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  • Writer's pictureErin Clark

Bless The Lovers.

One thing you have universally in common with (otherwise conventionally attractive) women in wheelchairs is that people like to say: “But. You are so beautiful, what a shame/waste/pity that you are disabled and therefore no one will want you.” (since, as we all know, physical beauty will guarantee you great and true love as it is the most deep and meaningful of human traits.)

Every type of person says or implies this every type of way right from the moment of your unfortunate birth. To your face, after having sex with you, after pretending to have feelings they don't have so you can feel like a woman for a while, when you are trying to buy a trinket in their gift shop with your mom, casually while in a group of friends having drinks in a bar. And there is nowhere to look to believe otherwise. Don't be too hard on yourself that at some point it got under your skin. You don't even have low self esteem - it was just easier to go along with it and get on with making the best of your extensively asserted undesirability. Try getting married, no one tells you that no one will want you when you're wearing a wedding ring. Relief will feel like love for a while. Eventually things will get so crazy you'll get around to asking yourself the exact right question. Am *I* actually afraid they're right? Is that fear mine?

Oh, #sexicon, no. You don’t have to harbor other people’s fear inside you.

On your first Skype date with Stefanie - another 'wheelchair girl' you know from Instagram - neither of you wearing pants - you will talk about this. The eroding friction of being mass projected onto. Being disabled, for you, is far more an experience of being society's worst fear made flesh than it is an experience of physical limits. It is also the subtle art of dissipating the pressure to play along for everyone's sake. There is also this: Why was it easier to go along with something so abject? It is easier to accept no one will ever want you for an unchangeable reason and put the issue to bed than to face your own discomfort at any ever-unstable mystery. And love is the most unstable. No one has any control at all and everyone is panicking. You and the society that erases your womanhood playing the same game. You laugh with the devils of irony. Her shirt strap slips off her shoulder when she gestures. A thick lock of her dark hair curls up around the apple of her cheek. “The idea that you have to meet some wildly courageous person willing to defy the standards of society in order to love you is based entirely on the premise that you are objectively undateable. When you’re together, that is between you, that’s what you’re getting intimate with - what it means to be unloveable - not the other person. If you don't accept the premise, when someone sees you and wants you, it’s not praiseworthy - just vulnerable and uncertain. For everyone involved in any kind of love all the time.” You say. And, “You know, if people who say this kind of stuff and think this way need you SO BADLY to reassure them you have taken on all the bad outcomes and can dole out benevolent angel inspiration blessings by letting them pity you - it doesn’t mean you are actually what they need you to be, it means they NEED you. and, by their own rules, THAT means you are the boss. You get to decide who you bless and who you curse. Bless the lovers, who don’t think they’re doing you any favors because they’re too busy loving what and how and who they love."

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