On Sunday morning September 25th, I’ll be participating in the SHANE’S INSPIRATION 14th Annual 5k/10k Walk and Roll through Griffith Park. I’m excited!! SHANE’S INSPIRATION is a national non-profit that designs and helps build accessible playgrounds - so kids of all abilities can play together. Also, if you’re a parent with a disability you can play with your kids there. Love it.
Shane’s Inspiration was founded in 1997 by Catherine Curry-Williams and Scott Williams after they lost their son Shane to Spinal Muscular Atrophy only a few weeks after his birth. Had he lived, Shane would have spent his life in a wheelchair and would have been denied one of the most fundamental rights of childhood: the right to play independently with friends and family at neighborhood and school playgrounds. This realization encouraged the Williams and a family friend Tiffany Harris to turn tragedy into a vision that resulted in Shane’s Inspiration. Since it’s inception, they have helped raise millions of dollars to develop over 40 Universally Accessible Playground projects throughout Southern California and as far away as Sri Lanka.
If you’d like to donate to my team, Team Ewoks (how can you resist that) click here.
And for more info about Shane’s Inspiration check out their website.
Last Wednesday, I arrived at Emerald Knights Comics and Games in North Hollywood at 11am on the dot (right when they opened) to purchase Batgirl #1. Only two copies were left and I snagged them both. What a selfish hog.
When I got home, I felt a little guilty. Why did I make such an effort to get my hands on Batgirl #1 when I so adamantly spoke out against it in “Oracle Addresses the DC Comics reboot”? Shouldn’t I have boycotted it and instead donated the money to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation like several of my awesome friends did?
The truth is I’m curious. I want to know how DC Comics and Gail Simone handle the storyline of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl regaining the use of her legs. How does this affect her? I haven’t had the use of my legs for 16 years and I can’t imagine what it would be like if all of a sudden I could walk. I also believe that if I’m going to have an opinion and voice it (like I did in the Oracle video) that it’s my responsibility to see all sides of the story. Isn’t it only fair I give Batgirl a chance?
Well, I’m glad I did.
Here are some of my thoughts about Batgirl #1: (WARNING, Batgirl #1 spoilers lie ahead)
* Even though we don’t get all of the answers about Babs recovery, I was happy with what we did learn, such as: “The Killing Joke” did happen, she suffered from an L1 spinal cord injury and couldn’t move or feel her legs for three years, and that a “miracle” happened that Babs still can’t believe. As you can imagine, I can’t wait to find out more about this “miracle” as well as what happened during the three years Babs was paralyzed. Was she Oracle during that time???
* It may be too early to say this, but I feel like Barbara’s experiences as Oracle have been used to enrichen Batgirl. There is a depth, awareness, and vulnerability to her that I connected with. A lot of change has occurred in her life and she’s figuring out how to fit back into her cape. It’s scary.
* My favorite line. “….I’ve got the upper arm strength like a mother at this point.” - Batgirl
* I love how Gail Simone addresses the misperceptions some able-bodied people have towards “disability”. When Babs’ new roommate, Alysia, sees the wheelchair lift in Bab’s van (by the way, I love the detail of the wheelchair lift still being in her van!!) this interaction occurred:
Alysia: Wheelchair lift, huh? Someone in your family?
Babs: Yeah. Sorta.
Alysia: That’s my biggest fear, being trapped in a chair like that. Can you imagine? Like a prison.
Babs (to herself): She doesn’t mean anything by it. I know she doesn’t. She doesn’t know what it’s like, what the chair helps you do. And I guess I don’t feel like explaining that to her able-bodied-but-well-intended self right now.
This is such an authentic moment. I’ve been in similar ones many times since my accident.
I miss Oracle. But, at the same time, I really enjoyed Batgirl #1. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I have the upmost respect for Gail Simone. Not only is she an insanely talented storyteller but a really cool person. I’ve been following her on twitter and am awed by how well she interacts with ALL of her followers (she’s a twitter maniac!) . She actually tweeted me after she saw my Oracle video to tell me that she thought it was funny. She’s the last person I expected to hear that from. Pretty awesome.
What do you think about Batgirl #1?