Friday, March 3, 2017

Support as a Disabled Writer (Anonymous Guest Post)

What follows is from Anonymous #742.  Details have been changed to protect the writer.

I started this thought yesterday on Twitter.  What follows is a sort of illustration, generously sent to me for this blog.  The author doesn't mind if you take this for fiction, as long as you take it seriously.

At The Handy, Uncapped Pen... you (and your work) are valued.  If I ever make you feel differently. please let me know why.  I want this to be a resource and a community.  Conversation should be part of this.

As always, feel free to contact us.


My father doesn't "get" my work.  He's supportive, I guess, but doesn't want to read it. He says I'll be famous someday.  If I do work he thinks will get me there.  Nah.  I can't. Won't.  I don't write that way.

My older sisters are aloof-to-passively-hostile about my career choice.  One is better than the other, a cold momma bear, she encourages rarely but in lavish fashion.  The sister between us nearly never has a kind word.  Picks each success apart.

Fitting in places isn't something I do.  Attempts are made and recede quick.  I've never found a group to share triumphs with, torn between relief and wishing.  Support from family, few friends, wasn't much beyond congratulatory back-pats on acceptances.

One person in my life goes beyond.  Is always there for me as artist and human.  Luck smiles.  It is luck.  People don't even get that, at times, the one who believes in them with unshaken faith.


I told my family I'm ace.  Finally.  It's taken forever to identify.  I held off.  I'm married, no one has to know besides my spouse. I told them, still.  They laughed it off, mocked me.  Asexuals don't exist for them.  Doesn't help my case that I'm married, have and talk about sex.  Ace people can't be married.  They're all celibate.  It hurt.

Makes me question everything, again.  My brain screams they're right.  I don't "act" asexual.  I have sex.  I enjoy romantic love.  It took me years to figure out why certain things don't affect me.  Why I don't "act/feel normal" when it's normal to me.   Ten minutes erased years.  I won't label myself as ace to people.  Won't take that, again.


Wheelchair-users can't go everywhere, always.  The AWP Conference is one of the largest gatherings for writers.  Can't go.  Money is one issue.  Lack of accessibility is the kick.  It says people like me are unwelcome.  People like me aren't worth notice.  Are we writers?  No one cares but us.  The world has enough writers.  

There isn't a true organization for disabled writers right now.  Not in the way there is for LGBT writers, Asian writers.  Groups for Native American writers and all the rest, usually can't/won't accommodate disabled people of their minority.  
The disability community often isn't great for including people with intersectional identities.  I'm white, but I notice how we can be.  Look at what happened with #DisabilityTooWhite.  It became all about us white people.

The disabled writing community can most easily include intersectional writers with disabilities.  We'd be set for it.  All we'd have left is to not be assholes.  We can manage.

We'd rock our own space. 

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