"As a kid growing up with epilepsy, I made myself colorful
as a survival strategy.
"Age 14, a sharp, distinct,
intentional before and after: Before seizures, I was the
shy, quiet girl drowning in baggy kitten sweatshirts and Wrangler
jeans; after seizures, I showed up to school in fishnets, combat
boots, heavy black eyeliner, and dyed
red-platinum-orange-pink-black (whatever fit the mood that week)
hair. While the other kids whispered Karrie is on drugs,
Karrie is nuts, Karrie pisses her pants, Karrie is faking, Karrie
is a freak, I said fuck it. I will show them a freak.
My clothes got weirder. My writing got weirder. My musical tastes
got weirder. My art got weirder. I got weirder.
didn't know until years later that Prince did the same damn
thing. Prince had epilepsy, too. Prince got freaky as
2009, he talked about his epilepsy publicly for the first
time on PBS with Tavis Smiley. 'From that point on,' he said,
'I've been having to deal with a lot of things, getting teased a
lot in school. And early in my career I tried to compensate by
being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could.'
"Prince was a walking disability poetics.
"After that, when I listened to his music, I thought:
Prince has a Sparkle Brain."
-- Karrie Higgins,
"Prince and the Sparkle Brains (cw: disability, ableism, sexual
abuse), 2016-04-23 [thanks to
linking to this. As she and
anonymous_sibyl pointed out, not an easy or
comfortable read, but worth it.]