Is it better to have a visible disability and suffer the stigma of everyone who glances your way gawking and pre-judging you? Or is it better to have an invisible disability that allows you to "pass" as "normal" (whatever the hell that is) but have to deal with the lack of acceptance of your condition by the people you meet?
One of my best friends has no arms - well, let me correct myself and honour her partial arms, she has a couple of inches below the armpit - hard to find a more visible disability without the flashing neon of a wheelchair. I on the other hand have an invisible problem, until recently it was diagnosed as Fibromyalgia but now my new doctor tells me it is "an undampened stress response resulting in widespread chronic pain"... (Please use those letters AUSRRIWCP to come up with a catchy acronym for me! I am SCRABBLE challenged.) Anyhoo... back to the matter at hand. We, my armless friend and I, have discussed this issue and we can both see the other side of the coin. I can only imagine what it is like to be stared at everywhere you go (mind you she is beautiful and would be stared at anyway) and she can only imagine dealing with people who discount your situation because they can't see it.
Interestingly I think there are parallels in the lesbian community... Butch women are often quite obviously lesbians and would need to abandon their authentic selves to "pass" as straight and femme women go through life only ever having to tell the people they want to tell. Yet I have heard many femme women express annoyance at having to make that revelation and even greater irritation at having to deal with the denials of people who insist that they could be straight if they felt like it because they look just like a straight woman.
If, and I know this is unlikely, anyone is out there reading this post - I would love to hear your thoughts.