HOW A TEEN PUNK LED A MOVEMENT FOR DISABLED PEOPLE ONLINE

By Kait Sanchez: For Entire Post, Click Here…

From Tumblr to TikTok, young disabled people are deciding how to represent themselves.

WhenWhen Tyler Trewhella opened Tumblr in 2014 and posted a photo of themself outside a diner, they had no idea that image would become their legacy. The photo shows them with cane in hand and cigarette in mouth, clad in boots, a denim jacket with pins, and a hat with earflaps. A small banner across the picture was originally going to say “diner punk,” but they decided at the last second to change it to “cripple punk.” Tongue in cheek, they captioned the post, “i’m starting a movement.”

The post attracted a flood of hate mail, saying that disability isn’t something to be proud of, that disabled people shouldn’t smoke, or that a movement that “leaves out healthy people’’ isn’t punk. Trewhella took screenshots of the messages and added them to the post, writing, “This is why we need cripple punk.” Other people with disabilities started reblogging the post to add their own selfies, and tagging posts with cripple punk. To Trewhella’s surprise, a movement was born.

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