I expected a bit of a backlash from taking a stand against The Disney Channel. But when the story was picked up by CBS, The Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, Perez Hilton and tons of other media outlets, it lit a match and boy oh boy…have I gotten a backlash. I’ve been called pretty much every name in the book, most of which I can’t print.
Though kudos to JB182Dog for coming up with “Gluten Douche”. Insulting, yet oddly comical.
Amy, who started the petition on change.org, has taken it even worse. She and her family have been verbally barraged with the most debase comments you can imagine. Simply for standing up for what she believes in. Nice…huh?
Hey…we put ourselves out there so we’re fair game I suppose.
So the question becomes…was it worth it?
Short answer…hell yeah!
There is such an overwhelming public misconception about gluten-free that we need to continue to strive to get our message across in any manner possible.
I want to mention two things that happened yesterday that perfectly highlight the misconception vs the reality of what gluten free means.
The Misconception of Gluten Free
Watch this video and you’ll see the problem wrapped up nicely. The video is from the Chelsea Handler show last night. She is a comedienne (and a pretty good one at that) and her job is to poke fun at things. So when she mentioned the Jessie episode being pulled, I knew she’d have at it.
But it wasn’t the jokes that made me angry, it was everything else.
- Look at the image to the right. This is a screen grab from the video. They chose to use the words “Celiac Episode” though nobody once mentioned celiac disease in the entire segment. So instead of mocking the gluten-free wannabes (who should be mocked!), they are taking on celiacs.
- Chelsea herself says she is allergic to gluten, but still eats it anyway. If you eat gluten, you are not gluten free. So please, I’m begging you Chelsea, as you so eloquently put it, shut the f*ck up about it. You’re part of the problem.
- We’re compared to vegans. No comment.
Until we can change the misconception of what gluten-free means for us, we will continue to be the butt of people’s jokes. We’re high-maintenance. We’re whiners. We’re fad dieters. And the sad thing is, if I didn’t have celiac disease and I just listened to the media, I’d probably think the same thing until I was educated about it.
But why educate when it’s easier to laugh at us?
The Reality of Gluten Free
Living gluten-free can be a total drag. I don’t know one person who lives with this autoimmune disease that wouldn’t give their left leg to have their normal life back.
I was approached on Facebook yesterday by a mom whose 18 year old daughter has celiac disease. Here is what she asked me:
Would you share my daughter’s English Paperwork on Celiac Disease Bullying? It is her project written from experience. I’m having a bit of difficulty posting it as it is way to close to me and cuts me like a knife. She makes light of the things that happened to her, many of which she left out, from having food thrown at her, being called “special”, to classmates video taping her in moments of harassment by others. It was “real pain” to live through, yet there is much agony to read what children and young adults go through when they are unaccepted for their disabilities.
That’s her to the right. She’s an amazing young woman.
Please read her English Paper: That Girl by Jayci Drew (the story of celiac bullying)
This is the reality of living gluten free. The bullying, the lack of fitting in, the snubbing by other adults, the need to “prove” she needs to be gluten free. And at the end of the day, still feeling like crap much of the time. This is all part of the package.
You still think it’s funny?