Anybody who is even slightly different than the average population knows that feeling of looking into the camera like you're on The Office feeling of frustration when you're talking to a normal person.
People who have a difference of ability must accumulate these frustrating experiences faster than any other. We take things like our hearing, our sight, our mobility, for granted so intensely that we probably can't help but piss them off.
Disabled people of Reddit, what is your most "bruh" moment with an abled person?
Here were some of those answers.
Andrew Gurza is a 34-year-old with cerebral palsy who advocates for people with disabilities.
He's also proving that disabled people have just about as much sex appeal as able-bodied people and aims to remove the stigma surrounding sexuality.
In order to achieve this, he came up with the empowering hashtag, #DisabledPeopleAreHot, after scrolling through his Twitter feed and realizing the phrase hadn't existed. He was ready to change that.
Gurza gave rise to a powerful movement in which people with varied forms of physical limitations invoked the hashtag and proudly embraced their hotness by sharing photos of themselves.
He was moved by the flood of responses from a marginalized population.
An emotional Gurza said in a Now or Never interview:
"It's actually made me tear up with joy just seeing how many people have jumped on this tag and have sent me emails saying: 'This tag means so much to me. This tag changed my day and made me smile today. Thank you.'"
LOVE THIS #DisabledPeopleAreHot https://t.co/Lpxv32zm0E— Lorals (@Lorals)1552409690.0
Gurza told the Huffington Post that he hopes able-bodied people can get past their own biases when encountering someone with a disability.
I am not afraid of your body, so why are you afraid of mine? #DisabledPeopleAreHot https://t.co/ENbHjCculy— Andrew Gurza #DisabledPeopleAreHot Creator (@Andrew Gurza #DisabledPeopleAreHot Creator)1550424109.0
"I think people with disabilities want a place to feel sexy, sensual and fun," he said about the popularity and importance of his virals hashtag.
"You know, the hashtag is more than just about hotness ― it's really saying, 'Be disabled and be proud.'"
"We need hashtags like this one and the one Keah Brown created a few years ago [#DisabledAndCute] because they shine visibility on a community [most people] would rather ignore."
"If we're honest ― if able-bodied people were really honest ― they have ableism and they are really stuck in that, so they don't really think about disabilities."
#DisabledPeopleAreHot just wanted to hop on this hashtag bc i literally had a guy tell me i’m too pretty to be in a… https://t.co/TBgrc8VToe— 👑 (@👑)1550542559.0
HuffPo asked for examples of the kinds of stigmas he's faced.
"That I don't have sex. That I'm not sexual. That I can't get hard, so, therefore, I can't get laid."
One group of people was particularly harsh.
"The gay community is really prejudiced toward me, too, and it's really tough for me to break out and say, "I'm a guy just like you and I want to do all the things you're doing."
He combated the hatred by "being more queer, more outlandish."
"I lean into it way more when that happens, because it's like, "Fuck you, this is who I am. If you can't deal with it then get out."
Some members of the gay community fetishize his disability, and although playing into those desires can be seen as unhealthy, Gurza doesn't mind.
"I have a really interesting relationship with being fetishized, [but] I think it can be really positive if you harness it from a place of agency," he told Them.
But he warned against its drawbacks.
"If you as the oppressed group say, 'I'm going to use this word, or this language or this identity for myself,' fetishization can be really powerful. But if you let somebody who has no idea about your experience do that to you, then it can be very, dangerous and very divisive."
Gurza wants people to understand that despite its complications, his sex life is great especially after having worked with sex workers.
He continued in his HuffPo interview:
"I just finished a [still-unpublished personal essay] for HuffPost about how I primarily work with sex workers to have sex, and honestly, those relationships have saved my life."
"When you're hiring and working with someone you can build a relationship with inset boundaries, there's no drama, it's really cut and dry. I love the fact that I can have sex with sex workers and people who are not sex workers, but I love the agency that my disability has forced me to have over my sex."
A friend of mine took pictures of me yesterday & I like them (which doesn’t happen very often). So yeah, I LOOK GRE… https://t.co/CS0QE206Cm— Herenui Crawford ✨ (@Herenui Crawford ✨)1552152145.0
HuffPo asked how the hashtag met his overarching goal in achieving visibility, and it all boils down to complete transparency.
"The overarching response to my work is that people want and need someone who is going to frankly talk to them about the intersection between queerness, disability and sexuality without sugarcoating it."
"I think what happens when you sugarcoat stuff is that you don't let people's prejudices come out; the more you let people confront their own ableism ― that's how we create change."
#DisabledPeopleAreHot Hot is HOTTT no matter abled or disabled ,,😜😁😉 https://t.co/RsmxdmUYFC— loveandacceptancengo (@loveandacceptancengo)1551696641.0
So what does he hope people realize when seeing the hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot?
