The R-Word Is Unacceptable Here or Anywhere
My Open Letter to Comedians Who Use This Derogatory Word
My name is Texxx-Man Cosplay and I'm not only a LGBTQ+ cosplayer, but I'm also a cosplayer with a disability. I was diagnosed with Autism, which is a developmental disorder characterized by troubles with social interaction and communication and by restricted and repetitive behavior. My autism is mild, meaning that I may find work settings more challenging than an individual with greater language challenges but fewer sensory or social problems. Later on in my adult life, I was diagnosed with Aspergers. As a kid, I struggled to communicate with the other children and was isolated all the time. Now as an adult, I still feel isolated from my friends and everyone that supports and loves me. I still go through so many challenges daily like I did in my younger years.
To the comedians who think that using the R-word for cheap laughs and ticket sales, you should be ashamed of yourselves. First and foremost, people with special needs are not "dumb" or "slow". They are human beings and live productive lives like the rest of us. When you use that hurtful term, you're not only disrespecting me, but those who have Down Syndrome, Autism, and other impairments that they can't help. You're making them less of a person. It's not funny to make fun of disabled people. Whenever I hear or see a comedian use that word, I change the channel. I've never used that word in my life and I'm not going to in this article, because I have a disability and don't want to offend the readers and everyone on Vocal. It's disgusting and out of line. I understand that this is America and we have free speech. That people have the right to say whatever they want, but certain things and people should be off limits and out of your acts.
Try walking a mile in these people's shoes, comedians, and see what their lives are like on a daily basis. Back in February 2009, the Special Olympics started a campaign called Spread the Word to End the Word, to encourage people to not use the R-word. It's an offensive and vulgar term that needs to be taken out of people's vocabulary. I took part in that campaign on social media since 2012, educating my friends and followers that words like that can hurt people's feelings. So comedians, I believe that every time you use the R-word in your comedy acts or on anywhere, you should donate to Special Olympics, but also volunteer your time to individuals with special needs. Then you would think twice of using that disparaging word and have some compassion. They did nothing wrong to you or deserve to be the butt of all jokes, 95 percent of the time.
Don't get me wrong, comedians. I have love for most of you, but please leave people with special needs and other disabilities out of your acts. I love jokes and have a good laugh every now and then, but there's certain lines you shouldn't cross. There's so many words for you to say, but the R-word is not one of them. It's not welcome here or anywhere. I don't care if you say it in a joking manner or not. Keep that word out of your mouth. I have no problem checking people who use it. The proper term is intellectual disability. Please keep that in mind.
This derogatory term is not only offensive and disrespectful, but defamatory. People with disabilities are somebody and can contribute to society. They deserve so much respect and love in this world. I worked at a non-profit that works with people with disabilities for almost five years. Many of them come by my office and say hello to me. They are the nicest and sweetest people I've ever met. Comedians, if you happen to run into this open letter, I hope you have learned something from me and take to heart what I've said. Be respectful and show dignity to everyone that you meet. Spread love and not hate.