A Girl With a Hidden Disability Refused to Give Up Her Seat to an Elderly Woman, and Now Feels Bad About It

8 months ago

Public transportation can be a source of many controversies, especially when it comes to the etiquette of giving up seats. A recent incident that went viral on social media shows how an elderly woman demanded that a girl with a prosthetic leg should give up his seat for her, claiming that she was not disabled enough. The details of this encounter are revealed in our article.

Here is how it all started: “A few years ago I lost my left leg in an accident. I’ve been using a prosthetic leg since then, and it is a pretty advanced one to the point where it just looks like I just have two normal legs whenever I wear long trousers. Which I usually do because I’m really self-conscious about showing my prosthetic.

These days I can pretty much do anything I like without issues, walking, running, going upstairs, etc. The main issue is keeping my balance when there are sudden changes in movement, in places like trains and buses, which is where the topic of this post comes in.”

“I was riding the train and sat down in the seat reserved for disabled, elderly and pregnant women. It was pretty busy, so there were no other seats available, and a few stops later a woman came up to me telling me I needed to move because she needed that seat and I shouldn’t be sitting there.

I told her I was sorry, but I needed the seat myself. She got all argumentive that I just needed to get up because the seat is meant for the elderly, and I’m just a lazy child who is more than capable of standing.”

“I again apologized and said I really needed the seat myself. She left and got the train conductor, who also told me to get up from the seat. I was really done with being treated this way now, so I rolled up my trouser leg, showed my prosthetic and told her I wasn’t going to move.

She suddenly got very red-faced and mumbled something before she got off at the next station.

Did I do it wrong? I could have said I have a prosthetic right away, but it’s a really touchy subject for me, and it makes me feel very self-conscious. That’s why I always wear long trousers, so nobody can see or has to know.”

Turns out, many disabled people face the same issue when in public places. Here are some of the responses the girl got:

  • My husband had a disability that when he’s sitting down he looks normal. Stand up with 2 crutches and you can see what’s wrong. He had been insulted parking in disabled parking, on trains sitting in the priority seats for the elderly and disabled.
    All he has to do is stand up and they always either say sorry or mumble and walk away. It’s bad that you have to prove you are disabled before cantankerous fools believe you. Silver-Appointment77 / Reddit
  • I’ve had multiple surgeries on my legs and ankles and if I haven’t been walking recently, then it doesn’t look like I’m disabled at all because they don’t hurt. When I go grocery shopping, and I’m standing up for a long I start limping really bad, and I’m in severe pain so parking and going into the store I don’t look disabled at all. I have been insulted so much for parking handicap spots. readerchick05 / Reddit
  • It’s sad that people double down and get defensive when they’re caught out or embarrassed when they could much more easily say “oh my, so sorry to have bothered you!” and move on. RainbowTeachercorn / Reddit

This incident sparked a lot of outrage and sympathy online, as many people expressed their support for the girl with the prosthetic leg and condemned the elderly woman’s rude and insensitive behavior. Demanding a seat is quite a common issue seen in public transport and on planes. Here is a story of how a woman refused to give up her window seat to a woman with 2 kids.

Preview photo credit Swimming-Contact6122 / Reddit


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