Representation Matters

I grew up with Star Trek. More of my nascent adolescent identity was linked to Spock than I want to admit. I still have a collection of Spocks in my office (love that Ninja Turtle one!).

It’s something you understand or you don’t. You may not love Star Trek. But lots of us do. (Kind of like loving musicals or watching wrestling.)

You can throw stones and make fun. In fact, one of my current favorite Facebook pages is called Star Trek Sh*tposting and that’s all we do. And all of us love Star Trek.

One thing many of us love about Star Trek is that they’ve always tried to push the limit on representation. Not always perfectly, but it’s been there. Racial. Ethnic Body type. Gender. Love in many configurations.

Today on Sh*tposting there was a funny meme about how a particular character inspired them to be a . . . word quite similar to witch.

But someone else posted that lovely quote above (used with permission). Barclay and Tilly are both incredibly warm wonderful intelligent characters. Both live with anxiety and often have trouble communicating when they are excited. Just like the poster. And just like both my kids who didn’t have a stutter or stammer but had so many things to say that the words would jam in their mouths and come tumbling out in incomprehensible globbing piles.

And I love that in a space inhabited by the best and the brightest (the Enterprise, Discovery), there is a place for them.

I was reminded of this the other day when my son, Sean, was interviewed about his part in developing our app, 1step2life. TV interviews are probably nerve-wracking for anyone (they are for me). But if you spend a lot of your time alone and on-line because you’ve got chronic pain . . . AND you have overcome a serious speech issue . . . . Yeah. He was nervous.

Taneisha Cordell, from News5 in Cleveland was amazing. She gave him time. She made him comfortable. She made him laugh and warmed him up and gave him time to let his intelligence and talent and bravery all come out.

She let him tell his story (it will be out around Nov 11).

I was watching Star Trek Discovery last night and watching Tilly stumble through her words as she laid out a plan that would help them all survive. And I was thinking again how seeing someone who looks like you – because of the color of their skin or their gender or the way they talk or the barriers they face – is so important. It helps us envision a place for ourselves in the wider world making a difference.

Check out the 1step2life app!

Start where you are. Set your own goals. Take back your life. A tool for tracking goals, emotions, and success, not just logging pain. And the only app that has a mode specifically for parents, partners, and other carers that supports effective coaching and strong relationships.

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google play




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