As a disabled woman, this is what I have to lose if Donald Trump becomes president.

'In your America, I will have three strikes against me.'

Dear Donald,

As the Republican nominee for president, you’ve made a lot of people angry — including the disabled community.

Last November, you openly mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski and then later denied it. That was enough to potentially lose hundreds — maybe even thousands of voters, but you didn’t stop there.


Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

You’ve continued to degrade people with disabilities throughout your campaign — and went as far as to ask a crowd of African Americans, “What the hell do you have to lose?” at one of your rallies this past August.

Even though you were specifically addressing that community, I started thinking. As a disabled woman I have a lot to lose too, If you become president.

As a woman with a disability, I'm afraid of what your presidency could mean for me. Even now, I have to work harder to prove myself.

I especially have to work harder as a writer and journalist. It’s a job that has a very high glass ceiling. I’m proud to say I’ve broken through, but I'm still chipping away at some layers. The fact I’m disabled makes it difficult because there’s added pressure to do well every time I write.

But Donald, you’ve made the mountain I climb even steeper with your comments about the disabled and, more recently, your comments about women.

Even now, many aspects of my life have already been compromised and are out of my control.

I don’t want to lose what control I do have — and having that little bit of power makes me feel like I can conquer anything that’s put in front of me. I’m proud to say I am finding my own way in life.

But in “Donald Trump’s America,” women are nothing more than puppets, and disabled folks are especially vulnerable to harassment because you’ve made it seem like all of this is acceptable.

Image via iStock.

If you win on Nov. 8, I have a lot to lose.

I was raised to be strong, but I think my disability has inadvertently made me stronger. My biggest fear is that everything I’ve worked for and built for myself will completely crumble. I keep telling myself, "If I lose my dignity as a disabled woman, he’ll win no matter what." I don’t think I’ll be able to look at myself if that ever happens.

For me, there’s also much more on the line than self pride, though. If America has four years of a Trump presidency ahead, empathy could be a thing of the past. I could just be seen as “a girl in a wheelchair” — the very thing I’ve tried my entire life not to dwell on or call attention to.

In your America, I will have three strikes against me.

I’m a woman who also happens to be a journalist who also has a disability. And Donald, I’ve worked too hard to let a sea of questionable headlines about your candidacy and ethics ruin my life.

Does America really want this kind of uncertainty for the next four years? Do we really deserve this? As President Obama has said numerous times during this election season, “Don’t boo. Vote!”

So, Donald, I'll be voting next week, and it won't be for you.

If you need another look at what I have to lose, I think this commercial featuring Judy Kohn, the mother of a disabled son, will put everything in perspective — period.

More
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's