“…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.”
“I like toughness because it acknowledges an uncomfortable, complicated truth—that being disabled is hard—but rejects pity as an acceptable response. Instead, it gives my body credit for outlasting, adapting, and thriving in ways able-bodied people can’t imagine.”
“I’ve been disabled for as long as I’ve been a woman, gay and, y’know, alive. So I don’t even know how it’s possible to “see past” something so fully baked into my experience. Instead, I need you to work a little harder and understand disability as part of my value rather than a caveat on it.”
I think I’d gotten it into my head that disability is always, on some level, supposed to feel bad. Like if I fought myself all the time, I was somehow doing it right. I worried that if gave up the femininity I’d worked so hard for, I’d just be giving in. As someone who has a lot of privilege, I thought it was my job to be the right kind of woman, even if I didn’t enjoy it.