I apologise, sometimes, when I'm on the road, I get days mixed up. Today, not yesterday, is Remembrance Day, I wrote my post a day early. Yesterday, I stopped at eleven for a moments silence - said a quick prayer, and then spent the rest of the day paying particularly close attention to my freedom. It ended up, because of those things, a pretty good with moments of completely profound realizations. A day in remembrance is a day spent realizing that freedom really isn't another way to say "nothing left to lose." Freedom is a hell of a lot to lose.
Even sitting here, writing this blog, expressing opinions that sometimes, maybe even often, run counter to mainstream messages about disability. My freedom to speak, to protest, to say things that I want to say, how I want to say them, using words that I chose without fear of reprisals. Remarkable. The words are typed in black but they were won with red.
Knowing the participation in both wars of people with disabilities and of gay people, allows me the honour of remembering through living fully, living freely, and living openly the contributions they made.
I wonder if those gay soldiers, hiding who they were in fear of their own troops - held hope in their hearts for a day when those hearts would be free? I wonder if the idea of their own freedom, their personal freedom to be, was so far from being conceived that they could only have the vaguest of thoughts .... of two men, in Boston, spending a day being together, openly, a couple.
I wonder if those with disabilities who served could imagine where access would become part of the agenda of a community of advocates with disabilities. I wonder if they could have imagined that the hall I went into today would have, tucked onto it's side, a ramp, with a door that opened automatically? \I wonder if they could imagine the room that I'm staying in, with adaptions that make travel possible, make contribution possible, make a lovely Sunday afternoon possible?
For me, the Remembrance Day that wasn't is now just a prelude to the Remembrance Day that is. I get another day of thoughtful realization that I'm free. Another day to remember, that everything we do, is underlined in red.