saying "I'm proud that I have this condition", it's more about saying "I'm proud to be me and this is part of me".
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7 responses
@owlwings (39209)
• Cambridge, England
16 Jun 11
I completely agree that this is really what all these 'Pride' celebrations are about (Gay Pride, Autistic Pride ... whatever). Perhaps the word 'Pride' is not wholly correct here because it leads to the conclusion that one should be proud of being gay or autistic per se, which, as you rightly say, should not be the case at all. What would you think or expect, for example, of a "Non-Smokers Pride Day" or a "Bottom of the Class Pride Day" or an "I've Got a Nose in My Face Pride Day". The use of "Pride" in these situations is clearly either invidious or irrelevant, whether or not the cause itself needs more recognition. I think that everyone has a right to be proud (that is, unashamed) of being themselves but that is quite a different kind of 'pride' to the one that goeth before a fall! The trouble is that the word 'Pride' has two different meanings. In one respect it is a 'desirable' attribute (as it is intended to be in the "Pride Day" sense) but it can also mean something to be avoided and the way that "Pride Days" tend to go, it is the latter meaning which sometimes seems unintentionally more appropriate!
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@owlwings (39209)
• Cambridge, England
16 Jun 11
I have looked very carefully through what both you and I wrote here to see if I could spot anything remotely suggesting 'mature content'! I'm sorry ... it was ME! ... I should not have mentioned a word which means happy and carefree (albeit that I used it in the more modern sense). Auntie MyLot spotted it and likes to protect her children, even though they are all supposed to be over 16!!!!
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@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Jun 11
Exactly! I wonder about these things. It seems to me that if we are truly embracing diversity then the need for minority groups to stand up and shout ought to be well and truly over. I sign myself "Proud to be a grumpy old git"! Do I get a day?
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
18 Jun 11
I think in the case of "Pride" days, it is more a matter of not being ashamed of something that is a part of you. Obviously "blah blah pride day" sounds much better than "I'm not ashamed to be me day". Fishyface, you can have a grumpy old git day if you like. I agree as well that, if we are supposed to be accepting and embracing diversity then there should be no need for these things. However, I think in the case of Autistic Pride Day (and other days dedicated to cancer, heart health, and whatever else) it is more of a day to promote awareness of things which are often overlooked or not understood.
@maximax8 (28250)
• United Kingdom
17 Jun 11
I am a teacher and I have taught an autistic child. I have three of my own children and my 4 year old son is disabled. He has got spina bifida and hydrocephalus. He is in a wheelchair because he is unable to walk. He has catheter care day and night. Some parents find out their child is disabled before birth and I found out at 36 weeks pregnancy. Other parents find out as soon as their baby is born. Some parents find out their child is disabled when he or she is at nursery school or at primary school. I know some parents know something is wrong but nobody knows what it is. So 18th June is Autistic Pride Day so I believe like you say it is a case of them saying " I am proud to be me and this is part of me". We celebrate that the disabled person is alive and can do some tasks which are difficult for him or her. Normal children find it so easy to stand and walk yet it is impossible for my little boy. I celebrate that he has developed upper body strength and deals with all the hospital visits very well.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
18 Jun 11
We should all celebrate our achievements but, as you say, it is a lot harder for people with certain disabilities to do "normal" things and, in that way, they should celebrate what they can do as opposed to condemning them for what they can't. I don't think condemn is the right word but I'm sure you know what I'm trying to say. And well done to your little boy for what he can do.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
16 Jun 11
Broadly I agree with you. However, if the day is about saying "hey look at us we're different and entitled to special treatment" then I am not for it at all.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
18 Jun 11
No, it's not about that at all. Well, that's not how I see it. It's more about promoting awareness, asking people to at least try to understand the condition and, as I see such things as "gay pride", saying "we shouldn't be ashamed or hide this part of ourselves". If you see what I mean. It's also, I think, about saying things like "yes, we're different and may need to be understood in a different way but accepted as still being thinking, feeling people just like everyone else.
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
2 Jan 12
I am also disabled and I really enjoy displaying disability pride all that comes with it.I think the reason there are pride days for people who feel the need to celebrate that they have survived all this oppression that comes with belonging to this or that identity group. As someone who goes through multiple levels of oppression daily I can tell you it's no easy feat.
@jonahh08 (261)
• Philippines
15 Aug 11
Yeah. I guess it means that being an autistic doesn't make them less of a person and so they made a "Pride Day". Which makes a lot of sense to me :)
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@Bebs08 (10690)
• United States
16 Jun 11
Well, people who are not intimidated with others even if they have disabilities are healthy emotionally. This means they have full moral support from family and friends therefore they are not insecure of their situation. Another thing is that when a disabled person is talented, he can do things that some normal people can not do, this would also help him to overcome his feeling of being insecure. His accomplishments boost his personality as he is.
@bingskee (5237)
• Philippines
16 Jun 11
i have to say that it's more a pride of being an individual not as a physically or mentally challenged individual. the achievements these people are part of their being a separate individual from the rest.
1 person likes this