A year ago tomorrow, on April 10, I blatantly said in the news (@7news: https://whdh.com/news/boston-resident-who-contracted-covid-19-says-shes-been-battling-symptoms-for-almost-a-month/amp/) that I was on 1 month of symptoms and not recovered. I had been sharing my fight on social media for 1 month at that point.
As a result, I’m routinely asked why I started advocating about #covid on IG, and it’s time to address:
I’ve had friends mute/unfollow because of my advocacy, and while I’m grateful for their making it easy to see who deserves my friendship and who doesn’t, it’s disconcerting that many simply don’t get it.
For privileged souls, advocacy only matters if it’s done in high-profile ways. @oprah interviews? “Real” advocacy they think. Protesting in front of the @whitehouse? “Ground-breaking” advocacy.
But what they fail to acknowledge is the privilege required to advocate in such ways.
The connections and wealth required (#classism). The race and gender requirements (#racism and #sexism). The physical and mental health requirements (#ableism).
The structures put in place by #capitalism that make it challenging for anyone who has a need to advocate to do so. And when that need can save lives or benefit society, these barriers to entry are barriers to all.
So why did I take to IG to advocate? Because I’m #disabled due to Covid. Because I didn’t have the luxury of an able body to have my voice heard in any other way.
And why did my advocacy do anything? Because I’m white. Because I’m educated (#wealth). Because I formed connections with others like me with privilege.
And that’s the problem.
That’s why I stress the power of online advocacy. Of elevating voices online, and especially of those less privileged. That’s the whole point of #elevatemelanatedvoices and sharing advocacy posts of others less privileged than you, whether due to race, disability, gender, or any other beautiful difference amongst us.
And that’s why I begged others to share my posts. As a disabled person. I wanted to encourage others through my voice to use their voice, to utilize this “for the people by the people” platform that is social media.
No reqs: just heart & truth.