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To Meryl Streep, From a Young Woman With a Disability

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Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech left me in tears. It isn’t very often that people with disabilities are showcased, or even included in, activism or advocacy. To have such an amazing actress use her huge platform to stand up for those with less privilege was so powerful.

I know there are lots of amazing people and organizations who work really hard to advocate for people with disabilities, but the activism community as a group often doesn’t acknowledge disabilities in the context of oppression. People with disabilities, both physical and mental, are still widely discriminated against and often targeted as victims of crimes or bullying. People with disabilities make up nearly 20 percent of the US population, and we’re the largest minority in the world. It’s also the only minority group anyone can become a part of at any time. With such a large, diverse group, it’s baffling that we get overlooked so often.

So to Meryl Streep, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for using your privilege to fight for those who are vulnerable. Thank you for showing a disabled young woman that you are ready and willing to fight for her and anyone else who can’t fight for themselves.

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Originally published: January 9, 2017
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