Relationships Archives - The Mobility Resource

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Relationships

There are so many other aspects of consent that can impact and shape the sexual experience for PwD. There is an emotional component to the concept of consent that the Cripple must contend with.

Language is an important part of our identities. It can connect us to one another, and helps us to understand the world around us. In terms of disability, language has been used to describe our prognosis.

When you know quad doesn’t mean the square in the middle of the campus.
When every third person you meet in public says to you in a voice of hushed reverence, with a gentle pat on your arm and an ever so small tear glinting in their eye, that “you are so special to be with him.”

This article originally was found at BBC News. In coalition to a charity that fights awkwardness in dating called Kiss Awkward Goodbye BBC News asked people with disabilities to share their personal stories of awkward dating.

As a pre-teen, I watched a deaf couple my parents knew end their marriage of 20-plus years. They had three children and it was devastating to see their family being ripped apart. I am sure there were many reasons why the marriage failed, but it became apparent that because of their disability they had in many ways isolated themselves from others. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a major cause in their failed relationship and it became something I thought about when I imagined a future spouse.

Growing up I always dreamed of the fairy tale wedding with my knight in shining armour. I dreamed we would get married, have children and live out our days in wedded bliss. Although marriage and family are never a certainty for anyone; having a physical disability can make achieving this goal more difficult.

When I met Chad, a C4/5 quadriplegic, I was smitten immediately. We met online and within a week of meeting, we were inseparable. A year and a half after meeting, we got married and it’s now been 10 years since we first met. However, telling people we were going to get married was a mixed bag of reactions on my side of the equation.

Whether you were born with your disability or if it was acquired, we all go through different stages of accepting it. And then there are those of us who never quite get there, that, if you ask me, can be one of the most tragic things.

Exactly one month ago was National Coming Out Day. In honor of that, I’m focusing this article in my “We Need to Come Together” series to relations between the LGBTQ and the disability communities.

I’m pretty sure not a week goes by where I’m not subjected to remarks about my disability. Now, before I even get into this topic, I’m going to politely put forth my counter-argument to the inevitable responses that I’m being nit-picky about semantics or complaining unnecessarily about comments made by well-meaning able-bodied people. I believe that if you truly mean well, you’ll consider how it feels for people with disabilities to be gawked at, subjected to ridiculous comments or prodded for our life stories, and perhaps stop to think about whether it’s appropriate to blurt out a nosey question.