Listen as you build your movements, clarify your priorities, and fight for that future so many of us thought was already here.
Me Before You isn’t half-baked schlock that crumbles under the weight of its own unconscionable ignorance. No — instead, director Thea Sharrock and writer Jojo Moyes gave us a bio-horror masterpiece about a deadly outbreak of Ableism in small-town Wales. With Halloween upon us, it’s time their efforts got the recognition they deserve.
“Embracing accessibility begins with representation.” Here, Kay Ulanday Barrett, QueenTite and Jax Jacki Brown explore queer communities, accessibility, and who is deemed fashion-able.
That’s what’s tricky about disabled sexuality: most people, disabled or not or anyplace in between, have no idea how to discuss it. So fear of “saying the wrong thing” takes over instead and the problem feeds itself. We never talk about it because we don’t know how to start.
“We deserve to have art that is by us and for us and is us being complicated and depicting all our lives as they are, without simplifying or reassuring.”
“I’m not like everybody else, and I can’t do what everybody else does. But they can’t do what I can do either.”
I had my doubts – because honestly, consuming media as a disabled person is an exercise in disappointment. So I was cautious when Margarita finally popped up on Netflix. Could it be? Was it really that good?
“…it’s still completely acceptable for disabled people to hate ourselves.”
“How could an incapacitated person feel let alone be sexy, I catch myself thinking. Now, when I have those thoughts, I take out my camera.”
When the world isn’t built for you, you build something for yourself. We know how to adapt and generate new ideas because we’ve been doing it out of necessity for our entire lives. So sorry, tech bros – “entrepreneurial spirit” doesn’t exclusively belong to you.
I need to call my “vulnerability thing” what it was: ableism. Internalized, sure, and deliberately kept that way (like it would only cause harm if it got out), but all the same. It made itself at home in me without any right to be there. And it stayed for so long because it looked like other things: perfectionism, intelligence, work ethic, high standards.
If you’re able-bodied and have questions you’re too embarrassed to ask, read this report. If you’re disabled and ready to stare down some hard truths, read this report. And most of all, if you assume disability negates white privilege, Read. This. Report.
Disabled people deserve to know, from our school days, that we’re not just cases, diagnoses, or “not really disabled”; we’re part of a community with its own histories and triumphs.
I’m hopeful, though, that TV in particular has the potential to introduce richer disabled people with stronger context and more to say than “look how sad my life is.”
“I like being disabled because I like being myself (which is radical enough for any woman to say). Pride, though, requires an even bigger risk.”
For the disabled among us, meet-cutes and the events that follow aren’t so simple to orchestrate. Need a refresher on the rules of engagement? There’s no need to go it alone!
Often, when I’m having sex, a very specific thought runs through my head on a loop: “don’t touch me.” What gives? If I get so much out of being close to other people, shouldn’t sex be the ultimate way to prove it?
Imagine queercrip figures that resist limited notions of embodiment and medical pathology, and demand more expansive understandings of disability, gender and sexuality.
Because the world sure as hell isn’t telling me my body matters. And having nondisabled friends who do, who affirm me precisely for standing out, means I don’t have to accept pity masked as kindness.
“I made a choice about how I would look, and didn’t realize until I’d done it how unprecedented that was.”