Friendship can sometimes be tough for wheelies. I’d like to zone-in on the stuff wheelies wonder when starting new friendships, a relationship, or even making an acquaintance. This is the fun stuff I think about when people express an interest in knowing me, and hopefully I’m not alone in the confusion. These questions come from my personal experience, and are by no means meant to assign blame to ablebodied people, rather to acknowledge some familiar social situations had by PwD.
1. What do you want? No seriously, why are you choosing to befriend me over the 100 able-bodied people in this classroom? Is it because you’re fascinated by me? You think my motor is jacked? What’s that, you want to include me in a game of Capture the Flag? Are you sure? Why?You realize I can’t guard anything with my wheels, right?
2. Am I your inspirational friend? You know, the one that makes you want to be a better person, all because I can get out of bed in the morning. The friend who makes you think, “If she can do something semi-meaningful with her life, I have no excuse.” Because we all know that that’s why People with Disabilities exist–to motivate able-bodied humans to get off their asses.
3. Are we only hanging out so you can look better? So that when we hit that party and you see your ex, you can suddenly help me grab some food, or fix my hair, or help me make a joke. Because wheelies need help with everything, and your helpfulness makes you look absolutely saintly in front of those you love and hate.
4. Are you looking for a sounding-board? There’s a stereotype which I call the “Wise Wheelie Error”. It’s only official in my world(aka fake), though I bet research would show it’s a pretty prevalent societal belief. The Wise Wheelie Error mistakenly attributes wisdom to wheelies everywhere, assuming them to have observational knowledge on the difficult intricacies of life. Inline with this silly assumption, many people think they can tell wheelies anything, and that they will quietly, calmly listen, keep all your secrets, and give a thoughtful, wise reply. In reality, when friends talk, I’m waiting to make fun of them and wondering when the last time I pooped was.
5. Are you here because you think I lack friends? My poor disabled heart gets passed up by many, so you’ll swoop and fill my friendship void, right? Wrong. I don’t have lack of friends because of my disability. I lack friends because…I’m kind of a jerk. Move along.
1. Are you a Devotee? It means a person that is sexually attracted to disability. Are you sexualizing my disability?
2. Are you a Devotee? Tell the truth. No. Stop lying. Anyone who wasn’t a devotee would have given up by now.
3. You want to keep having sex with me? Just come out as a wheelie-fetisher already. I see you.
4. Do you think I’m easy access? You probably think that I don’t have many sexual options, so I’d be an easy lay. You may be right, but is this what I want for my life?
5. Am I a pity-fuck? My friend Andrew has written and talked about this extensively, and it is quite a concern. You feel bad for me, and my disabled body, so you’ll do me a solid and sex me, right? Because everyone loves a little “Oh, your life sucks, let me fuck it all away for you,” in their life.
Many of these concerns can be mixed and mingled in the blurry areas of friendship and dating/sex/sexship etc etc, and I’ve missed many in the interest of brevity. But, there ya go. As always, thoughts are welcome.