A person with a disability chose a career to become an icon to people without disabilities, as he felt no one was hiring him for what he wanted to do because of discrimination, and he needed to support himself. He was paid to re-enforce the disability stereotypes of being heroic, triumphant, and inspirational. He was giving people what they wanted to hear – not what he believed. People believed he had it all because of his onstage persona and inspirational stories. Behind the scenes, he became a very bitter and lonely person and knew he was living a lie. He was not true to himself nor did he “walk the talk”. He became a teller of tales rather than truths. The only time he felt happy was when he was performing. The more he presented this persona, the more he hated people without disabilities. He regarded every “performance” as a way to get one over the able-bodied. He could make his audience do anything with the right word, story or look. This person had seemed to reach a point of despair where he was unable to give anyone without a disability a chance to show support and goodwill.
No person with a disability should feel forced to exploit themselves to perpetuate a myth in order to make a living, and at the expense of compromising their values, and losing their social and emotional well-being.