A young woman recently vented to TikTok after she was accosted by a stranger when she parked in the handicap spot, BuzzFeed reported.
In the video, she explained why her decision to park there was completely legitimate. She has no legs.
TikToker Jessica Long took the selfie video from her car just after the incident, and she didn't hold back her frustration.
"So I was parking my car and--I hope she sees this."
"This woman just has the nerve to look me up and down, disgusted that I parked in the handicap spot."
"And yes, look, I have a handicap pass. I don't have legs! So that's kind of what I told her, which, I don't even need to tell her."
You can see her video here:
Long went on to explain this as not a standalone incident.
"This happens a lot. I was never bullied as a kid. And I didn't know that I was gonna be bullied by adults because I park in handicap."
"And I get it. I'm young, I'm athletic. But I'm also missing legs. And I know I make it look easy, but it's still really hard. My legs are heavy, they hurt me, I'm in pain."
"So to all the handicap police out there: just be kind. You don't need to know why someone's park in handicap. Yeah, just be kind."
After seeing Long's video, TikTok users showered her with support and shared outrage.
As she alluded in the video, Long has indeed pushed through all those difficulties to achieve much more than just a handicap spot.
To say she's "athletic" was being modest.
She's competed in four Paralympic and won 13 Paralympic gold medals to be the second-most decorated U.S. Paralympian of all time.
BuzzFeedcaught up with Long to ask her more about the recent incident, and her overall experiences of a life without legs. She explained she was born with fibular hemimelia.
"I was missing my fibula bones and several other bones in my lower legs. I did have a little foot with three toes on each leg."
"My adoptive parents had those amputated when I was 18 months old so I could be fitted with prosthetic legs and learn to walk."Long went on to tell BuzzFeed about other encounters she's had with the adult bullies who are all too common.
"I get two to four comments per week, just going about my normal routine and parking in handicap spaces. I've had people yell at me, leave notes on my windshield, knock on my car window, or wait for me to get out of my car just to tell me I can't park there."
"My worst experience to date was an older couple that followed me around a grocery store and kept making comments because they wanted the handicap spot I took and said that I didn't need it. I even explained I had two prosthetic legs and they told me I was a liar."
For Long, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram have given her the ability to both express her emotions about her experience, and educate people about how amputees live and navigate through the world.Ideally, Long venting about her recent run in with the handicap police will make some folks think twice before getting way to vigilant in the future.