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Podcast: Everything You Know About Disability is Wrong
Episode: Episode 6
Welcome to Everything You Know About Disability is Wrong, a podcast by disabled people for disabled people. But, if you're not disabled, stick around! You might learn something new.
In today’s episode, our hosts Erin and Lily are joined by Vilissa Thompson, a disability rights consultant, activist, and social worker. She is also the Founder of RampYourVoice, an organization that promotes empowerment, education, inclusion and self advocacy for disabled people. Today’s episode is extra special because it is the last episode of the show’s first season all about dating and relationships and it will air in July during Disability Pride Month!
Erin and Lily begin today’s episode with their “Ask Us Anything” segment. Don’t miss their advice on when to meet up with someone when starting an online relationship! It is important to remember that there is so much more to be shared with someone in person than you could ever do just by talking online. Shifting gears, Vilissa shares her own experience navigating the dating world as an activist and social worker. She often notices people’s lack of communication. This is something she is quick to call out and end a relationship over if no improvements are made. At this point in her life as an activist and black woman, she does not want to feel like the teacher in her friendships and relationships. While she can absolutely be supportive and understanding, she never wants to feel like someone’s parent. Without setting boundaries, she has found that it can be easy to accidentally fall into this role with a partner. Everyone should feel able to care for our own selves without overwhelming our support system. Not being able to do this welcomes resentment within our relationships.
Next, they unpack the idea of “settling” into a relationship. Vilissa believes that we should not compromise on whatever it is that we desire, as long as it isn’t harmful. We should all believe that we will find someone who values us for our whole selves. Being accepted by someone for who you are is the bar minimum, not something which should be held on a pedestal. There is a big difference between settling and choosing comfort. In light of Vilissa’s article discussing the reason she has chosen to be childless, she offers her thoughts on family planning. Her choice not to have children has nothing to do with her disability. It is okay for us to constantly be evaluating what we want our lives to look like and not make decisions only to please others. Vilissa loves children and is an advocate for them, but she knows that she doesn’t want to have children of her own. IN closing, Vilissa shares that, to her, disability pride means being joyful.
- 0:52 - Introducing today’s episode and guest.
- 2:05 - The “Ask Us Anything” segment.
- 6:19 - Vilissa’s experience dating as an activist and social worker.
- 9:15 - The importance of setting boundaries in our relationship.
- 18:10 - How to avoid “settling” in relationships.
- 27:23 - Vilissa’s thoughts on family planning.
- 37:22 - What does disability pride mean to Vilissa?