Saturday, May 28, 2011

Disabled man files human rights claim against police post G20

"A quadriplegic panhandler arrested during the G20 summit last summer was “dragged” from his wheelchair, thrown into a police cruiser and left on the floor of the Eastern Ave. jail, where he defecated on himself because guards refused to help him, according to a human rights claim filed Friday.
Gabriel Jacobs, 47, was released without charge before dawn on Monday, June 28, after spending two nights in the temporary G20 detention centre. His motorized wheelchair was returned to him after his roughly 30-hour detention; no other mobility support was provided inside the jail, according to the claim." 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

sex while gimped.

i love getting sexed the fuck up.

There, i said it. It's true.

Now, you may not know or experience this, but being a gimp, i'm in many ways expected not to be so into sex or considered sexy because gimps are so often de-sexualized [unless we're being hypersexualized, which happens too. And a bunch of other things collide when it comes to sex, some of which i wrote about then erased because i can't quite figure out how to tie it all together... perhaps another post.]
i'm expected to be grateful when sex appears in my life (because who would want to have sex with a gimp?) i'm often expected to say "yes" (because gimps can't be choosy, you know!) im expected to respond to able-bodied assumptions about my body, to weather able-bodied judgement about the kinds of sex i have and what value it has (because able-bodied folks are the default for every fucking thing). People look at me and imagine (and yes, sometimes actually verbalize to me and/or others) that i couldn't possibly have great sex, because they're using able-bodied frameworks to judge it, frameworks which specifically devalue/ignore gimp sex.

And why wouldn't they? Almost every single representation of sex out there is between presumed able-bodied folks. Even most few and far between representations of [people who are perceived by sighted folks as] disabled folks having sex make sure to cut out assistive devices, downplay the importance or impact of the disabilities in the lives of the folks involved, certainly don't talk about the details, or focus only on "overcoming" the disabilities.

This is not the framework in which i want to experience sex.
This is not the framework in which i seek connection. And this is not my reality.

i love sex, i love play. i love everything about it. i love the dirt, sweat, complexity, movement, tears, familiarity, sounds, stains, simplicity, cramps, awkwardness, abrasions, injuries, newness, i even love the minefield. i do. i love how deeply it challenges me, how it exposes all my doors, flings open moments (sometimes lifetimes) of hurt and twirls them into fine silk for resting our weary heads and hearts. i love it.
i love how it reminds me that i am here, now, sharing this body with others, being vulnerable, open, hot and curious, together, knowing something incredibly deep about each other, even if only for that moment. i love knowing that the people i'm with now truly perceive me, really get me. i love opening myself up to someone/s, pouring myself out onto their hands, curling up with them and making out like it's going out of style, fucking anywhere, getting my kink on, getting shitkicked, and being totally present for every part of it. When i'm having sex, i have experiences i've never had before, i'm in an energy feedback loop, and can do things i couldn't otherwise do. When i'm fucking, the sweat, the cum, the cramps and rest stops all make up this swirl of emotion and lust and gorgeousness, and it feels so fricken incredibly mindblowing, connected, sweet, dirty as fuck, liberating, confusing, regenerative, so many things. And it breaks my heart sometimes.

Does that sound like someone who needs able-bodied permission or direction to fuck with abandon?

No? That's because it's not. While i do have to navigate a seemingly endless sea of ableism and ableist assumptions when it comes to sex, i have sex on my own terms. It's not all magical rainbow-farting ponies and butterflies, and i'm ok with that. It's complicated sometimes, y'know? And i'm ok with that too. Everything's complicated, yeah? But better to be complicated than erased.

thought i'd already linked to this, but nope! so here you go:

a table of non-ableist alternatives to "crazy"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Raving Gimps

So i want to share an experience with you. One that shows me a real contrast between a mostly heterosexual event and the experiences i've had at most queer events, and how interesting it is to me to come to realizations about that in the context of being a queer gimp. Bear with a bear!

So, 4 years ago, at 35 years of age, i went to my first rave. They were never really on my radar, certainly not enough to go to one, but some friends who were very experienced with it invited me, so i felt safe going to my first one with them, and went for it. i went to another this weekend.
The rave was interesting. i certainly danced for many hours, which was just as shocking as it was the first time. The only thing that seems out of sorts is my left upper back that hurts like fuck, and that's i think because my crutches were at different lengths (gah!!! i really need to be more on top of that); but otherwise, excellent. i might talk more about the physical stuff in another post sometime, but for now i want to share something else.

