Shelby Pemberton

self
As Asian American woman with long, wavy black hair in a green shirt and black sweater, smiling at the camera. 

I’m joining the disability march because I’m unable to participate in the march in DC or in sister marches. In 2012, I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease. I was fourteen years old. I’ve since had my thyroid removed, but having an autoimmune disorder that affected my behavior and mood so much at a young age has left a lasting impression on my identity. I am still trying to understand if depression, anxiety, and manic symptoms are chronic, or related to my thyroid medication. Even though this has been my reality for years, it’s still terrifying to know that my life depends on medications that I might not be able to afford without assistance.

My gender, sexuality, race, and health status have shaped my experiences with doctors, insurance, politics, and nearly every interaction I’ve ever had. I am a biracial, bisexual Asian woman with a list of health problems and I demand the respect I deserve.

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