31 Days of SMA: Intersectionality and SMA

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 26 of 31 Days of SMA⠀ Topic: Disability and Intersectionality⠀ ⠀ This is @htrevin2 story: ⠀ ⁣⠀ Having a disability doesn’t define who I am but it is a huge part of my identity. Having a disability is one of the few identities that anyone can join at any point in their lifetime. Some disabilities are visible such as my physical disability but most disabilities are invisible. Accepting my disability has brought me huge independence and allowed me to reach for my goals. I’m successful not because I struggled in silence but because I knew when to ask for help. ⁣⠀ ⠀ As you’ve seen by 31 days of SMA, there is so much intersectionality that happens when having a disability. At a young age I learned Pride when it comes to being a minority as I am Mexican. Accepting my Latino and Disabled identity allowed me to also accept other parts of me. I am also Gay and that identity wasn’t as easy to accept. If we continue to see Disability as an identity, we can get a greater understanding of how people with disabilities want to be part of the fabric of society. Our voice is getting louder and our viewpoints are changing society for the better. As my friend and Disability Advocate, Haben Girma says, “Disability is a chance for innovation.” ⠀ ⠀ The very act of self acceptance is powerful and one of the reasons why those with SMA defy the odds. I am a Son, a Brother, an Uncle, Male, Gay, Latino, Mexican American, 1st generation, have a Masters of Education, a worker, an advocate and most importantly a Person with a Spinal Muscular Atrophy. My identities make me who I am and give me strength when reaching for my goals.

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