CrazyLegs Episode 8 pt 1: I got yelled at for saying “F*ck You” on Twitter
So this is a special edition of my CrazyLegs series in that, it isn’t necessarily a recount of a situation of dating while disabled…
But I think it needs to be addressed… in multiple parts because what I wrote is
L O N G G G G G G G G G G G
First of all, let me humble brag about one of my former campers now over all badass, Brenna Huckaby who is 2018’s ESPY winner for best female athlete with a disability.
Anywho, something else also happened at last week’s ESPY award:
A picture of courage.
These 141 women on stage tonight are representatives for all the survivors who spoke out about the abuses they endured by their team doctor. pic.twitter.com/HT4hsaZNuk
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2018
AND I GOT MAD ALL OVER AGAIN! If this doesn’t still cause your skin to crawl; I think you should really take a long hard sit to look at the situations we put children, women, and people with disabilities in before we brush it off as yesterdays news. We perpetuate these things to happen simply because we tell people who are smaller, younger, weaker, and different than us to be quiet. To take what we are given. That someone always knows better/is smarter/stronger/whatever. We put people in danger because we raise them and tell them to accept the status quo at face value. We don’t encourage curiosity or for children to ever question adults; something that predators take advantage of regularly. Only in 2018, when Larry Nassar was finally sentenced, do we see the way in which the judge sentenced this monster being met with criticism.
Wanna how how I felt?
I try daily to work on compassion and empathy.
With that being said, if you feel the judge who sentenced Larry Nasser with bluntness and emotion as “being mean,” then frankly, fuck you.
— Lacey Jai Henderson (@lacesyourfriend) January 25, 2018
IMMEDIATELY I received a text message from a professional colleague with whom I do work together in a speakers circuit that acknowledged the intensity of this particular event. He then strongly suggested I immediately take down that tweet as it could deter companies from wanting speeches/collaborating with me in the future. Oh, and also that “kind of language doesn’t make for a good positive influence on children,” our future leaders.
Okay. I fully understand there are other words to use to express my emotions. I agree the F-bomb is usually a heavy hitter that I save only for people who know me well. (I’m Italian and my grandmother swore like a sailor, I swear it’s genetic but I can clean it up when needed.)
I intentionally chose this sentence and chose to keep it up for a few reasons:
- I only thanked this acquaintance for his opinion but kept the tweet because it was clear that the dude is literally PROVING MY POINT about women/minorities/children/persons who are different being told to BE QUIET. That if they are to be upset, they should do it quietly and privately. That regarding a huge injustice is something where we shouldn’t be emotional; especially if it was at the cost of minorities or people who are different than us. What kind of message (or lack thereof) does this *actually* teach children?
- If kids have any access to the outside world they are inundated with sex scandals, abuse, school shootings, celebrity suicide, literally bombarded with profound sadness. I feel right now, they are given NO TOOLS how to sort it all out in their heads or in their hearts. In my humble opinion, trying to hide outrage or not encourage someone to be emotional over a literal tragedy does more damage than any F-word could do.
- When we continue to dismiss, or avoid acknowledging our collective pain; when do we reach the point where we make change to prevent these things from happening again? Playing nice rarely results in significant change.
- Frankly, if that tweet is a reason for a company to decide against a partnership with me and my brand; I don’t think it would be a good fit to begin with. There is so much smoke and mirrors blown around in the world of social media and athletes being told to “stay in their lane” when they care about topics that affect people. That’s not what I’m about, and that has never been my intention. I stand for doing the things that are right to you, in the realest way you can and know how. To swim against the stream in case that’s where your goals are. And finally to represent people with disabilities as what they are first and foremost; people. So nah, I don’t think it would have worked out either.
*So sidenote, I wrote a blog a WHILE back now when I was working with someone to help expand my brand. He suggested I talk about the #MeToo movement, but approach it in a “provocative way.”
To challenge it, or to say somehow that I disagree with it (and I’ll break it up into sections and post them because what I got was good stuff IMO) however, it felt wrong to approach #MeToo in any way that wasn’t supportive and inclusive. That’s why it’s lived in my drafts for months…
I do support #MeToo and rather than challenge the movement I challenge us. Collectively.
We have got to stop playing nice, to being quiet to injustice. To going along with the status quo, when in our heart of hearts we know it’s wrong. When someone tells us to be quiet after expressing anger, sadness, or pain after a tragic event or if they are directly abusing us; then we need to be able to turn around and tell them,
And then continue making the world better than how it was given to us.
Here is a taste of the first part of my original blog about #MeToo:
So as my CrazyLegs agenda continues to grow, I receive a TON of good (and some not so great) content to work with. The idea that “disability” isn’t *actually* a dirty word when it comes to social status, dating, and everyday life is (shockingly) a revelatory concept in the mainstream world.
A friend sent me a podcast a while ago to check out, this episode is called, “Dating While Brian.” Brian is a smarty pants with a stable job from his master’s degree that also has lived with pretty sever Muscular Dystrophy his entire life. He is interviewed by a friend about some of the social “wtf-ery” he has ran into while being a man with a significant physical disability.
Brian had some memorable quotes during this interview, fasho.
Of course, there were some quintessential CrazyLegs shockers:
“Is that my leg or my dick”
(BRO BRIAN IS A SAVAAAGE)
But then, my dude is very comfortable going from small to medium talk in regards to people’s response to his very visible disability. He went to Vegas with friends and had a lot of first-time experiences and had his own opinions on to the response from his very active Vegas participation.
“People are always interested in the guy in the wheelchair that’s going against the norms. So you know, it has its benefits: in addition to handicapped parking.”
This particular statement struck me for a few reasons… not just because we really do love our parking perks BUT because what are the “norms?” in regards to people living with different abilities? Is it not normal to be a healthy adult, enjoying a good time with friends and feeling good about ourselves and our bodies? Why is that such a radical example of going against the grain for someone who uses a wheelchair? WHY WHY WHY
Check back next week for Part 2…
(where I tie my potty mouth and this podcast together)