Nowadays its customary to hear people talking all the time about “transitioning” much in the way they used to talk about “flossing” or “dating”—you can hear people say, “I’m transitioning right now,” as if they’re actually undergoing a metamorphosis. The reformation of transition into a verb carries with it the implicit assumption that transitioning is a good thing. One doesn’t say, “I’m transitioning from the Titanic to a lifeboat,” or, “I’m transitioning from heroin to methadone.” Transitioning implies forethoughtfulness and purpose.
I think that people with disabilities are so busy making a “go” of their situation that they seldom have time to say they’re transitioning. As a blind person I don’t say that I’m transitioning down the street, though I probably could. The trouble is, I’m too busy trying to get somewhere and get there in one piece and avoid walking into street lamps or dumpsters to feel that I’m transitioning my way down the sidewalk.
But I want to be one of those transitioning people. So here’s my plan:
I’m transitioning from being a young blind person to being an older blind person. I don’t care so much anymore what other people think about my physical difference. I’m just me.