Thank You Will Never Be Enough
October 6, 2017 | Lauren Galloway, 2017 AAPD Summer Intern
Thank you will never be enough
I remember the first week here I was on the phone with a friend from home, and after the normal hi, hello, how are yous I was bursting to communicate this amazing rush I had been feeling all week. Oddly enough, the rush didn’t come from anything most would consider monumental. The rush, the excitement, the power I was feeling came from simply existing; existing in a space with so many other badass, capable, disabled advocates. I can’t do the euphoria I felt justice in words, but taking on DC as a collective felt like the best kind of rebellion and there was so much power in it. Everyday society tells us in their pitiful glances, questioning tones, and brash discrimination that we are incapable simply because of our disabilities, but here we were, the gimp patrol as one of my fellow interns called us, navigating public transit, going to work, and exploring DC with not an able person among us. Imagine that! Such mundane actions may seem too inconsequential to get euphoric over, but they have unimaginable impact when you aren’t used to them.
I keep writing and rewriting and grasping for the right words, but nothing seems to be sufficient. Growing up in a small town in Illinois, I can count on one hand the number of disabled people I had regular contact with. I’m not used to walking around with a badass disability brigade, but let me tell you there’s nothing quite like it. Thank you AAPD a million times over for making THAT possible. Thank you
This summer I marched in solidarity and immersed myself in culture. This summer I experienced understanding without once having to ask or explain. This summer I felt pride in my people. I found mentors and role models and advocates who will fight alongside me for years to come, and all I can say is thank you.
Thank you AAPD for being a convener, connector, and catalyst. Thank you for bringing me to DC.
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Lauren Galloway is a 2017 AAPD Summer Intern placed with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).