July 3rd, 2005

swimming

letter from Advocate.com

Just wrote this to Advocate.com (sorry, no lj-cut...not expecting it to be published as it is long) The poll & comments: http://www.advocate.com/html/poll/results.disabilities112100.asp

Dear Editors,

I just read the results of your poll asking "Do you think people with disabilities are treated fairly within the
gay and lesbian community?" and wanted to respond.

As a flamboyant queer & crip activist for almost 30 years, I need to say that the Queer community has done little besides spoil my sex life. I find that when my "disability experience" - physical pain, housing discrimination, invasion of privacy by the "helping" medical profession, isolation caused by lack of mobility - gets so bad that I cry myself to sleep nightly, there is usually a Queer peer to drive home the point that I am considered by many to be America's human waste because I got hit by a drunk driver and semi- truck as a child...and lived through it.

In my experience, Queers with disabilities are the Ugly Furry Spiders of the LGBT/Queer community - we might be extremely wealthy, famous, prolific in our art or profession, even incredibly handsome - but who doesn't react with panic at the sight of a large spider & who in the LGBT/Queer community wants to be seen in public dating a spider (or someone who walks slow or uses a wheelchair).

I find nondisabled LGBT/Queers' terror of disabled peers rather ironic as each sub- group struggles with issues of being stigmatized by how our body functions and looks. It's humorously and sweetly human in its predictability - often not played out meanly at all but in a rushed desperateness to help, like the Boy Scout forcing the little old lady across the street. It's understandable that people would be scared of my experiences - I certainly was/am - until I want a lover, friend, artistic collaborator or a reason to go to Queer pride events.

I get so tired of the repetitive "what happened to your leg?" and am still amazed that nondisabled Queers assume that if they know the details of my accident that happened 27 years ago, that it means I will feel a quality trust and present day bond with them that overrides all phoniness and human pettiness. This is especially odd to me considering the "secret” details of my childhood accident have been made public in the BBC documentary made on my life and work, in internationally published writings and performances by myself. My Queer "friends" will not visit me in the hospital or send a get well card if I get a major operation - but they will be inspired by my courage. How delightful.

I do not want to be treated "like everybody else". I am me. A Queer "woman" who has survived and thrived through a hell of a lot of nondisabled people's worst nightmares and I will continue to do so…with all the humour, style & bitchines this female drag queen can muster.

I believe there's honor in living with a disability. Not in simply being disabled, anyone can break a leg or get a disease, but in using one's physicality to learn to live with dignity under scorn and with compassion when one is force-fed pity.
swimming

postqueer quote - research recommendations

I love this just discovered quote...

"Tolerably early in life, I discovered that one of the unpardonable sins, in the eyes of most people, is for a man to go about unlabeled. The world regards such a person as the police do an unmuzzled dog.

Thomas Henry Huxley, a 19th-century anthropologist

Any recommended writers/books on intersections of queer history/evolution/anthropology/philosophy/eugenics/spirituality/ethic (or variations)?

uh -oh, having a resurging interest in academia...