I recently declined an offer go on
“The Niall Boylan Show on Classic Hits 4FM” to discuss an article I wrote for The Irish Daily Mail entitled “How do you find love when you’re paralysed?”
The reason I choose not to go on live national radio was because personally that was not the article heading I would have chosen for my piece. I wanted to emphasise how your life changes after an accident and not focusing about finding a man who will see you and not your wheelchair.
I found the title alittle offensive if I’m honest and thoughtless from the onset. Why assume I’m undateable because I have a spinal cord injury and use a wheelchair? I have the same issues that everyone else does and I felt the title of the article problematised my injury. It was my greatest fear that no one would find me desirable after my accident, but I learnt you don’t need a perfect body or unblemished mind to find love.
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.
I realise that words can be extremely powerful and influential but why use it in a derogatory fashion to gain ratings when the bigger impact hurts people and creates negative stereotypes instead of empowering those with disabilities.
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.