A true story of two people in Seattle defying stereotypes, and just being themselves!
“He is such an inspirational blind man!”,
“He is too smart to be blind”,
“You don’t look blind”,
“You must not love the way you look if you’re dating a blind man”.
These and many others are the constant bombardment we get from the entire world of Seattle. What do I have to say to Seattle? Stop fearing things you don’t understand and actually get to know people!
I cannot emphasize this enough, people are people, and we all have our thing. This goes for not just blind people but all minorities and personalities that are pushed aside in that oh so dreaded box, called, “different”. To this world I say that having an intelligent, conversationalist, determined, social activist, writer, and comedian of a man beside me who happens to be blind is by far the best thing I could have ever asked for.
Yes, I am a sighted girl. But why does that mean that I am sad that my man cannot, “see”. What I have realized is by far, I have found the greatest connection with him. Even while he is not looking at me, I feel the same experience of being, “seen”. It is the connection and conversation that makes us feel connected, and so should be with all people. I have not given up on myself, I ware makeup and fashion every day! I do it for myself, not to please others. My boyfriend works at Microsoft, and other technical companies. People say this is such an inspiration! There again, would you be saying this to a sighted person? Instead, you would congratulate them on their new success, instead of feeling like they have some kind of super-power from what they have overcome. All people who are labeled want to feel just like everyone else. No one wants people mistaking their identity 24/7! So, please, please, actually learn the meaning of the phrase, “treat everyone equal”.
We have been together for 2 years, and one day we we decided to go out to a nice dinner together. As the Uber driver pulled up, instantly he noticed my partners cane, and sweat overtook his head. He awkwardly shuffled over to the car, and opened the door for him. “He has hands you know”, I said, as my boyfriend laughed at my comment. From the start of this, I knew it would be an interesting car ride. “So, what happened to you?” Says this uber driver. My boyfriend responds, “Nothing much! Just was born! How about you?” The uber driver sits awkwardly and looks at us in the mirror with confusion. The best thing about this is that my boyfriend can’t see the faces that people make from his comments. Which is great for him, and gives him confidence to just keep on going. Where as me, it is great because while he makes the comments, I watch as they flail with confusion. What I have realized is it doesn’t matter what type of person you are, weather you are blind, or have blue hair: The point is that people get afraid when they don’t have rules of how to act around you. So, have fun with it! Spice up the conversation, and make awkward jokes so that they are speechless. Or, this can be your chance to speak up, and tell them how you really feel. An educational time, to show people not to always treat others this way. But, why live your entire life in a pursuit to make others agree with your belief that you are good? Even better, relish in the fact that they are squirming in their seat, while you are basking in the glory of just being yourself!
So, the moral of this story is…Treat people the way you want to be treated. Everyone is connected through their personality, and the things they believe in. Intelligence is based on how well you communicate this to yourself, not to entertain or satisfy others. So, keep being yourself and make that thing about you part of who you are. You cannot get rid of that part of you, so why not own it! Walk around like you love yourself, and others will get the message, and fallow your lead.