Friends of ASCCA: We are who we are, and we can be whatever we want to be.

Hey everyone! It’s been a very long time since I’ve written for Camp ASCCA, but thanks to an afternoon of Instagram stalking disability advocates, I finally feel like I have something worth sharing.

All my life, I’ve viewed my AMC as something separate to myself. I always hoped to find people that could “look past” it, and “see that I’m just like everyone else.” But this line of thinking is flawed. It made me want to hide the things about myself that I should have been embracing.

If you follow me on Instagram, or are friends with me on Facebook, you’ll notice I very rarely update my profile picture. I never post selfies. The reason for this is that I was ashamed of my body. I didn’t want my abnormally shaped back, or my T-rex arms to be visible in my profile picture. I thought that the easiest way for people to “see past” the AMC was to make it as inconspicuous as possible. I thought that the more “normal” I looked, the closer I was to ever being considered beautiful. Now I know that in certain ways, my “dis”ability is a virtue. By accepting that I’m never going to be typical, and embracing the things that make me different, I might actually be able to help people. I might be able to help myself.

My AMC is never going away, and I don’t want it to anymore. It’s an integral part of who I am, and I hereby refuse to pretend it doesn’t exist. I will never again shyly tack on “oh, and I’m disabled #amcstrong” to the end of my social media bios, in an attempt to downplay its role in my life. And I am most definitely done hoping people will “see through” my AMC.
In honor of this, I’ve made a new Instagram account. It’s called @macwithamc. So yeah. Nothing to hide here. I plan on posting a lot about disabilities, as well as my art, and other things that are important to me. And to everyone who can, I suggest you do too. We are who we are, and we can be whatever we want to be. So let’s be kinder to people. Let’s be proud of who we are, and let’s change the world in 2019!

Anyway, thanks to the advocates and organizations like Misha Dream Walker, Madeline Stuart, The Body is not an Apology, and The Geeky Gimp for helping me come to my senses. Go check them out, and remember that you are exceptional!

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