01 May 2013

Reproduction While Disabled

This is my post for BADD 2013. You can read other posts or submit your own here.

TW/CN: (dis)ablism and ablist slurs

I imagine most people with disabilities get crap when talking about families, starting, joining, and making them.

I remember the first boyfriend I had, and the comments that my grandparents made: "Who would want to date you?"

I'm sure they don't remember it. They never remember their hurtful comments (whether they're about disability or race or class or sexual orientation or gender or any of the other things where they can just be down right mean). I'm sure that the other people there don't remember it either. Why would they? This was just another comment in a long line of "Mocha, you aren't allowed to start a family because you're disabled. Disabled people can't be loved by people, you silly thing that thinks she's a person with full rights."

I remember when my husband proposed. I remember all the concerns that people had for him and talked about him like he was some martyr for being with a person with disabilities. I remember people that I considered my friends asking if he was okay with not having any children because somehow Steel Magnolias was a documentary.

I remember on the day of my wedding when the photographers asked to get a picture of our feet (because you need a good shot of those shoes. They're expensive!) and they saw my medical ID. And then the whole mood turned into a pity party. For him. As if he was throwing his life away.

I remember being in class, and male peers somehow assuming they had a right to know where I kept my cyborg parts when I wore a dress or skirt and what I did with them during sex. And when I asked them where they kept their pancreas when they wore their clothes and what they did with it during sex, I was told I should be grateful that they assumed that "handicaps could even have sex."

I remember having a conversation with my in-laws this past Christmas where forced sterilization for people with disabilities was seriously proposed. And the only counter point (because I was speechless) was that you can't just say that out loud because people might think you're like Hilter. Not because, you know, people with disabilities are people. (For the record, I also had to explain why blackface was problematic...so...not so good with SJ stuff, these people.)

I remember these things, and they stay with me. I am fortunate to have a partner who stands by me and knows the truth about being with someone who is disabled. I am fortunate to be able to afford the health care that will one day allow me to have children.

Because I am a person too. I deserve the right to fall in love, and get married, and some day have children (whether adopted or not). I deserve the right to be a future parent and a spouse.

Because I am a person. And I am loved.

2 comments:

  1. This is so distressing to read. Not just that someone passed judgment once, but that it happened over and over. You're right, you don't deserve this type of treatment ... nobody does. You have the same rights as everyone else. Fortunately, amid all the naysayers, you found someone to spend the rest of your life with who agrees with you.

    Thanks for sharing all of this. I'm sure it wasn't easy.

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  2. I just found your post from May's Best of The "Betes Blogs and just read along while shaking my head. Like Scott before me said, this is truly distressing most especially because it has happened over and over. I'm sorry that you have had to endure this, but I'm relieved that you don't buy into it. Many big hugs! xo

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