Move to the back of the bus please. 

Rather than marking accessible seats on buses as “for people with disabilities/elderly” how about we label them as for people with limited mobility?  What’s the difference I hear you ask? Disability is a huge umbrella term covering a multitude of issues that affect the person’s ability to complete daily tasks over a long period of time. Not everyone with a disability identifies as disabled. And there are a lot of people who don’t fall under the term disabled who have limited mobility, for example someone with a fracture or other short term injury. “What does it matter?” “Why are you … Continue reading Move to the back of the bus please. 

Doing the Sums

Warning ⚠
I’m not feeling well at the moment so this isn’t a particularly fun post.

Like living with a chronic illness, this post is a result of a culmination of little things. Hearing a colleague describing a flare that had me off work for a couple of weeks last year as “he’s got a bit of a bad back” or a different colleague telling me that he was unable to put his socks on yesterday because he pulled his back. (I’m feeling a bit guilty about my reply that this is my standard setting and the reason that I wear “invisible socks” that only cover my toes and heels.)

Fine thanksThinking about it, it’s probably more a reflection on how well I disguise the true effects of Ankylosing Spondylitis. The medication and stiff upper lip together helps to show that having a disability doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re completely out of the race. But it takes its toll.

Ever wonder why I jokingly turn down social invites? Sure, part of it is that I’m actually quite antisocial (but I’ve learned how to fake interest for work purposes). And another part is that I’m an introvert working in an extrovert’s job (again, I’m a bloody good actor!).  Continue reading “Doing the Sums”

Body Beautiful

This is a post that I’ve tried to write three or four times over the last year. It’s a difficult one to cover as it’s opening up more than I usually do. This is not however a post asking for sympathy, just a way to explain a bit about some of the “invisible” effects of AS.

A couple of my friends have posted on Facebook about body image in the gay community. It’s one of the things that I don’t think gets talked about enough, actually men’s body image isn’t talked about in general. We talk about the impossibly high standards set for women (and we absolutely should, they’re often ridiculous) but men are kind of left out of the discussion. Continue reading “Body Beautiful”

Alphabet Soup

Last weekend was Pride weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne (where I live). A time to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of the LGBTQIA+ experience. To continue the fight towards equality and acceptance.

Over the last couple of months I seem to be experiencing a lot more discussions around sex, gender and sexuality. Recently I’ve read comments from a friend about the Asexual experience, spoken to colleagues about Trans and non-binary issues. A completely separate Facebook discussion around the extension of the LGBT acronym finally gave me a concrete jumping off point for this post.

There’s so much I want to say on this that Facebook comments and discussions just aren’t enough. (Plus, FB decided to reload the page while I was in the middle of a long reply and wiped the lot – so stuff you Facebook!) Continue reading “Alphabet Soup”

Only Human 

After the recent attacks in Manchester and London the Prime Minister has pulled out her dog whistle and is blowing as loud as she can about the Human Rights Act. Again. The idea of changing the law to make it easier to prosecute suspected terrorists is tempting. But when it’s introduced by a government that has been challenged multiple times on its human rights violations against the most vulnerable people in society, I worry.

Let’s look at the concept of human rights for a second. These are the basic rights that we as a society agree that ALL people are entitled to. By planning to deny basic human rights to anyone we are basically saying that a subsection of society aren’t going to be treated as human beings. In fact, the Human Rights Act covers a few basic precepts.

Continue reading “Only Human “