In fact, teenage-me thought that if I could snag myself a non-disabled boyfriend, that meant I’d made it. I’d win the battle to just be “a normal person” like everyone else. I’d blend seamlessly into the crowd and wheel off into the sunset with my perfectly-proportioned prince.
and I began to deconstruct my own ableist prejudices. I realised that a huge part of my reluctance to have a relationship with someone else with a disability stemmed from the fact that I was still viewing disability as my own personal deficiency. Once I realised that may of the issues in my life stem from society and the environment, everything changed. Realising that disabled people are not wrong for the world we live in, but that the world is simply not yet right for us, was enormously liberating.
When I was younger, I vowed that I would never have a relationship with another disabled person. Certainly until I was about 17, I was kind of “in the closet” about disability. I knew I had one – heck, I got my first motorised wheelchair when I was 2½ – but I did my very best not to acknowledge it. I didn’t hang out with other disabled people (ew!) and I would certainly have never entertained the prospect of a relationship with one.