Monday, 13 December 2010

Lady GoGo’s guide to Disability Awareness - Part 2

Further to my piece on disability awareness month (Name calling) I want to look at disability and the actions of others. This week the Scottish Comedian Frankie Boyle and Channel 4 have come under fire for Frankie’s comments regarding Katie Price’s son Harvey. The 8 Year old suffers with autism, amongst other conditions.

I do not agree with the Scot’s harsh and sickening comments, Harvey is only a child and cannot defend himself. For all of Katie Price’s bad press she is still a mother and wants to protect her offspring from ridicule and bullying. There is a line between funny and cruel but sometimes that line is blurred.

I have been at the butt of peoples jokes, I take 99% of them in jest. Once I was at a comedy club and a Canadian act made a funny yet very un- pc disability joke. People didn’t know whether to laugh or walk out, I laughed! But to my horror (especially since I was hiding at the back!!) the comedian pipes up “I know we have a lady here tonight in a wheelchair, where are you?” The entire room turns to look. I flush instantly red.

Him: “Where you offended by that joke?”

Me: “No” *nervous laugh.

Him: “Some people here think I’ve gone too far I need you to do me a favour, on three can you tell them all to fuck off?”

Me: “Erm....”

Him: “1.... 2... 3....”

Me: *Silence.... hiding behind my hands laughing*

Him: “Don’t make me come over there I know you can’t run away”

Me: *Crackling loudly*

Upon seeing my amusement the room seemed to relax and laugh with me and not at me. Subsequently the joke was voted a year later The Most Offence by Paramount Comedy TV channel.

It’s hard for the general public to know how to react to anything “different” or “unusual” from ourselves. Just like any other person, I have my good and bad days, on the days I’m feeling sensitive any off comment or action can make me feel inadequate and other days when my hair looks fabulous, I’m wearing new out fit (and after a few ciders!) I sometimes like the attention, I just tell myself people are staring at my shiny brown bob in envy.

I enjoy going out as much as "Normal" People! lol!

For example; I have had people tell me “Well Done for coming out and being normal” – on a good day I cheekily reply “Ah thanks, you going to buy me a congratulatory drink” on a bad day I automatically feel awkward and as thought I’m being felt sorry for.

Another one is when I’m chatted up. Apart from being sickeningly smitten with my guy Mike, any of my close friends know I hate being chatted up, not as a disabled person but as a woman. I see myself as the ugly duckling and again that is just a woman’s inadequacy, nothing to do with my wheelchair.

There are two camps; the positive who when told “I’m sorry I have a boyfriend” after denying to giving them my number who say “Lucky Guy” or “Well if it all goes wrong *wink*” and then there’s the awful including one guy who said “You should be grateful for any attention you get” luckily I was feel fabulous and quipped back “Your lucky I’m even talking to you buddy!”

I’m generally laid back overall, I like being offered help, I don’t mind asking for it either, I don’t mind being asked what happened to me nor even “Can I have a go in your chair?” other behaviours I find slightly odd.

Being patted on the head is just weird, people getting hold of my chair whilst I’m browsing the shelves and moving me out of their way without even asking is just plain rude and others telling me I have put their lives into perspective or I’m like a second coming, is just worrying, those few need counselling!

But what I see as okay other might not, it’s a mind field for non disabled people to know what to do or how to act, my advice is act like you would to any other person, should you be asked for help don’t tut and roll your eyes and should you be told off for not offering help off your own back just smile sweetly and say nothing because those disabled people are the ones in the wrong not you.

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