We've seen firsthand just how powerful, courageous, and badass differently abled people can be. And it looks like the rest of the internet is finally catching up. Last month, the virtual Disability March allowed individuals with chronic illness or disability to participate in the Women's March On Washington from afar. Also last month, Glimmer made important strides in creating a disability-friendly online dating platform. And tonight, Twitter has turned into something of a love-fest for the differently abled community — and folks are serving up some fabulous photos, alongside the hashtag #DisabledAndCute, created by Twitter user @keah_maria. An array of Twitter users of different ages, races, and genders are showing up to strut their stuff, share their stories, and prove that their disabilities are just part of what makes them cute — and fierce as hell. Their disabilities run the gamut from the visible to the invisible, and they show just how little you learn about someone just by looking at them. "This hashtag is everything," said Twitter user @alainaskeys. But perhaps our pal Danielle Perez said it best when she tweeted about people calling her "brave" because she celebrates her body and her disability. "Nah," she said, "I'm just dope." We couldn't agree more. Keah Brown, who started the hashtag, tells Refinery29, "I made the hashtag simply because I wanted to remind myself that I am allowed to be cute in this body." Brown, a senior entertainment writer at Cliché Magazine who writes essays and fiction that focus on Blackness and disability, also says that she's been thrilled to see so many people contribute to the hashtag. "It's been great to see so many people get on board," she says. "I like that so many people are proud of themselves and their bodies enough to post pictures or even just share the hashtag."
Check out more of the #DisabledAndCute photos and stories below.
Correction: In the original version of this story, we were so busy being enamored of all the badass photos that we neglected to credit hashtag creator Keah Brown. The article has been updated to reflect her work.