When I saw the hashtag #DisabledAndCute gaining steam on Twitter last weekend, I felt an immediate tug of recognition. Disabled folks were here, owning our bodies and looks rather than trying to cover up, slink away, or downplay.
“Gaze out the window or exist in silhouette as often as possible.”
In honor of all the other crips I saw in the streets on the Women’s March on Washington, of every disabled woman who’s had it with lip service and wants to make sure this movement belongs to all of us, here are ten more who are already preparing the way.
“I’m a Nice Person — I have one of those irrepressibly pleasant faces that makes people want to sit next to me on public transportation — but I can be nice and angry, I can be smart and angry, and I can be worth listening to and angry.”
Introducing a new series on disability and love! Disabled people’s lives are bursting with affirmation, affection, and meaning well beyond half-baked romance narratives. So I’m talking to disabled queer folks about the love all around them — for partners, family, friends, pets, fictional characters, whatever — and sharing it with you right here.
We need intersectional critical thinkers to flood the political landscape and help win the war on facts. And with the most blatantly ableist President in modern history knocking on the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, disabled folks have got to lead that charge.
Mark my words: Donald Trump will talk a great game about our “amazing bravery” as he gets to work stealing our healthcare. The man knows how to throw out a red herring, and we all need to be ready for this one.
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.
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.
“…it’s still completely acceptable for disabled people to hate ourselves.”
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.
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?
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.”
“Forming new habits isn’t easy, especially when your entire profession runs on a highly specialized vocabulary — but you know what else isn’t easy? Listening to how “abnormal” my body is.”