crip lineage, Crip Futures

by Stacy Milbern

"I grew up evangelical Christian in the American South. I was all in... My parents took me to every healing service in the Carolinas (there are televangelist Benny Hinn videos with me on them). I taught Sunday school, and I was totally the nerd organizing prayer events at school. It really impacted my sense of self to hear that I was broken and unlovable by God because I was disabled and, then later, queer.

Some people legit thought I was disabled because of some sin my mom must have done. I stopped being the same kind of Christian as my parents when church bullies told me I hadn't been healed by God yet because I didn't believe enough. We were all thirteen years old.

I have done a lot of work on my faith and, surprisingly, have come back to believing in God. My faith is a huge part of my resiliency practice because it answers a lot of my questions. I know disabled people are perfect as we are because I believe we were made by the same hand that made flowers, and mice and dogs and stars, and they are perfect as they are. I know God wants us to strive for justice because God is love and justice is what Love looks like in public (Cornel West). I don't know why suffering happens, but I know it hurts God, and I feel the Divine's presence with me through loves who join me in the hard moments.

“Crip Lineage, Crip Futures: A Conversation with Stacey Milbern.”

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

edited by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2018

Selection from pages 250-251