It is a strange time to be alive as an Asian American disabled person who uses a ventilator. The coronavirus pandemic in the United States has disrupted and destabilized individual lives and institutions. For many disabled, sick, and immunocompromised people like myself, we have always lived with uncertainty and are skilled in adapting to hostile circumstances in a world that was never designed for us in the first place. Want to avoid touching door handles by hitting the automatic door opener with your elbow? You can thank the Americans with Disabilities Act and the disabled people who made it happen.
Technology, accessibility, and a hardcore will to live shaped me into a cyborg oracle ready to spill some hot truths. I am tethered to and embedded with a number of things that keep me alive: a power wheelchair, a non-invasive ventilator that is connected to my chair’s battery, a mask that goes over my nose attached to a tube, metal rods fused to my spine. How I sound, move, and look elicits pity and discomfort by many in public. This... see more