How Donald Trump's Insults Affect Me As a Woman With a Disability

Disability, race, weight, looks – lately we have heard insults being hurled with abandon. No, not from schoolyard bullies, not from the mean girl at work, not from the snarky “sort of” friend – but from Donald Trump, the possible future leader of our country. The possible role model to our children. The person potentially responsible for protecting our rights and freedoms without discrimination.

Maybe I am too sensitive. Maybe I shouldn’t let someone’s words affect me so greatly. But how can I not? I am offended and I am hurt.

I shouldn’t have to wonder what Donald Trump would think if he saw me walking down the street – an overweight woman sometimes walking with a limp, sometimes with a cane and often with messy hair and wearing pajama pants because I just couldn’t muster the energy to do much else. Would he think I was disgusting, or a lazy 300-lb. woman that sits behind my computer screen all day? Or, would he see me as a beautiful woman who has gained over 100 pounds because of my medical issues, a wife who’s husband adores her, a mother who struggles every day to take care of my toddler son through no fault of my own? Sadly, I think I know based on words from his own mouth that he would not think very highly of me.

I have generally held myself in pretty high esteem, and the words I have heard come out of Mr. Trump’s mouth have angered me more than hurt my self-esteem. But what about the young women who are already susceptible to self-esteem issues, the children with disabilities who deserve to be respected and protected? His words are disrespectful, they are uncalled for and I believe they show a lot about his character.

Many schools today have zero tolerance bullying policies – children can be suspended or expelled for bullying. But it is OK for a presidential candidate to bully? I don’t think so.

I know both candidates have their flaws. But this blatant disrespect for people who don’t meet his “standards” definitely needs to be a part of the discussion. A candidate for President is supposed to represent all of us, equally.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Disability

Boy with sign saying "No one should lie on a toilet floor!"

Fighting the 'Uphill Battle' for Larger Diaper Changing Tables in Public Restrooms

Thousands of disabled children and adults in the U.K. have continence issues, and as a result of their disabilities, cannot use a toilet at all or require a hoist in order to do so. My son Brody can’t use a toilet and is still in diapers. At 4 years old he is far too big [...]
Black and white photo featuring four different photos of the author - one in a ski outfit, one wearing a backpack, one wearing a camera around her neck, and one with a dog

What Does a Diagnosis 'Look Like'?

One of these women  has been learning to ski, one enjoys bush walks, one loves sharing her photography, and one likes to spend time with her animals… which is which? Pretty easy? One of these women is married, one is a teacher, one emigrated at the age of 19, and one set up and runs a charity… which [...]
painting of two people holding hands with title of story 19 wys to reduce the same and stigma that surrounds invisible disabilities

19 Ways to Reduce the Shame and Stigma That Surrounds Invisible Disabilities

Each year, people with invisible disabilities and their loved ones come together for Invisible Disabilities Week, a time to educate the general population about the challenges they face and the progress society still needs to make towards acceptance. It’s a time to break down the belief that people with invisible disabilities are “exaggerating” or “faking” their [...]
Karin in Washington, D.C. at age 17.

To the Mom Who Dreads Getting a Wheelchair for Her Child

I recently read your article about not feeling ready for your child to start using a wheelchair, and it brought back so many memories for me. I understand that many parents go through similar emotions when it’s time for their child’s first wheelchair. Mine did, too. But when I read your words, I was seeing [...]