Hello, readers. I’ve been bad; I haven’t posted in several weeks. Sorry about that. The blog and I have been very busy in real life (the space between computers). I got to meet Judith Heumann, a big disability rights activist who was one of the leaders of the 1977 occupation of the old Federal Building in San Francisco. We spoke a little about the blog and she asked me to link to it on her Facebook page, which was a very surreal, very early 21st century moment, you know, having this civil rights giant who won you all these rights before you were born ask to link your blog about disabled aliens on a social networking website. What’s next? Elizabeth Cady Stanton asking me to friend her on foursqaure? (I would decline; my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.) Anywho… I spoke at two symposia about the blog, Scorpius’ sex life, and how fans know more about sci-fi/fantasy than “scholarly” writers. At my department’s graduation, I got to talk about blogging as an accessible form of activism for nerds with disabilities. And then most astonishingly, I won my department’s Special Award for Excellence in Research and Senior Honors Thesis for writing this blog. Yeah. Shocked me, too. I honestly hope my mom’s clapping covered up me saying, “Holy shit,” as I walked up to get the certificate.
Enough about me. Today, I wanna give you folks the extended, unrated, director’s cut version of what I talked about at those two symposia.
One of the more pervasive stereotypes about people with disabilities is that disabled folks are asexual. PWD have worked to dispel this myth, but most mainstream efforts have come off about as subtle as a disabled cisgender guy getting up on top of a table and shouting, “I HAVE MADE SEX WITH MANY WOMEN IN THE VAGINA.” In the autobiographical-musical film, Tell Them I’m a Mermaid, the women have an extended rap session about how much they want
the peen a man to love them. This display of heterosexual desire is particularly egregious given that many of those women are lesbians. Have you heard about The Surrogate starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt? It’s the second film about Berkeley poet Mark O’Brien to portray him as 100% heterosexual 100% cisgender dudebro (at least, base on the buzz surrounding the film). Apparently, when looking through O’Brien’s work at Bancroft Library, the director of The Surrogate skipped over the poems about O’Brien’s gender dysphoria and preference for Black men. My point: attempts to portray disabled sexuality have far too often been portrayals of disabled heterosexuality that do little to challenge heteronormativity, i.e. the way that “traditional” man-woman relationships are highly valued and understood as the building block of society.
Trigger Warning: ableism, violence against people with disabilities, sexual assault, BDSM roleplay