Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Pretender Article lives on...

So that article, 'Portrait of a Pretender', that Allen Rucker wrote about me a few weeks back? Since it was published on New Mobility, it's been picked up by several other places, including a mention by Roger Ebert.

Of course pretty much every place it was mentioned, there has been a lot of negativity coming from the disabled community, some of it rather prolific in it's promotion of exclusion and even hatred. I'm not at all shocked, of course - I've been doing this a long time - but I DO find it interesting that a community which talks so much about acceptance and understanding seems to be so completely devoid of the same.

I mean, it's not like I'm taking their parking spots or using up their medical benefits, I'm not doing anything at all that can possibly affect their daily lives, so why would they feel such vehemence against me? Is it the same argument heterosexuals use against gay marriage - that if a pretender uses a wheelchair it will somehow cheapen THEIR disability experience? It almost seems self-hating, like they're so disgusted by their own situation and their own disability that anyone who might actually find a positive in it, anyone who might even PREFER a wheelchair as a means of mobility for some reason, just HAS to be mentally ill or worse, because it's just so AWFUL. I find that an extremely dis-empowering point of view, personally...

Well, Allen saw the same thing, and he's posted a new article which I really like, called 'Looking to Be Insulted' - he makes some good points and has a really great point of view, it's certainly worth a read, if for not other reason than to see a well-respected disability advocate actually defending ME. Thanks for that, Allen!!


  1. Unfortunately, it is society that is to blame at the root of all the hate. IMO at least.

    'Disability' has been looked down on for as long as any type of society has existed, any type of disability or infirmity leaves the individual bearing it as a second class citizen in the eyes of 'society'. Some 'societies' would even go as far as killing the individual for not fitting in, possibly even claiming that it was a 'mercy'.

    This is so deeply ingrained that even the doctors and care workers of today who deal with those who have either been born with or injured and have a physical disability use terms that re-enforce this in their everyday speech with anyone they talk to at every level; from the patient to the families all the way to their own peers and the media. Things like "confined to a wheelchair", "reliant on a [assistive device] and/or personal care worker", etc. All terms and phrases that demean the individual and subtly tell them they are less than acceptable to be among others. This very attitude from the people who are supposed to be helping the individual to adjust and live with their situation gets ingrained into the person with a disability as well.

    It's so deeply ingrained in fact, that individuals who have a disability that carry on their life as they want are called "heroes" and "inspirations" and held up in front of the world as someone "special" for simply doing the very things that everyone else in the world does on a daily basis; take care of themselves, go to work and earn a living, and take care of a family. Because of course it is just so difficult to go on living with body parts that don't work, either partially or not at all, or are missing altogether, that it is supposed to be better to be in a home where nobody can see you or even dead. That's what 'society' tells us, right?

    And what is the biggest, most widely recognized 'symbol' of being disabled is? The wheelchair of course.

  2. Its why I refuse to call myself disabled. I'm -not.-

    I'm differently-abled..

    Reading some of those comments were just sickening. Knowing that people honestly think I should die, just because I'm transabled? What the ever-loving fuck man?

    As Allen said, you wouldn't kill someone for simply cross-dressing would you? ((Not the Homophobes :/ I know some of them would >.<)) You wouldn't throw someone in jail for showing up at comi-con in full costume?

    So why the hell is it such an issue?

    I've been called mentally ill because of my needs before. Which, I've got mental issues anyways, so it doesn't bother me..But still. Its so stupid IMO.

    We're still human. Just because others see it as a demeaning thing, and have it so deep-rooted in their mind that they're just a 'poor pathetic cripple,' they choose to demonize us because of our needs :/

    I'm friends with many LOVING Differently-abled people. They don't see it as something that should be pitied. That's the thing - They've accepted, and moved past it. Instead, they are trying to empower their fellow people.

    By seeing yourself as something to be pitied, society will follow. And I know its societies views that we should be, but the possibility, and probability of changing societal views wont happen if we continue to think like that.

    We are not sick. We do not need help. We just need another expansion of ourselves in order to be whole. And even if that means, by societies views, making us incomplete, what does it matter?

    I'm glad that you are comfortable in your chair. I am still getting used to the idea. I haven't even gotten one of my own yet. But even so..

    In order to change the view of society, we must first be willing and able to change the view of ourselves. A revolution comes forth when the minds of many come together for a common cause.

    It'll never happen if we continue to pity ourselves, though.

  3. I liked Allen's response to some of the comments in the original article when he said that pretending was no more offensive to him than if he were blonde and someone wore a blonde wig.

    That's the way it should be, but since the pretender/wannabee scene is so foreign to most people (at least people are generally exposed to homosexuality and transgenderism enough that they're able to reflect on it and maybe develop an enlightened view over time), they just have this visceral reaction that's hard to get over. You guys are really fighting an uphill battle.

  4. I don't really care what battle is being fought, I'm just trying to be myself, and be comfortable in my own skin.

    I'm an Intersexual and am Transabled. I'm also a cutter. I'm used to getting stares in public. Its the threats of violence I wont live with and need to be changed.

    I mean, really? Just because I have a need to be in a chair, but dont ((not 100%...The deterioration of muscle in my legs will most likely change that though)) necessarily need it, does that mean my life should honestly be ended?

    Its not a battle I wish to fight. I dont care if others accept me, so long as they dont threaten me over it. I'm not hurting anyone. Its their own ignorance that is hurting themselves..

  5. Good For You Cathy :) I'm happy to see you stand up for yourself against the Haters. I myself don't share your kink lol But I can appreciate the site of a woman in a wheelchair It's rediculous how people just seem to look for any reason to bitch about anyone or anything. But I think all kinks have to deal with that to a exent from Wheelchair pretenders to people who love Bondage or love Casts(like me). And like you said it's not like what YOU do has any negative effect on a real parapalegic or something what you do is pretty Harmless IMO.

    People need to get a life seriously.

  6. One more analogy you can use for ammunition. There are men and women all over the world who have full heads of hair, but choose to shave their heads. But there are also millions of people out there who are losing their hair and are devastated by it. And some of those have lost it because of chemotherapy. Yet I have never heard outrage by cancer patients and those with pattern baldness or alopecia towards people who have great hair but choose to shave it. Enough said.

  7. are you allright ? no update and no tweets for more than 3 weeks ...