“Nothing About Us Without Us” – notes on Disability Pride

I inadvertently picked up on a kind of disability code that was common then: minimize the impact, hide it, sweep it aside as a mere personal detail – and get on with your life. This, I see now, was the opposite of disability pride.

Ben Mattlin

It is July 2023, and it’s Disability Pride month. As an ally, and a caregiver, and a person with my own disabilities I know that there are nuances to what pride means to the disabled community; but the word “disability” is an intentionally broad and inclusive term for us to gather under.

Disability Pride is about breaking down the shame and stigma that still abound in our homes, communities and at work. It is about being seen, it is about speaking up, it is for challenging institutional biases. It is a movement of porting conversations, and policies, and law, and architecture to recognize that we all contribute uniquely, that we engage and communicate uniquely, that we access things differently.

As an ally, I want to encourage you to recognize how different a view of the world is for someone who is disabled. Perspective is gained by engaging, by listening, and by learning. It’s a journey that I’m on too and I’m asking you to share it with me.

Learn more. Here are some book and film references (sorted by year of publication):

Connect. Here are some social media accounts to follow (sorted alphabetically by first name) – there are many accounts to follow but this will get you started:

  • Aaron Rose Philip – modelinstagram
  • Abby Sams – adaptive athlete, modelinstagram
  • Ali Stroker – actor, Tony Award (Oklahoma!) instagram
  • Alice Wong – authortwitter
  • Andrew Pulrang – Forbes contributor, writer twitter, linkedin, substack
  • Ayanna Pressley – US Representative, Massachusetts (D)
  • Chelsea Bear – instagram
  • Christine Miserandino – author, “The Spoon Theory” twitter
  • Gaylyn Henderson – Aerie model instagram
  • Jillian Mercado – latinx modelinstagram
  • Jim LeBrecht – filmmaker, Oscar nominee (Crip Camp) instagram, twitter
  • Kim E. Nielsen – professor, author – linkedin
  • Lily D Moore – actortwitter, instagram
  • Melissa Blake – activist, blogger, authorinstagram, twitter
  • Rebecca Cokley – activist, author twitter, medium
  • Ryan O’Connell – author/star of Netflix “Special”instagram
  • Serge Kovaleski – New York Times reporter twitter
  • Shane Burcaw – author, model YouTube
  • Steph Roach – instagram
  • Tammy Duckworth – US Senator, Illinois (D)
  • Zach Anner – YouTube

A Utah Reading List

Thanks to a post from Utah Parents United (who I will affectionately reference as Q-UTiP), we now have access to a fantastic reading list on books about marginalized and oppressed identities, particularly books dealing with race and LGBT issues.

Books on this list are Teacher’s Picks, finalists and winners of awards for National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, Stonewall Book Award, and the Pura Belpré Award. Many of these books are on the New York Times bestseller list. Several have been adapted to film.

DONATE BOOKS HERE: I’m providing a link to the Q-UTiP Banned Books list on amazon.com, where you can purchase any of these books for distribution to Little Free Libraries in our community, and to any 501(c)3 organizations based in Utah that are willing to accept book donations.

BUY YOUR OWN BOOKS HERE: You can peruse the list of Q-UTiP’s “banned” books below, sorted alphabetically by title. The links in the table go to the amazon.com page where you can purchase the book for yourself, if desired.

Title / Link to amazon.comAuthor
33 SnowfishAdam Rapp
A Court of Mist and FurySarah J. Maas
All Boys Aren’t BlueGeorge M. Johnson
Almost PerfectBrian Katcher
Beyond MagentaSusan Kuklin
Call Me By Your NameAndre Aciman
City of Heavenly FireCassandra Clare
Clockwork PrincessCassandra Clare
CrankEllen Hopkins
Deogratias: A Tale of RwandaJ.P. Stassen
Drama: A Graphic NovelRaina Telgemeier
Dreaming in CubanChristina Garcia
Dumplin’Julie Murphy
Eleanor & ParkRainbow Rowell
Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseJonathan Foer
Forever for a YearB.T. Gottfred
Gender Queer: A MemoirMaia Kobabe
GeorgeAlex Gino
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican DaughterErika L Sanchez
It’s Perfectly NormalRobie H. Harris
Juliet Takes a BreathGabby Rivera
l8r, g8rLauren Myracle
Lawn BoyJonathan Evison
Leah on the OffbeatBecky Albertall
LolitaVladimir Nobokov
Looking for AlaskaJohn Green
Love is LoveIDW Publishing
Marriage of a  Thousand LiesSJ Sindu
Me and Earl and the Dying GirlJesse Andrews
Monday’s Not ComingTiffany D. Jackson
My Friend DahmerDerf Backderf
Nineteen MinutesJodi Picoult
Not Otherwise SpecifiedHannah Moskowitz
Out of DarknessAshley Hope Perez
Perfectly Good White BoyCarrie Mesrobian
Perks of Being a WallflowerStephen Chbosky
Rainbow HighAlex Sanchez
Real Live BoyfriendsE. Lockhart
SOLDPatricia McCormick
SpeakLaurie Halse Anderson
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman Alexie
The Art of Racing in the RainGarth Stein
The Bluest EyeToni Morrison
The Carnival at BrayJessie Ann Foley
The Handmaid’s TaleMargaret Atwood
The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful BoyB.T. Gottfred
The Hate U GiveAngie Thomas
The House on Mango StreetSandra Cisneros
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueV.E. Schwab
The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner Graphic NovelKhaled Hosseini
The Music of What HappensBill Konigsberg
The Poet XElizabeth Acevedo
The Truth About AliceJennifer Mathieu
Thirteen Reasons WhyJay Asher
Two Boys KissingDavid Levithan


MMM-Peach-Mint® Iced Tea

A suggested govern-mint concoction that combines bitter tears and sour lemons with the sweet, sweet satisfying taste of Mmm-Peach-Mint® Iced Tea. Share at your next partisan political soiree – namely the upcoming Senate trial.


  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 181-197 tears of partisan republicans
  • 2 right-wing tea bags
  • 1 can of white house swamp peaches, not drained
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar to help all that medicine go down
  • cold, cold ice

Using a wooden spoon, crush the mint just like you crushed their objections and stalling tactics into a glass pitcher. Add tears and tea bags; cover and let stand in the sun for at least 6 hours of debate.

Meanwhile, combine those swamp peaches, sour lemons and sugar in a blender. Keep it chill, yo.

Remove and discard mint from tea. Stir in peach mixture. Pour over the cold, cold ice your democratic peers just delivered.

Mmm-Peach-Mint tea should be savored. Take your time to relax and fully enjoy it when you knock that drink down.

Of course, if you’re sitting across the aisle and looking for a stronger drink, then consider my recipe for the salt-rimmed Ermahgerdarita®.