Once at a poetry reading where I was seated in the front row a woman jumped over my guide dog who was lying obediently at my feet. She didn’t ask if this was OK. When I objected she said the man next to me had signaled to her this was fine. Dissed twice. You should never jump over a guide dog. It’s disrespectful to the dog and her handler. Ableism has many facets but one of them is the assumption the disabled don’t need to be communicated with; that we’re furniture of a kind.
Not long ago at a famous arts colony I heard a notable writer say that henceforth the famous arts colony would no longer be blind and poor when it comes to appreciating outlier forms of art. He said it twice during a formal speech.
And there I was with my guide dog. I’ve spent the last thirty years writing six books which argue that blindness is a rich way of knowing.
I was insulted and remain so. Yet this is business as usual.
I share with my black and LGBTQT brothers and sisters and androgynes and all my foreign friends a capacity to make narrow people nervous.
Yes, I’m a scary armoire, a big totemic Victorian freestanding closet, something from the 1963 film “The Haunting” and just now starting to be ok with it.