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The Paralympics

So, I have just finished watching the Paralympics closing ceremony... and I am all INSPIRED and ENTHUSIASTIC about humanity now and I want to go out and shake people and go "YOU ARE AMAZING, WE ARE ALL AMAZING, LET'S GO AND BE AMAZING TOGETHER!" Because, seriously, these past two weeks (two months, to be honest) have been absolutely BRILLIANT.

As most of you probably know by now, and if you don't know I have no idea where you've been looking, I have Asperger's syndrome - which means that I am official disabled person (I have a letter from student loans and everything~). And, you know, you sort of get used to it after a while: but that doesn't change the absurd amount of discrimination you have to put up with every single day when you have even the slightest disability. You have the obvious bigots, of course, the ones who sneer slurs and are generally unpleasant to everybody who isn't exactly like them. But then you have the slightly more restrained ones, who don't exactly spit slurs but still look at you with general suspicion and seem to be waiting for you to slip up and 'prove' that you're actually just a big cheat and not disabled at all. But then, even worse than either of the first two, you also have the people who are perfectly decent otherwise: the ones who treat you normally right up until the point you reveal/show you're disabled, and then start talking slower and calling you a 'poor dear' and generally treating you like an idiot until you just want to shake them and scream.

...But, an overabundance of 'buts' but (heh) do bear with me, these past weeks haven't been like that at all. For once the eyes of the world have been focused on disabled people, for once there haven't been overwhelming voices telling us that we can't get anywhere, for once nobody has been obsessed with what we can't do instead of what we can. Heroes have been made out of disabled people, just like me. Medals have been celebrated even more passionately than they were at the olympics. Disabled people have danced into the limelight and shined instead of being forced into the shadows to lurk. It has been brilliant and inspiring and so, so good.

And, you know, the closing ceremony has given me hope that it won't just be a one off. I'm getting emotional just writing this: but I hope that this paralympics, the first fully broadcast one in the UK at least, will actually change the world instead of just altering it briefly. That disabled kids will see that they can do anything they want to, that non-disabled kids will see that those disabled kids deserve exactly the same chances as them, that everybody will see that the world needs to change and will work to make it better as quickly as possible.

In these past few weeks I've seen a vision of a world largely without prejudice, a vision of a world not determined to tell me that I'm nothing at every single opportunity. And, you know what? I think that we've just taken a big stride towards it, and that we're never going to look back after this.

(...Heh, this was actually supposed to be a quick and funny post about suddenly shipping athletes like a slightly rabid dog. Sorry for the feels, guys, maybe I'll end up discussing Pistorius/Bolt and Daley/Ainslie in another post. <<)