You don’t need a perfect body or unblemished mind to find love. Fact.
The Undateables is a British TV documentary series which follows a range of people on dates who have long term conditions, including: disabilities, developmental disorders, and learning difficulties. From the onset, I find the very title offensive and thoughtless. Why assume someone is undateable because they have a condition/illness or use a wheelchair?
They have the same issues that everyone else does and I fell the title of the show problematises their conditions.
I had a similar experience; I did an interview with the daily mail to emphasise how your life changes after an accident. The heading the editor entitled the article was “HOW DO YOU FIND LOVE WHEN YOU’RE PARALYSED?”
I would never have agreed to such a title if I had been given the choice; in fact I would have insisted they not publish my piece at all if that was going to be a caption anywhere on the page. I realise that words can be extremely powerful and influential but why use them in a derogatory fashion to gain ratings; when the bigger impact hurts people and creates negative stereotypes instead of empowering those it was intended to help.
When it comes to sex and disability, there’s a space in the media that narrows in on the more personal side of things almost bordering on voyeurism and fetishisation, instead of seeing the person for a real person.
An intrinsic part of the problem is that disabled people, whether they are parents or not, are presumed to be asexual. Widely documented and strongly reinforced in society, this belief creates numerous myths with many people presuming that sex and parenthood aren’t even possible, let alone desirable or otherwise.
Reducing unnecessary labels and stigma is important as is reducing misinformation around sexual health of people living with a disability but we must remember to maintain the persons privacy and anonymity always.