Dear Margaret Cho,
I am writing to you today not from a place of anger, but from a place deep inside of my heart that hopes your mind can be stretched in the way that mine has over the past 1.5 years. There is something I need you to understand and I hope I can convey my message in a way that is respectful and promotes understanding and compassion.
You see, this is the “retard baby” that you don’t want to have:
The thing is, and this may come as quite a shock to you, I chose to be his mom. I will say it loud and proud to all who will listen–I love my son. He is cognitively disabled and has Autism. I knew about his disabilities long before he came home to be my forever son. I have been his mom for 1.5 years now. He does not have the capacity nor the words to stand up for himself, so you see, I am his voice.
That’s why I have no choice but to write this letter to you today. I made a vow in court and before our creator to be his voice, his champion….his mom.
I find it extremely disappointing that you have been given numerous awards for your humanitarian efforts within the Asian, women and LGBT communities, yet you feel that children born with special needs are not worthy of the same treatment that you fight so hard to obtain for others. Special needs children are not less worthy of respect and tolerance. The thing that makes them different is that many of them don’t have a voice. There is nothing funny about picking on the defenseless. That’s not comedy, that’s bullying.
I know you don’t want to parent a child with disabilities, I get it. It’s hard work that requires compassion, dedication and sacrifice all without any societal rewards. It’s not for the faint of heart. That I do understand. But no matter how you feel about children with special needs, know this: they deserve dignity and respect. My voice does not reach far and wide across this globe, but yours does. Please show my child the same respect that you demand for the ones you fight so hard to support. Your voice has power, please choose your words wisely. I truly hope that you will use this experience as a time of learning and personal growth. I don’t want an apology, I just want you to hear my son.
One of the luckiest moms in the world (aka Hiking Mama)