A Visual Recap: Invisible Identities – A Conversation on Diabetes and Disability
On Saturday, June 22nd, I hosted, “Invisible Identities: A Conversation on Diabetes and Disability”. Though there were moments I was unsure the event would happen, it did–and the outcome was beyond magical. The room was filled with attendees who traveled as far as Boston, the DMV, Philadelphia and Connecticut.
The event would not have been possible without the sponsorship of GlucoseZone, and the generosity of Black Gotham Studio, who housed us for the day. Special thanks also to MySugr and the Mighty who helped us spread the word. And of course, to the brilliant panelists: Elise Cossart-Daly, Esther Clovis, Amina Gyau, Tonya Hegamin, and Cynthia Munoz, whose presence and contributions were invaluable and added so much to the day.
Those present had the opportunity to connect and cultivate new friendships . Attendees were reminded to approach the conversation with curiosity, to recognize that not everyone identifies with the term disabled or has a positive association with the label, and were encouraged to help cultivate a respectful space to explore some of that tension.
The discussion touched on how for many of us, unless we experience some challenge or complication related to our diabetes, diabetes can be a hidden component of ourselves. We revealed the social/cultural factors that contributed to one’s willingness or reluctance to publicly identify as someone with diabetes, and the stigma and stereotypes that are attached to a disability label. We dove into the disservice we sometimes cause ourselves when we refuse to embrace life with a disability, and how legally, our status as people with diabetes affords us certain rights at work, school and other public spaces. To hear more of what we discussed, please feel free to check out the Facebook live recording on the Just a Little Suga page.
As folks say, when we know better, we do better. It is my hope that those in attendance become better advocates and more aware of the protections and accommodations they are afforded as people living with diabetes.
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