“When I first came into disability community, when I first began building the politics and relationships that would anchor me through the decades, it felt crucial to root my own identity in that bold refusal of healing and cure. I was emboldened by the example of Deaf activists, who fight for the recognition and protection of signing-Deaf cultures, even as technology and treatment offer increasing entry into the hearing world. My experience, of course, was not the same. I tried therapies and remedies, but everything cost more than it gained.

“And when it yielded nothing? I turned away. I said no to all the earnest empathy and to the world of pining. I could have stayed forever in the land of wanting. Instead, I built a fierce and tender bedrock of radical self-love. When I said no the pursuit of cure, I said yes to my own bones. I said, 'I love this body as she is, right here and now, with no regrets. No miracles necessary.' “