One thing i find very interesting about the 2 raves i've been to, is that many people - about 80% of the time folks presenting as dudes - will come up to me and, in a totally non-condescending manner, tell me things like "i love that you're here", "i love what you're doing", "you're beautiful, man[sic]", "it's so good to see you here", and so on and so forth, shake my hand, pat on the back, "fist bump"(???), sometimes a lingering something else. Sometimes it felt kind of weird, like, where is this coming from? But anyways, interesting.

Now, don't get me wrong, i know clearly that there's the subtext of "you're disabled, and isn't it inspiring that you're here at this rave dancing!", otherwise, why would they come up and say such things when they're clearly(?) not doing that with others? But i gotta say, even for me, someone who is exceedingly sensitive to those kinds of vibes, it's never once felt like that, or felt like, yeah, i was totally just being condescended to, not fucked up at all. It's just interesting to me, and not something i'd ever experienced before. 

Those folks are totally just there for the music, the experience, and the people who've said anything to me seem to recognize me as someone who is also totally there for the music, the experience, and that i've (i suppose clearly due to having a disability that sighted folks can perceive?) "overcome" some kind of actually really intense societal pressure to stay at home instead of feeling it, but the music was that important to me that i just did it. 
And believe me, i have overcome that when i've gone to them. i was so worried the first time i went, like really worried. i thought people would gawk at me, make me feel like shit, thought *i* would make me feel like shit, thought i couldn't dance in ways that would be ok, thought i wouldn't be safe, physically or emotionally. Add to that being "too old", "too uncool", "too queer", with way "too big" tits, etc, and this was a perfect storm for me limping out of there like some no-one-will-dance-with-me-even-at-the-end-of-the-sock-hop tearjerker. Everything about it told me that i shouldn't go, but i was finally like "Fuck this shit. i'm going. And people can shut the fuck up, and i can leave if i need to".

But it was actually amazing. And i think it was amazing, in part, because (even though it felt really awkward at times, and even though some gimps would cut someone for saying those things) people were so fucking honest. Probably E has something to do with it lol. But i don't think that's all it is. i don't know how much was about some sort of "male[sic] bonding" or male[sic] privilege", i'm sure there are aspects of that. i think mostly they were expressing a sincere appreciation for someone coming out, despite whatever shit is going on, because of a deep love for the music, and that's something i can really understand on many levels. And not something i've ever experienced ANYWHERE.

People were also super respectful in their behaviour in terms of the space i needed to dance safely. People weren't slamming into me, elbowing me, pushing me, they could tell i was using the speakers as some support, they moved when i needed them to, there was a sort of dance that happened when folks needed by, that felt like it was about taking care, not being afraid to touch me, and i really super appreciated that.

Compare and contrast that with most times i've gone out to dance (or anywhere for that matter, but particularly dancing) in supposedly queer spaces? Not so cool. People do gawk, or they condescend flat out, or they run into me over and over and over again, even when i ask them not to, or they make like i don't. even. exist. Especially when i'm alone at an event or away from my friends (and i'm often away from folks because i usually need a wall to be against, need space for stability, need to take a breather and sit for awhile, etc). It's pretty overwhelming, and feels that much worse because i feel like as a queer i should be ok there, it should be better. But no. 
[And if anyone feels compelled in this moment to say something like "well, but if they knew you were queer (they did), or if they knew you were trans (they probably didnt), they'd be mean to you and that wouldnt happen in a queer space!" or "Well a least you wouldnt get queerbashed in a queer place" (not true) or "Well, being condescended to as a gimp is better than getting queerbashed" (also not true, and diminishes the very real experience of gimpbashing. Believe me. It hurts just as much.) please don't. It hurts me to go into queer spaces (when im actually able to access them that is) and be treated in ableist ways.]

It's just bizarre that it should feel so ok* in one space i wasn't expecting to, and not ok in another i really do expect to. But there it is. Stranger things have happened, and while i'm not going to make a regular habit of attending raves, i gotta say i was mightily impressed.

*And i also want to acknowledge that this is just one gimp's experience. If i was someone else, a different kind of gimp, i could have an entirely different experience, and all of this would be for naught. It's always contextual.