"Disability isn't something to be proud of." I hear multiple variations of this sentiment by able-bodied folks every July. But, instead of a declaration, they should be asking: "Why are you proud?"
Disability pride isn't about loving all aspects of life and your disability(ies). Few people (disabled or not) enjoy every last piece of their existence. Some people would even cure their disabilities if possible. So, what is it? Well, it varies!
We celebrate our survival in a world not set up for us or even accepting of us.
We luxuriate in our ingenuity and the inventions we contribute. For example, a lot of folks were able to work from home during the pandemic because we created varied ways of being in the workforce and/or pushed for those accomodations.
We use July as a platform to make our inequalities more visible. We are penalized for getting married, can still be paid sub-minimum wages, still can't access community spaces in many places even though the ADA is law, get our children taken away because we're assumed to be lousy parents, are denied space on transplant lists, caretakers can kill us and be sympathized with instead of punished, etc.
We connect with our community. So many of us are isolated from other crips. It's a time more of us make ourselves known and seek out others.
We take opportunities given to us to participate in things not open to us otherwise: Publications suddenly become more inclusive around July, a few more speaking engagements open up specifically for disabled presenters, and companies renew their commitment to hire us. Of course, most of this vanishes by August 1st, but we have to take what we can in a society happy to build grand structures with no elevators.