(This posted when it wasn't supposed to ... it was to be scheduled for this morning. So it came on and then disappeared for awhile) I wrote this because I had trouble finding avatars who had disabilities or differences. Here in this animated film, the little bald guy says 'character' because he can't say 'avatar' ... isn't that weird. Hope you enjoy. The close captioning is horrible so the script is below.
Before we begin, I should tell you that I'm just an animated character. But you knew that already didn't you? I am here to speak the words written down on a script that's been written just over there
I was chosen to read the script after all the characters were looked through.
Every single one.
But none seemed to use wheelchairs.
None, not one, were fat.
Or even modestly plump.
So, I got picked to be here because I'm bald.
That makes me a little bit, a very little bit like the character who is missing. The one that uses a wheelchair. The one who is fat. The one who is gay around the edges.
This has happened before.
The other day I stopped at a store that sold those family decals that people have on the back of their car window
You know the ones. You can tell how many kids a couple has, or what kind of pets they have.
I think they are lovely. I wanted to get a set a set as a gift.
I have a friend who has a daughter, she’s six, who uses a wheelchair.
I looked through every decal in the store. There were lots, they had soccer kids and surfing kids, but they didn't have one, not even one, rolling kid.
It doesn't make sense to me. A wheel is so easy to draw. It would just be my face with spokes.
But I'm guessing that it isn't about how to draw a wheelchair, or a walker, or a guide dog. I guess it's about understanding why one should be drawn in the first place.
I had a friend who told me about a man she knew.
They met in a place called, “Second Life.”
“Second Life” is a virtual world where you can live another, better, life on line.
She told me that this man had cerebral palsy and he chose a character that was big, and strong, and handsome
She said that his choice proved that disability pride was a sham. That disabled people all long to be like everyone else.
I asked her if he could have picked a character that had cerebral palsy and who used a wheelchair.
And if he had chosen a character that was more like himself how much of 'second life' would be accessible to him. Are there cut curbs and grab bars in "second life"?
Or maybe was second life a bit too much like real life for people with disabilities. Maybe it was full of barriers and prejudices.
She said that I didn’t get her point.
I think she said that because she didn’t want to get mine.
I wonder if there is a big virtual institution where characters who are drawn a little different are sent.
The one’s where the pencil slipped.
Or the one’s the eraser refused to erase.
I wonder if they live in lead pencil wards.
I wonder other things too.
I wonder if the pencil that will one day draw difference has not yet been made.
I wonder if the artist with courageous hands has yet to be born.
Diversity is an idea.
It is more than a work that a keyboard types.
It is an action, not a slogan.
Diversity is the idea that will make the wheelchair that will allow me to sit, here, without my heart beating rapidly at the fear that at any moment I may lose my balance and fall.
I have no idea how long it will be before someone draws me the wheelchair that will make going home possible. Make my life accessible.
Until then I am confined to two to feet.
And two legs.
And they’ve given me running shoes.
What the hell am I supposed to do with those?