Monday, April 4, 2011

Voices Raised

We've all been talking about the steps that we can take to become advocates, outside of just blogging (although that in itself is a lot). We've talked about so many ways, and there are people out there taking those steps. And it makes me proud. It also pushes me to do those things as well.

Last week, when MTV posted the casting call for people with diabetes for their show True Life, it was offensive in many ways. It's nice to know that diabetes is getting some attention, but the way it was worded was in many ways ignorant and worried many of us on how the show was going to be presented.

So, people in the D-OC did what I expected them to do. They e-mailed. They responded to MTV to let them know that living with diabetes wasn't the end of the world, but that it is a whole lot of hard work and can be very annoying. It's funny because I was so busy that I let a couple of days pass before I could write to MTV, but even without my help, the D-OC rang through loud and clear. 

MTV reworded their casting call and sent out form letters apologizing to all the people who e-mailed them. The best part about the form letter was the apology at the beginning stating that they got so many e-mails from people in the D-OC (though they didn't use that exact term) that they couldn't possibly reply to all of them individually.

Wow. I think that's the first time in my life that a form letter hasn't annoyed the daylights out of me. And yet again, the combined voices of the people in the D-OC made a difference. Sure, we still don't know whta the final outcome of the actual episode of True Life will be. But in the meantime, we let them know that we care. We care how it's done, we care how we are represented. And we care what they present to the world. And the listened.

How many groups of people can claim that they've had a part in causing a major network to change something? We did it with the Hannah Montana episode a while back (I did get in on the e-mailing Disney with that one!). And now with MTV. These are 2 of the largest networks in the country. That is something to be proud of. 

I am very proud of the D-OC. I am so glad that I'm a part of this community. I'm glad I have the opportunities to advocate for people with diabetes. And I'm glad to know that even when I can't, or don't get the chance to do so, that other people are out there speaking for me. 

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