My sexuality was robbed from me before I even entered womanhood. I was desexualised from day dot, told to cover up because “nobody wants to see those” on a Disabled body, ordered to suppress my desires because they were deemed so unrealistic.
I was excluded from conversations; people like me didn’t appear in any media about sex, dating or romance except fetish porn; when men showed an interest it was only ever because they wanted to try something new, like they were trialling a different washing powder.
When I met my kids’ dad, I was jaw-to-the-floor gobsmacked to find someone that saw me for me. He didn’t pretend my disability didn’t exist, but he didn’t care. He held space for the trauma I incurred as a result of ableism and he found me attractive irrespective of this, and of my shape and height. This is all pretty basic, right? You’d think. The relationship ended up laying the foundations towards me having the confidence to set better boundaries around men, and realise the kind of guys I really didn’t want to be around anymore.
Thing is, Disabled people are worthy of sexual experiences, love, romance and intimacy, just like anyone else. We deserve to feel good, inside and out, and to be told we look good, without being fetishised or being seen as an experiment. We deserve to have people around us that uplift us, love the hell out of us and celebrate us in the fullness of who we are, which is so much more than our disability/ies alone.