It is now 2 days after returning from the conference and I am still feeling decompression issues or conference drop from moving away from my days filled with crip family. I went to this conference expecting a few magical moments and being tired from performing extroversion, I didn’t realize I would get concentrated time with people I have admired for years, ones I have come to love all the more and new chosen family to frolic with.
Crip family is a space:
Where people don’t need to know your diagnosis or ask “what’s wrong” with you
Where the gaze is one that welcomes and moves across the bodymind with mutual respect or typical indifference
Where tears flow from both being so happy to be present and reaching deep passed the web of bullshit that hides so many truths hard to reveal
Where our bodymind movements can be slow or fast, there are no rules
Where ramps are regularly available, as are microphones, and people checking in to make sure we can all try to experience the same moments/words
Where I can squeal about meeting the person I have followed on social media for years, citing their work and waiting for our paths to cross
Where transportation is a given for wheelchair users, not something that is taken as a problem
Where people ask how to make us comfortable
Where we are encouraged to take breaks
Where we can hug in the most different and delicious ways
… returning to the “real world” inverts much of this beauty. I am immediately sucked back into the role of the spectacle, the object of the gaze, and a receptacle of pity. Gone are my moments of sparkling and embracing crip family, as I plunged back with bodies and minds that move about so darn typically. I am not a crip suprematist, but goodness I always crave that welcoming space of crip family. It’s a rare beautiful gem of embracing difference, adapting together, and creating a powerful sense of intimacy through collectively formed access.