"That disabled people are hot. That's it. I want people to see this hashtag and smile, but it has two purposes. One is for disabled people to see themselves in sexual situations, feeling good about themselves. And the other is for non-disabled people to see us, period."
"To realize we are nuanced and complicated and intricate people with a lot of stuff going on but here we are enjoying ourselves as disabled people."
"We're proud of that. A lot of times in disability politics, people say 'Oh, you should see the person first, not the disability.' And I basically say fuck that. Why can't you see a disabled person? That's what this hashtag is really trying to do."
Let’s say it loud and clear #DisabledPeopleAreHot! Thanks @andrewgurza for this great #hashtag that brings to light… https://t.co/YIyCl1Ehbo— Joan Pahisa (@Joan Pahisa)1550710457.0
He hopes to ally with the queer community and team up with organizations to host events and fight ableism through open conversations. And if you need a guide read "The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness."
In the meantime, the hashtag continues to gain momentum as an oft-neglected demographic wants you to know that they are all beautiful and sexy.
Andrew, you're an inspiration.
For decades inclusivity was a bit of a blind spot for toy maker Mattel and their iconic Barbie doll.
But in the last decade Barbie has evolved more than she did in the 50 years before.
And she's about to undertake another major change that is coming to a store near you.
Since her debut in 1959 Barbie has been one of the best selling toys of all time, but for almost as many years consumers and advocates have had concerns about the iconic doll.
From her anatomically improbable measurements to her noticeably monotone complexion and homogenous features, many worried about the unrealistic standards and lack of diversity Barbie represented to young girls.
2019 though may be the year when there is finally a Barbie for everyone.
As part of Barbie's 60th anniversary celebration Mattel announced its most diverse line of dolls yet, including disabled Barbies, and people are loving her new look.
Barbie will debut a doll with a prosthetic leg, and another that comes with a wheelchair, in June… https://t.co/nTmXYI5jbc— CNN (@CNN)1550214064.0
The upcoming Barbie Fashionistas line will feature a diverse new group of dolls with different hair types, body types facial sculpts and disabilities, including a Barbie in a wheelchair and one with a removable prosthetic leg.
13-year-old disabled rights advocate Jordan Reeves worked with Mattel on the new dolls.
13-year-old disability activist Jordan Reeves helped Barbie launch a new line of dolls with prosthetics https://t.co/fPXR32Vpvc— NowThis (@NowThis)1550285700.0
Barbie's newest dolls use wheelchairs and have prosthetic limbs https://t.co/tzTRS5E9iW— TicToc by Bloomberg (@TicToc by Bloomberg)1550070994.0
It won't be the first doll with a wheelchair that Mattel created.
@tictoc This isn't the first Barbie with a wheelchair, our awesome Mum, who is an Occupational Therapist and helps… https://t.co/7fUzdWqmE9— Niki (@Niki)1550087335.0
@sheilawalker73 @Kidsdoc1Rick @NatLauter dude: use the intertubes. it’s easy. I swear. https://t.co/2p3G3m0CCl— Roberta (@Roberta)1550355094.0
But this time they are hoping to get it right with input from people like Reeves.
In 1997, Mattel released Becky, Barbie’s friend, who’s hot-pink wheelchair could not fit into the elevator of Barbie’s $100 Dream House. 😬— Inquisitor (@Inquisitor)1550316749.0
In 1997 Mattel released Barbie's friend "Share-a-Smile Becky" followed by school photographer Becky and Paralympic Becky with a special racing design wheelchair.
Hey, @TheLastLeg, @Barbie did have a friend who was a Paralympic athlete, meet Becky. But #isitOK that @Mattel disc… https://t.co/RVPq6ROR2r— Annette Stride (@Annette Stride)1521066206.0
Although Becky was a hit, girls soon discovered that her bulky wheelchair was too large to interact with accessories like the Barbie Dream House. Mattel said they would look into the issue but no changes were ever made and Becky was eventually discontinued in 2017.
This time however Mattel is aiming for a more representative doll.
According to Teen Vogue, Kim Culmone, Mattel's vice president of Barbie Design worked with disabled people and UCLA to design a more accurate representation.
When Barbie's design team worked with 13-year-old disability activist Reeves, who has a prosthetic arm, she suggested making Barbie's prosthetic leg removable to make her more realistic.
Fans of all ages are loving Barbie's new looks. For many the inclusive new line up means finally finding the Barbie they have always wanted.
