I was at a teachers' and leaders' workshop in 1980, and Harvey was having various groups come up front. He had all the people with disabilities come up, and so I went up with the rest of them. He went through the whole group and asked each person say what his or her disability was. When he came to me (there I was, this twenty-three-year-old, pretty able-bodied-looking person), he said, "What's your disability?" and I said, "Well, I have acne all over my face and arms and chest."

Then Harvey went into this two-paragraph thing about acne-how hard it was, what a serious thing it was, and how much people underestimated the suffering people experience when they have acne. I'd never been taken so seriously around that issue in my whole life, and I never was again. It was so typical of how not even the smallest bit of oppression or human suffering escaped his notice.

David Jernigan
Vallejo, California, USA


Last modified: 2016-09-01 08:17:08-07