Friday, May 25, 2018

Vague Mentions of an Author's Disability

No one should be forced to discuss their disability or divergence. If that's all we're asked about, it strips us of our individuality. We become caricatures. There more important things to talk about, like our work.

if an author is already "down from the attic", but it's rarely acknowledged, does it matter? A brief mention fans have to luck upon won't help them much. People in the publishing industry are unlikely to see a vague reference (and visibility is important to challenge assumptions).

Do authors owe readers the knowledge of their disability or neurodivergence? No.

If authors are already open, should they be moreso? It depends. Would it impact sales? Would it mean less invitations to events? Fewer interviews? Is the author afraid of becoming "just another crip writer"?

I like knowing other writers are part of my disabled/neurodivergent squad. It makes me feel like I can succeed in what I do. It makes me feel less alone. But, no one owes it to me. It is, however, an incredible gift. I'm not the only one who feels that way.

I still get a frustrated stirring when I read an interview with a writer who I know is disabled and neither the interview or the biography acknowledge it. Even though I realize it's not my business. Even though I understand not wanting to talk about mobility aids and how disability is a metaphor for everything. I still desire to see it, the hint that a rockin' author is "different" and is fine with it. That the interviewer and editor are fine with it. That, for one damn minute, ableism isn't a thing... and one of us is gaining traction with nothing to hide.

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