Complex Feelings During Disability Pride Month

July is disability pride month. Life with Cerebral Palsy is all I’ve ever known. I will never know what it is like to be non-disabled.

As a child, I was aware of how my disability affects daily life. Often, I couldn’t play a game of tag or hide and seek at recess with my peers. The older I was the more I felt like an outsider.

I remember the jealousy I felt when my peers began to get their driver’s licenses when I was a sophomore in high school. However, as more and more of my peers began to drive, I noticed something.

Whenever they would talk about having to drive their younger siblings around or do errands for their household, they acted like it was an inconvenience. I never understood this. I wanted to be able to drive my sibling around if they needed to go somewhere. I wouldn’t have minded running errands for my parents.

The next milestone I missed out on was getting my first job. I wasn’t able to work in during high school. I wanted to earn my own money and save for college. I’m nearly 24, and still unemployed.

Society often seems to think that being disabled is a tragedy. Although I have a disability, it doesn’t mean my life is a tragedy. I’ve made memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime.

I’ve traveled to Washington D.C, and Niagara Falls. I have been in the water with dolphins. I’ve seen Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins games, and participated in ice hockey, martial arts, baseball, and soccer.

I’m blessed to have an amazing support system. My family has been there through the good and bad times. I am fortunate to have good friends as well.

I’ve also worked with wonderful doctors, teachers, therapists, paraprofessionals, and PCAs. My PCA is always there for me when I need him. My doctors and therapists help me live with less pain. They are great advocates for me as well.

My education was and still is a big part of my life. I always loved school when I was growing up. I looked forward to learning every day. My favorite subject was always language arts.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to attend classes with my peers. My teachers saw me as a whole individual and, more often than not, embraced my disability.

Disabled people worldwide are constantly fighting for their rights In the United States, 31 states still allow disabled women to be forcibly sterilized. Many disabled people who rely on government programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are still unable to marry without their benefits being reduced or taken away entirely.

Disabled people frequently struggle to find work. Nondisabled people are three times more likely to be employed than disabled people. Disabled people who are employed sometimes make less than minimum wage.

The average hourly wage for disabled people working in these situations is $3.34. Subminimum wage is perfectly legal because, since 1938, certain disabled people have been allowed to be paid less than the minimum wage under US labor law. During the Great Depression, this law was introduced to encourage more people to find work.

Being comfortable with my disability has taken a long time. The disability community is full of amazing people. I am proud to be a part of the disabled community.


“Forced Sterilization of Disabled People in the United States.” National Women’s Law Center, 24 Jan. 2022,

Star, Eryn. “Marriage Equality Is Still Not a Reality: Disabled People and the Right to Marry.” Advocacy Monitor, National Council on Independent Living, 14 Nov. 2019,

Selyukh, Alina. “Workers with Disabilities Can Earn JUST $3.34 an HOUR. Agency Says Law Needs Change.” NPR, NPR, 17 Sept. 2020,

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