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Rooted in Rights

Recent Posts

We Need to Break Through the Silence on Abuses of Institutionalized Children

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Content note: this post discusses psychiatric hospitalization and sexual abuse. When I was thirteen years old, I was sexually abused by a staff member in a psychiatric hospital. The first time she abused me, she took me into the examination room for a routine strip-search. She stripped me of my clothes, threw a tissue box

Before You Offer Unsolicited Mental Health Advice on Social Media, Read This.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

If you have a mental illness and you talk about it on the internet, someone is bound to respond almost immediately with unsolicited advice. Have you tried medication? Have you tried not taking medication? Meditation? Crystals? Yoga? A fad diet? “Cure evangelism” is a popular occupation on the internet, with adherents convinced that they have

If You’re Writing About Disability, You Need to Read These Guidelines

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Sometimes I imagine what the media’s typical coverage of disability might say if it was written about me—covering the two proms I went to with my girlfriend in high school, celebrating my ability to graduate from college after almost failing the second grade and spending most of my childhood in physical and occupational therapy, or

How Do We Bring Social Justice to Special Education? With Love.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

“What’s the Matter?” [Child sobbing under his desk] “They said I killed the worms, but I swear I didn’t kill the worms!” “Don’t worry, I believe you.” “[Sniff] But they’re gonna tell the principal that I killed the worms!” “That’s ok, because I will personally tell the principal that you did not kill the worms.”

My Son’s Disability Taught Me to Be Proud of My Own Disability

Monday, July 2, 2018

When I was born, the doctors told my parents I was blind. That was the first line of my college application essay and the narrative starting point of my life. My parents took me to the doctor because my eyes were moving and jiggling, much more than most babies eyes do. They diagnosed me with

Asexual Disabled People Exist, But Don’t Make Assumptions About Us

Thursday, June 28, 2018

“How do you have sex?” “Are you even interested in dating?” “Do you have any feeling ‘down there’?” These are common questions that people with a range of disabilities, from Down syndrome to autism to paraplegia to cerebral palsy, will often hear from other people. Disabled people are often assumed to be nonsexual on the

It’s Time for LGBQTIA+ Communities to Celebrate Disabled People

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

LGBQTIA+ spaces are supposed to be environments where we can be our true, authentic selves without stress. Where we can revel in being surrounded by our people, feeling safe and at home; places of queer joy, shared rage and frustration, commiseration, co-conspiracy. But for many multiply marginalized LGBQTIA+ people, that’s not the case. Instead, these

Stop Telling Chronic Pain Patients That We Should Just Accept Our Pain

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The “pain acceptance” movement has begun to gain traction in the wake of deaths from the opioid epidemic—at its most basic, pain acceptance counsels that people in chronic pain should accept that they will always be in some level of pain, and that they should learn to live with it. The theory has netted high-profile

How Can I Feel Proud When LGBTQIA+ Pride Events Exclude Me?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It’s June, which means it’s Pride season! My queer little heart will always get excited about this time of year, but it’s also painful. It’s been a long time since I have participated in a Pride celebration. I’ve identified as queer and/or bisexual for as long as I can remember, with the associated high school