Y’all, I just read that the new wheelchair @Barbie is going to come with a ramp to make the Barbie dream house whee… https://t.co/78tKLdYLcw— Jessica Jewett Jones (@Jessica Jewett Jones)1549996366.0
YES @Barbie! Barbie gets more inclusive with wheelchair & prosthetic limb! New line will be available June 2019,… https://t.co/Nh12DLM42i— 🤖 Angel Giuffria ¯\_(ツ)_, (@🤖 Angel Giuffria ¯\_(ツ)_,)1549924117.0
@aannggeellll @Barbie @jordanjustright @bornjustright This is such wonderful news. I work as an advocate, fund rais… https://t.co/TACBQiwjEt— DONNA CARRIERE (@DONNA CARRIERE)1550262654.0
@aannggeellll @Barbie @jordanjustright @bornjustright When I heard about this I cried. How amazing that young peopl… https://t.co/NIDFomfRbh— Brenna Huckaby (@Brenna Huckaby)1550009036.0
@aannggeellll @Soapy_Wit_Tank @Barbie @jordanjustright @bornjustright Never thought about it but I am pleased it is… https://t.co/xaF3HurwYS— Don Wood (@Don Wood)1549927243.0
@aannggeellll @Barbie @jordanjustright @bornjustright Every girl is special in her own way💕 can't wait for these🤗 great job @Barbie 🌼— Ananya Shekhawat (@Ananya Shekhawat)1550084274.0
And fans are already on the look out for more ways that Mattel can add to its new inclusive line.
@CNN @Mattel - love the new handicap Barbie dolls. Do you have blind dolls? In California where will dolls be sold in June 2019?— Pat Amador (@Pat Amador)1550257183.0
@CNN @Barbie if they don’t already should have a bald doll for children going through Chemo.— SouthernOmaEng (@SouthernOmaEng)1550214806.0
Eager fans will have to wait a bit longer to get their hands on the new collection of inclusive Barbie's though.
The Fashionistas will be available in Fall 2019.
All new emojis must be approved by the Unicode Consortium, which often receives submissions from companies like Apple and Google on what the next emojis should be. In a victory for the disabled and LGBTQ+ communities, the Consortium has announced 2019's new emojis will include many symbols centered around inclusion.
230 new emoji released in move to make characters more inclusive https://t.co/yQZpjcKplz https://t.co/Z5gt35EtTj— ITV News (@ITV News)1549456458.0
NEW EMOJI: Next batch of emoji includes people with #disabilities, guide dog https://t.co/CX7LazZd0r What else wou… https://t.co/jkk47ladVe— Lane Luckie (@Lane Luckie)1549450800.0
Apple requested last year that the list of emojis include more diverse, inclusive symbols.
Their request was definitely heard!
Last year, Apple asked for more inclusive emoji to represent people with disabilities, and now The Keepers of the E… https://t.co/50vGquXdOE— Vlad Savov (@Vlad Savov)1549411113.0
The Unicode Consortium has announced its final list of approved emoji for this year. The new batch of emoji include… https://t.co/Ex1QPg9wy4— Daniel Fleshbourne (@Daniel Fleshbourne)1549442765.0
Other new emojis include a computer, a planet, and... AN OTTER!
New emojis approved in #emoji12 will come to operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows), apps (WhatsApp) and web pla… https://t.co/s0uvG1idMS— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549397892.0
But the big ticket items among emoji lovers have definitely been the guide-dogs, deaf individuals, and non-binary couples.
✅ Approved in #emoji12: Guide Dog https://t.co/CmxJuQQ2dt https://t.co/iNJ3801EUF— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549406419.0
✅ Approved in #emoji12: Man With Probing Cane https://t.co/07pUddbzeh https://t.co/xCDLIIeFQB— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549409083.0
✅ Approved in #emoji12: Manual Wheelchair https://t.co/m5l7plNTzY https://t.co/2N1epGOKHv— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549410936.0
✅ Approved in #emoji12: Ear With Hearing Aid https://t.co/JVWXvLpsat https://t.co/zRhowm9yj6— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549414728.0
✅ Approved in #emoji12: Deaf Man https://t.co/UKgIdSdSar https://t.co/wgcx70xaTd— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549417976.0
The new emojis feature non-binary couples with almost any mix of races.
✅ Approved in #emoji12: People Holding Hands. Gender neutral / gender inclusive, with mixed skin tone support… https://t.co/z3KjsYSh48— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549424818.0
✅ Approved in #emoji12: Mixed Skin Tone Support for Men Holding Hands (👬) https://t.co/APoF9en9Em— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549433936.0
✅ Approved in #emoji12: Mixed Skin Tone Support for Women Holding Hands (👭) https://t.co/fbcfKmAiPa— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia 📙)1549432693.0
While these steps are definitely important, many Twitter users were most excited about a certain other emoji...
