Metal and Disability – Part 2

It's been ages and quite a lot changed, but more about that later. People always ask me, which medical condition I suffer from and how it is noticeable. To that, I have to say that I am quite open with and about my mental illness, and I try to help other people who suffer from similar conditions. Unfortunately our society makes being mentally ill a taboo issue. There are prejudices, e.g. being intellectually challenged or similar sayings. But I can assure you that –  except for some small handicaps –  I'm up to speed ;-).

It's hard for me to visit concerts or festivals, because huge crowds of people scare me. But I try again and again, and sometimes it works really well. I need to plan those outings for weeks and have to consider the pros and cons very carefully. For healthy people that's no problem at all. For some suffering from a psychosis it's a huge step to even leave the house.

It's also hard to form a certain level of social contact with people and to keep that contact alive. Someone who is schizophrenic lives in their own world and only rarely is in the position to enter social commitments, so after a while they become less and less. It's always nice to talk to a schizophrenic, because they tend to take mental leaps, i.e. in a conversation they are a bit further ahead than their counterpart, that means there are only half sentences or the speaker cuts the sentences mid-sentence. I had those experiences a lot of times, and I can only hope the other person will understand. I can only give you a short insight here, and a healthy person might just shake their head, but it's just like this.

What bothers me the most, is that a severely disabled person is often not considered when looking for a job. But I also have to say that in the last few years the situation has improved a bit. I'm just striking a blow here, and say that severely disabled people are as capable as their healthy colleagues.

But back to the topic of metal. In the last few months, I had close contact to different organizers and and pelted them with my questions. The organizers of Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze attracted my attention positively. They were really obliging and patiently answered my questions. And for organizers of smaller events, I could at least convince them to provide some disabled-accessible toilets and think about how people in wheelchairs would be able to come and visit their concerts. I should also mention how much the bands support me, if I had to mention all of them, the space here wouldn't be enough. My project was received the same way as articles of RockHard or Metalhammer. I got the chance for interviews and just want to say 'thank you'!

A highlight of the last few months was the interview in RockHard and a radio interview about the topic of festivals and disability. This interview will be available in full length on this website, but only after it was aired. On the article in RockHard, there were different reactions, positive ones as well as some negative ones. But I guess that comes with the topic. With this report I found some new contributors for this website, who will work in irregular intervals for new-metal-media. My next goal is to get an interview in Metalhammer and to talk there about disabled metal fans. Because even though some people might not like it, but disabled people are a part of our society.

The closing words are mine this time, I want to thank all the bands, organizers, friends, colleagues and everybody else who supports me with my project. In order to improve something there has to be someone to address the topic, but there also have to be many to listen and support them.

 

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