Factory Installed

My bodily differences are part of my dignity and humanity.

THERESA I. SOTO | 11/26/2018 | WINTER 2018

One way to describe my disability is as “lifelong,” but I slightly prefer “factory-installed.” That is, I’m built this way. I experience the UUA’s annual General Assembly and other large gatherings through that factory installation, as well as those of being brown-skinned and queer. I am all of these all the time. At GA, there’s a temporary community of Unitarian Universalists, connected by aspirations, values, and the will to transact the Association’s business. I find friends: from seminary, congregations, even new friends.

Sources estimate that 20 percent of any group is disabled. What may vary among people with disabilities is what role this feature plays in their lives. For me, being disabled is part of a larger politicized identity. When I try to attend events without cut-outs leaving space for my mobility scooter, I don’t just feel sad as though exclusion simply hurts my feelings. Rather, I understand that Unitarian Universalism sometimes defaults to a narrative that makes disabled people invisible and troublesome simultaneously. READ MORE HERE.

© 2013 abalcazar/istock


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