I remember talking to my mom about the book I was reading, “Feminist Queer Crip” by Alison Kafer. When I talked to my mother about disability, she pointed to an experience in her past. She said, she remembered back in her country seeing a man without legs or arms in the streets with a sign that asked others for food. My mom made a point to tell me that the man wasn’t sad, but was singing about the glory of God. (more…)
Archive for the ‘disabled bodies’ Category
I had a conversation with people I was close with about nurses who help disabled people find sexual pleasure. Someone brought up a documentary about the nurses who do this and I offered that I heard a little about it in my Unruly Bodies class. I told them briefly about our section on disabled bodies and the things we’ve discussed in class. (more…)
For the past seven to eight years I have been dealing with chronic lower back pain. Though this has been an ongoing epidemic in my life for a long time I have never viewed myself as disabled. About a year or so after the pain started I was at my doctor’s office to get a physical done so that I could continue swimming for my high school team. I mentioned to my doctor that I was having pretty intense pain in my lower back and wasn’t exactly sure what was causing it. Without doing any type of further examination he simply suggested that I “work on my posture.” Years go by and the pain increases as well as others starting to notice more and more that I am in pain. I was stretching and slouching more at work and laying on a heating pad more often at home. I am thankful that I have an unreasonably high pain tolerance otherwise the pain I was experiencing would have had a much more negative effect on me and my life. Finally, my mom made me another doctor’s appointment, without my knowledge, and the doctor suggested that I have x-rays done on my back. After the x-rays it turns out that I have scoliosis in my lower back and that has been the cause of my pain. The doctor then suggested that I should try out physical therapy to help with the pain, which I have been doing and has been helping. When I found out that I have scoliosis I was extremely frustrated by this because it is something that I could’ve been working on if the first doctor would’ve taken the time to help me and not just brush off the issue. This has been a lesson for me that people, including medical professionals, can all be guilty of not paying attention to a problem in someone else’s life if it is not physically visible to them and that I need to not let myself be dismissed so easily. It is my body and no one knows better than myself the difference between needing actual medical assistance and simply “working on my posture.”
As a person who is considered disabled in mainstream American society, video games have become a way for me to escape feelings of marginalization and feel powerful. More specifically, Western role-playing video games that allow the player to design what their character will look like, as well as the specific attributes they will have, are a very effective escape from the marginalization I often feel as a woman of color who is considered disabled. The player character also becomes very physically and politically powerful over the course of the game and has a significant amount of control over the world around them, contributing to my feelings of empowerment.
My father passed away a few years ago. I have never felt such grief as I did when I received the phone call. It was early in the morning and I was still sleeping. I awoke to the vibrating phone and saw that it was my Mom. I thought to myself, “she never calls this early. something must be wrong.” I could hear her sorrow through the receiver. (more…)