I am participating in this disability march as a woman with multiple chronic illnesses, including fibromyalgia. My body makes it difficult to show my solidarity in person, but I still have a voice.
This administration, this Republican held Congress, this callous and cruel and dangerous presidency has shown me in alarming clarity what it looks like when a powerful government does not care about its people, or anyone at all. From the hundreds of thousands of children whose healthcare has been yanked away from them, to the millions of Puerto Ricans who have been living for more than a hundred days without electricity after Hurricane Maria, to the refugees who are not welcome in our country because they are Muslim, to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who will lose their protections and will be sent back to El Salvador, to the citizens of the entire world who are fearfully watching an American president play chicken with nuclear weapons and dismiss the reality of climate change, we are all in the hands of people who only value wealthy, white, able-bodied Americans-who would gladly let the rest of the world burn away.
My life has value, and I will not go quietly. I am reminded of a quote by the author Zora Neale Hurston, “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.” Our Republican House and Senate and President have tried to kill us by trying to remove affordable health care, celebrating the potential for thousands of preventable deaths with beers on the White House lawn. I will never forget that moment when thousands of us yelled that without proper health care-without access to the medical innovations of one of the wealthiest nations on earth-we could die far sooner than we needed to-and our elected officials shrugged as if that didn’t weigh on their conscience at all.
This president needs to go. These lawmakers need to go. These racist, ableist, classist, sexist, opportunist, amoral men and women need to be ousted and the culture changed so that their ilk can never be given positions of power over our lives ever again.
My illness is not terminal, and I plan on living in my disabled body a long time, long enough to yell when I need to yell, and to leave a future for my children that looks nothing like the world of this administration.
Image Description: A female-presenting person with long brown hair and glasses smiling at the camera on a sunny day.