Friday, February 15, 2019

When is Our "Moment"?

If able-bodied agents and editors are waiting in their inaccessible towers for disabled and neurodivergent writers to have our "mainstream moment" in the industry, it will never come.  Because they don't care about our accomplishments or see our triumphs now.  Because our talent means nothing to them without an arbitrary form of relevance they help foster.  It's like someone who is self-employed waiting with growing irritation for their workday to begin.

If our "moment" rolls in with the help of able-bodied publishers, what will it look like?  Inspiration porn derived from our successes?  Scraps of pity from their feast?  Our stories are already (often) twisted for mainstream consumption.  Will those involved center us, or just use us?

Anticipating an inciting incident for a rise in criplit smacks of a fad.  Our stories are merely a trend to chase—vampire erotica will wax and wane alongside heroines on crutches.  And, when the "moment" arrives, it will be full of able-bodied/neurotypical writers flooding the market with crippled characters in two-dimensional glory.  Our lives reduced to cardboard and forever "othered".

No group of people is ever a fad.  We are not frivolous plot points.  We are not the latest fashion you can discard in a dresser next season!

Just because "the mainstream" thinks we haven't had our moment, doesn't mean we aren't relevant.  We are the world's largest minority.  We have famous writers and artists permeating our history.  We have writers crushing the hell out of things right now!  Our successes are not anomalies and not confined to a tiny capsule of days.

Mainstream media will tell you we haven't had our moment yet and they're correct—we will never settle for such a short period of time.  We own the future.

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