More excited than I should be about the incoming addition of this emoji. But more amazing news is that accessibili… https://t.co/ivNeefM6X5— Uma Kumaran (@Uma Kumaran)1549457452.0
There are non-binary people represented in the 2019 emoji! Also wheelchair users, service dogs, and even more impor… https://t.co/k79YG2Nqou— Laurie Voss (@Laurie Voss)1549423733.0
@seldo My non-binary service otter will be so pleased!— Marion Cotesworth-Haye (@Marion Cotesworth-Haye)1549423859.0
@unicode Finally https://t.co/89vVEfVW9r— Niklas Fauth (@Niklas Fauth)1549399341.0
In general, social media was glad to see a new, more inclusive set of emojis.
LOOK AT ALL THE NEW DISABILITY EMOJI!!!!! THIS IS GOOD! https://t.co/uEkVkNzOWo— Kaise // Any pronouns (@Kaise // Any pronouns)1549447568.0
@LaneLuckie I need nothing ever again because THAT'S ! MY ! DOG !!!! https://t.co/hwQjn3NaQr— Dovi Appreciation Account (@Dovi Appreciation Account)1549503961.0
The new emojis should become available along with an upcoming software update. Congratulations to Apple and the Unicode Consortium for taking steps to improve disabled and LGBTQ+ representation!
A Disabled Veteran Stopped to Help Colin Powell on the Side of the Road and Their Interaction is Giving Us All the Feels
Anthony Maggert was driving down the Capital Beltway on Tuesday, January 22, when he noticed someone kneeling curbside, replacing a flat tire on his car: former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Maggert, who has long held an admiration for Powell, immediately pulled over and helped the former general.
Afterwards, they snapped an adorable selfie that inspired in both its subjects a hope for America and its future.
It turns out Maggert wasn't just aware of Powell's identity—he's a fan. The army veteran has read all of Powell's books, and was continually inspired by the general's sense of calm during Maggert's 23 years of service, which included three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.
During his final stint of duty, a flesh-eating caused an infection on Maggert's leg. Before long, the limb had to be amputated, but that hasn't stopped the veteran for keeping an upbeat view of the world.
"Such a gentleman. I hope when I'm [that age], I'm as spry as he is."
@CNN Props to the good samaritan for helping him out. Also props for the epic beard.— Jose Pepz Acuña (@Jose Pepz Acuña)1548381198.0
Later that day, the veteran took to social media to write a message to Secretary Powell:
"Gen. Powell, I hope I never forget today because I'll never forget reading your books. You were always an inspiration, a leader and statesman. After 33 years in the military you were the giant whose shoulders we stood upon to carry the torch to light the way and now it is tomorrow's generation that must do the same."
@CNN This is how we can be! This is not fake news or fake anything. This is real humans caring for each other-like General Powell says.— Sue Butcher (@Sue Butcher)1548554284.0
Twitter users were inspired by the pair's respect and admiration for each other:
@CNN Some “feel good” I needed 🖤— Candace Smith (@Candace Smith)1548381421.0
@CNN Please take a moment to read! This is what America is all about.— Elizabeth Prior (@Elizabeth Prior)1548416791.0
There's no doubt these two represent some of the best things our country has to offer.
@CNN Be the change people, be the change— seemslikely (@seemslikely)1548381122.0
Also, Mr. Powell might want to invest in AAA.
@washingtonpost Colin doesn't have roadside assistance?— Lawrence Williams (@Lawrence Williams)1548460893.0
Powell would later respond to Maggert with a public Facebook post:
In his post, he wrote:
"Thanks, Anthony. You touched my soul and reminded me about what this country is all about and why it is so great. Let's stop screaming at each other. Let's just take care of each other. You made my day."
This is the best from General Colin Powell🇺🇸 https://t.co/MUCoEcU8Ew— Sara Small FOX17 (@Sara Small FOX17)1548366152.0
The message resonated with many Americans.
@SaraSmallTV American Heroes!!!! Keep teaching the world how to be nice and courteous. This gives hope!— 🏀LAKERS HOOPS🏀 (@🏀LAKERS HOOPS🏀)1548461122.0
There's so many things to love in our country, none more important than the common decency of two people whose mutual respect is all too obvious. Reading their story, many American citizens feel there may be hope for our country after all.
@thehill Two great Americans, Anthony Maggert and Colin Powell. Semper Fi, gentlemen. You both have my respect.— Coyotus Resistus (@Coyotus Resistus)1548468281.0
Of course, the real story of the day went almost unnoticed:
@thehill I think the real story here is that Colin Powell has yellow rims.— Ryan M (@Ryan M)1548377548.0
Thanks for making our days, Mr. Maggert and Mr. Powell. We hope your tire remains fixed for a long time to come!