Thank you Whoopi and KelliViti for educating the masses!!
You must understand that disability is not a monolithic experience. For the purpose of illustrating my point, I will explore distinctions in the physical disability experience, since that is mine. I am a wheelchair user from birth. My experience is apples to oranges, compared to someone who becomes disabled later in life. The same family, but very, different. Disability for me, is just another defining characteristic, like brown hair, or blue eyes, ( which I also have ). Neither positive, or negative, it simply is. I arrived in this package, nothing was lost, or taken away. I am complete, whole, myself. Disability is an integral part, a bedrock of my identity. Not something to be overcome, ignored, or valued in spite of. I have had dreams where I am walking on my crutches, but never without. Perhaps because, then it would not be me!!! I love my life, exactly as I am, & would change nothing! I am not suffering, trapped, sad, or waiting to walk, as the language surrounding disability suggests. (Suffers From, Wheelchair Bound) This, is the language of fear, which should never be confused for truth! My wheelchair & crutches are an extension of myself, they represent freedom & independence. I’ll close with one final truth… Humans come in all types of bodies, with unique minds to match. We live in a society that refuses to reflect this reality, out of fear. Though understandable, & very human. That, is a societal shortcoming, which needs to be overcome, & addressed. Not, a physical, neurological, or cognitive one. What I am, overcoming, is not some physical or other limitation, but a deeply rooted bias / societal attitude, about what that means. Along with actual, physical, barriers! Which, in turn cause, social ones. As for dating, that never really was an issue. There will always be some people who are freaked out by disability ( they will weed themselves out ). Most people, however, take their cues from me, disability isn’t a negative or a problem, unless I, see it as, or feel, it to be one. When you love & accept yourself, you allow others to do the same. Disability is, normal, by the way. It is part of the natural order, it will exist, as long as we do! Also, beauty & disability, aren’t mutually exclusive. The law of averages, & genetics, still applies!