The new Prime Minister of Britain has type 1 diabetes. I am sure that you have heard this about her, possibly mixed up in the commentary about her hair and shoes. (Which is, of course, THE most important thing about a woman who has become one of the most powerful leaders in the world and absolutely what we should all be talking about. Ugh!)
Pretty much everyone I have ever met has informed me that the new PM has type 1 diabetes. I have had calls, emails, Facebook posts and texts from people excitedly telling me that Theresa May is just as pancreatically-challenged as me! Many have asked if I am excited that we have a new pin-up gal for ‘our cause’.
I’m not commenting on May’s politics – that is actually totally irrelevant to how I feel about having a world leader with type 1 diabetes.
Here is what I would love to see about Theresa May’s own diabetes. Very little. Because I don’t want her type 1 diabetes to become a focus. I don’t want type 1 diabetes to be ‘blamed’ for questionable decisions, political gaffs, or the fact that she fell asleep in parliament last week.
Because people without type 1 diabetes make bad decisions all the time. And people without type 1 diabetes make political gaffs. (Barnaby? David? I’m looking at you two…) And people without type 1 diabetes fall asleep in parliament because often there is a man in a suit speaking in a monotone about something possibly rather uninspiring. For a very, very, very long time.
In the same way that every move AFL player Paddy McCartin makes is scrutinised from the position of his defective beta cells, I fear that may be the case for Theresa May.
A world leader with type 1 diabetes is brilliant because it can show people that diabetes need not be a barrier to being at the top of your game. We all love a story like that!
But being the excuse for any negativity – or becoming the focus of her time as PM? That can do ‘our cause’ more harm than good.
Related – but not really
Discussions about Theresa May have included me saying: ‘Well if Jed Bartlet can be President of the United States of America with MS, Theresa May can be PM with type 1.’ I had to be reminded that Jed Bartlet is not real – and no matter how hard I hope and wish for it to be true, it never will be. Damn.