It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Activists, Wear Your Flair!

It all started when I went down to DC and attempted to lobby congress. I didn't get to lobby congress, cause we got there when the whole thing was over, but we ran into Yoshiko Dart on her way out and she gave us each a leftover Community NOW button. I somewhat absentmindedly stuck it on my purse as I didn't know what else to do with it and didn't want to lose it. It's cool. It's also impossible to read what any of those buttons say over on the right, so it is the yellow one and it says Community First Choice Option on the top, CLASS Act on the bottom (both smallish) and Community NOW pretty big in the middle.

The next 2 buttons (well, a button and a pin) came in the mail maybe 3 weeks ago. A friend got them for me in Atlanta. The pin is a small orange ribbon symbolizing CCA awareness and the button is white and says NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US with the ADAPT free our people dude. The pin is between/above those 2 buttons. I got those and stuffed them in this backpack/purse thing I use, not knowing what to do with them.

Lastly, at the ASAN protest I got a black pin with a rainbow brain that says honor neurodiversity. I was wearing it throughout the protest and would have also worn NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US if I'd known we'd be chanting it. I'd had it with me, but it was in the car...

So then I was like I have all these buttons (somewhere I also have an orange rectangle COMMUNITY CHOICE ACT NOW button I have to find) what in the world am I supposed to do with them? A close friend has all of hers around the brim of a hat, this guy I refer to as Kansas Larry had them all over a vest when I met him at the action last April. NAH. Not for me. But you see I already had this one purse with a button on it. Why not add the rest to flair it up? [confused what flair is? watch the movie office space]

Guess what? 2 times in a week someone has asked me about my buttons. Initiated conversations without me having to feel like I'm getting in their face. #1 I was leaving a Halloween party last Saturday (after just having flaired it up) and as I was putting my coat on someone saw my buttons all over out of the corner of her eye. She couldn't even see what was on them, but "I see you have all these buttons. Are you an activist?" Unfortunately I was running to catch a paratransit ride I would have missed had I really gotten a chance to chat with her.

Then today I passed through Barnes and Nobel. A friend's birthday is on Friday (Yes, Friday the 13th) and suddenly I had an AH HA moment about what to get her. An employee asked me if she could help me find anything. I didn't need help as I got her something I already have so I knew where it was, and didn't notice she continued to look at me. "I'm Sorry," she said. "I was just looking at your buttons." I moved my purse so she could get a better view. "I really like the honor neurodiversity one." In my head I wondered what her story is. Who has ever heard of neurodiversity? But I decided not to pry into her business and answered "I got it last weekend at a protest. I went to DC with a bunch of people who are on the autism spectrum to protest Autism Speaks." That always gets people's attention. Say you were protesting Autism Speaks and you look like the bad guy. Say autistic people were protesting autism speaks and you get a puzzled look and a probe for more information. I explained two of the points and let her get back to work.

So activists, WEAR YOUR FLAIR! Wear it everywhere you go, like it was an afterthought, and maybe you forgot it was there. Don't try to bring attention to it or you'll look obnoxious. Maybe it's inappropriate to have flair around at work, maybe it's not, but there's no excuse to leave your flair behind when you go out to dinner, the movies, or to run simple errands. Guys, don't have a man bag? A jacket perhaps? Activists are always looking to educate and it's just that easy.


Scott Nance said...

Cannot wait to show off my flair on the national stage in April! Yay flair!

real estate agent said...

Hi. Interesting reading. It seems you do it with passion. It reminds me old times. I used to collect all kinds of buttons and of course that I was wearing most of them. As you mentioned the most funny thing was that signs on some of them were so small that it was almost impossible to read them.

Good luck,

Cheryl said...

Scott, you know I <3 you.

Julie, thanks for visiting!

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