As a young black man who uses a wheelchair, people always assume that I ended up here through means of my own - they think I was either shot or stabbed because, you know, there's no other reason I could be in a wheelchair. The actual reason I use a wheelchair is because I've been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a condition that affects the mobility of my legs.
The truth is, I don't mind being asked about how I ended up in a wheelchair. I just don't like the assumptions or the awkward stares.
What's important for me is to keep my independence, so when I'm out with my mates at a gig and that particular venue is accessible, I'll keep coming back to it - because a lot of the times they're not. Some venues I've been to, the only lift they had there was to carry rubbish.
I used to have handles on my chair, and one time this guy sort of grabs my chair and he's like "Oh, let me help you" and I know he was trying to be nice and everything, but it was very invasive. If someone looks like they genuinely need help, ask them: "Do you need help?"
One thing that tends to happen when I'm out and go to buy a drink, is the bartender will make always make an effort to serve me next. I find that quite nice because who doesn't like being served first?
Listening to music is therapeutic for me. So the more accessible venues become, the better.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read