i’m angry. i’m resentful. i don’t know where to begin.
a best friend and i just had a really deep conversation about how private i am about my sex/relationship life. i am unable to allow anyone to get close to me in that way. learning about doctors as a for-profit industry [medical industrial complex] has equipped me with the tools to describe my anger in words.
i am ANGRY that i have never felt ownership of my body in the last 20 years.
i RESENT the fact that the only way i can own my body is to stay away from doctors and people. to stay away and never let anyone near. this has been very detrimental in my physical health and emotional relationships that require physical closeness.
i am forever SCARRED by movies, news stories, authorities, religion, and people who have told me that my existence as a disabled person, a woman of color, as a queer person, as a queer disabled woman of color is reprehensible [to be blamed] and ugly.
i am FRUSTERATED that a life of surgeries, biopsies [tests], physical therapy, and appointments with every specialist has left me feeling like i have lost parts of me for some unknown quest to be normal (that was not even wanted or requested by me).
i can’t believe that all these years later it is leaving such a real big imprint on my life and how i interact with people. i hate this. i hate them. and at this point, i don’t even have the energy to hate right now.
where the hell does this leave me? how do i claim my body as my own? does anyone know? Continue reading
For the last two years, performers and activists have been organizing a show on disability, invisibility, and sexuality in San Francisco, titled Sins Invalid [link isn’t work safe]. This past November, I watched the clips on youtube and pretended I was there. Must figure out a way to get there next year. : )
Here is an interview with one performer, Soledad Decosta who describes herself as “an uppity Portuguese woman who isn’t afraid to claim her black latina maternal ancestry”. In her interview, she describes her experience as a disabled intersex person.
“It’s not just like just let’s get it on. It’s like “…no, let’s have a discussion.”
It’s not everybody that always wants to have a discussion—people want to have sex, you know— and it’s not that simple when you’re in a position like mine and that’s true for a lot of pwds if not all all pwds, especially if you’re dealing with something that’s, you know, rendered as somehow visibly otherizing in the context of negotiating sex, having sex, and being a sexual human being. It’s not like there’s some guidebook. It’s not like you go to Barnes and Noble and there’s like a hundred books on hot crip sex with intersex person. There’s just not. It’s like I’m the book— hello, I’m the book— ask me, open me up.” —Soledad (this segment starts at 2:08 part of the clip)
What stood out to me were the two lines below, largely because although Soledad is a queer disabled person, both situations could easily apply to a disabled OR queer person, particularly those with bodies that aren’t considered the norm. The two communities have a lot of commonalities. (distrust for doctors or the medical industrial complex, body issues, defying labels, the list goes on and on…):
“For example, if I get into an accident, what’s going to happen to me? There are people whose bodies are similar to mine, you get in an accident and they don’t know how to categorize you. They may deny you treatment while you’re dying there on the sidewalk.”
“They—that is those doctors— they didn’t get things quite right. Instead of praising my birth, they cut. …They held me down and did things to me that no one should have to go through without their consent.”
You can find more Sins Invalid interviews by clicking here. And it’s HOT!! (oh and again not work safe). : D
mia mingus accepting the creating change award:
“i want to honor those of us who know we can not separate heterosexism* from ableism* and allow disability issues to be seen as secondary issues; those of us push disability into the conversation even when it’s hard and unpopular, again and again; those of us who are not a part of the nonprofit industrial complex* and who do not work for an organization but whose activism and work is no less valuable; and especially, those of us who are living at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and disability and know that multi-issue politics are not just a winning strategy but indeed they are the only way that we will survive. we all need to bring disability into our work and confront ableism as a major system of oppression that works hand in hand with heterosexism to oppress queer people. we can not talk about bodies without talking about disability! it means something to be queer and disabled and we need to talk about that.” —mia
An article on queerness and disability came out this week titled Double Outsiders. When I think of disability and sexuality I think firstly of the exclusion we face in both circles and then the tabooness of it all. This article really reminded me of how many of our people are living in group homes and institutions and how their sexuality (and freedom in general) is so unbelievably oppressed. How is it that it’s almost 2008 and in many ways we haven’t come very far? I guess I can’t be surprised…it’s not like I’ve told my parents or home health nurses either..:
“Dating for people with developmental delays can be difficult, whatever their sexual preference. Even if two people are interested in each other, it can take months just to set up a meeting among guardians and caregivers — sometimes as many as a half-dozen people — who must sign off before anybody even thinks about heading to a movie or a restaurant.
Leslie Falanga tried to help her brother, Andrew, arrange a date with a man he met at the support group. Because neither man could drive, transportation was an obstacle. And with house rules that prohibit closed bedroom doors, privacy was not an option.
So Falanga dropped her brother off at the other man’s group home. It was a junior high-style first date, with bright lights and hovering chaperones. When it was time to say good night, a staff member drove Andrew home.
And the relationship “really didn’t continue,” Falanga said. The logistics were just too difficult.” –Double Outsiders
There are so many articles about how lonely disabled people are, how frusterating is it that most would never to connect it to conditions like this.