The Body of Identity
The body offers deep truths all its own. Different truths, truths of difference.
—STEPHEN KUUSISTO AND RALPH JAMES SAVARESE
I have a disability, one that others aren’t always able to see. Recently I mentioned this disability to a new friend. She leaned toward me and said, in a half-whisper, “Well, don’t worry, I would never have been able to tell.”
I realized this person felt she was being kind. But there are painful assumptions loaded into this comment, one that I’ve heard versions of many times before: my diagnosis is one that I should want to keep hidden. I should feel reassured and flattered that it doesn’t “show.” What about those times when I cannot hide? How should I feel about myself had she noticed?
I began, in ...