beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Every year, Uncanny Magazine does a special "Destroy Science Fiction!" issue. (Women Destroy Science Fiction! Queers Destroy Science Fiction! People of Color Destroy Science Fiction!") This year, it's "Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction!"

The issue itself isn't out yet, but many of the personal essays about disability and science fiction are available for free on the Kickstarter page. They're all good, and you should totally check them out.  Here are some of my faves:

K.C. Alexander, We Are Not Your Backstories:
Science fiction shapes generations—how we think, the way we act. It influences the careers we choose and our thirst for knowledge. It cautions against the worst of our impulses, and quietly teaches us empathy. Without knowing it, we are slowly acclimated to people and beliefs that live outside our rigid monocultures.
A.T. Greenblatt, The Stories We Find Ourselves In:
So, I'll let you in on a secret, the thing I've learned about having a life-long disability, the thing that lots of stories never quite grasp: The real trick, the true solution to a disability, is to find a balance between your abilities and your goals.
Michael Merriam, We Are Not Daredevil. Except When We Are Daredevil:
I live in this world. I can't toss my white cane aside when I need to spring into action: the cane goes with me everywhere. I travel around my city on public transportation. My other senses are not supernaturally sharper because I am blind. I simply pay better attention to those other senses. It's a learned skill. I live within my blindness every day, and I want to read about fictional characters who also live with and within their blindness.

 

Marissa Lingen, Malfunctioning Space Stations:
I have a major balance disorder. When I am awake and able to use all my senses, I can reason out the vertical. If you make me close my eyes, I can still get it to within about five degrees of the correct answer if I'm sitting still on a firm surface. If I’ve got a squishy surface, motion, or other things confusing my senses, doubtful. Asleep? All bets are off. I literally do not know which way is up.

Since I have read and written science fiction for decades, what my sleeping brain knows to do with this much disorientation is to process it into a malfunctioning space station. And so I dream. Occasionally my dreams veer into carnival rides, roller coasters, giant swooping swings. But that is someone else's genre. This is mine.

H. Ace Ratcliff, Nihil de Nobis, Sine Nobis:
I narrowly avoided the temptation to throw my Kindle and watch the book shatter into a million plastic pieces. If it had been a printed paperback, I’m positive I would be able to show you the dent in the wall. “For the record,” I tweeted out to the hashtags The Expanse was using, “you can be a fucking Valkyrie in a goddamn wheelchair.” I can assure you that any human with the wherewithal, sheer willpower, and pain tolerance to put her skeleton back into place on an hourly basis absolutely deserves a place in any mythological pantheon.
Day Al-Mohamed, The Stories We Tell and the Amazon Experiment:
As an example, I once asked a room full of authors what their response would be if I asked them to make the protagonist in their current Work-in-Progress a woman – most nodded, yesses were heard around the room. Then I asked if they could make their character a person of color – again, nods around the room. Then I asked if they would make the character disabled – silence. The discomfort was palpable. In theory diversity and disability was great to include in fiction but when it came to implementation, they couldn’t easily connect disability with their protagonist. They had trouble adjusting to the practical reality of disability existing outside of the boxes they knew. This is why 134 stories on Amazon could be broken down into five story categories.
Ada Hoffman, Everything Is True: A Non-Neurotypical Experience with Fiction:
When I read #ownvoices autistic characters, I often think the authors have had that same feeling. Many of these characters have devoted family, friends, romantic partners, even when the world at large is awful to them. Most of them first have to overcome a broken relationship with themselves. To learn to believe that they're worthy as they are.

With autistic characters written by NT authors, it often feels like everyone is tired of their shit from the start.

You don't have to be tough. People sometimes say things like, "If you can be discouraged from writing, you should be," and use that as a way to justify being unkind to people who are tender. I don't think it's meant as a cudgel against disabled people specifically, but it can function as one. If you doubt your abilities, if you are sometimes crushed, if you feel like an impostor—that's fine. It's normal. If only tough people wrote stories, then we'd only have their perspectives, and we would lose all the things other people—you—have to offer.
Haddayr Copley-Woods, Move Like You're From Thra, My People:
I was glad I didn’t have this unfortunate internalized disableism stilling my movements, but I didn’t know why I’d found it so easy to make the switch until I sat down with my little boys to watch The Dark Crystal, which I hadn’t watched in decades.

I didn’t know. It took my breath away. The reason why I am fine with moving like this, the reason I am fine with people staring and why I love myself this way, is because of The Dark Crystal.

 

The issue is more than fully funded, right now they're adding content left and right as more people pledge, and if they get to $45k (they're at $39,425 with 9 days left to go) they'll do a hardcopy of it for supporters pledging $50 or more.

ick

Apr. 7th, 2017 11:59 am
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I just learned that Ivar Lovaas, the guy who created behavioral therapy (I.e. gay conversion therapy for queer people* and ABA** for autistics) is not only Norwegian (my own family heritage), but he also got his undergrad degree from Luther College, my alma mater.  Gross.

*It's called gay conversion, but it's also used on people from just about every category of lgbtq

**It's basically the same thing, and it's just as damaging.
beatrice_otter: A Beatrix Potter illustration of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Lucie having tea. (Mrs Tiggy-Winkle)
You know, from the classic children's book?

All the other young bulls want to do one thing (be picked for the bullfight) and Ferdinand doesn't.  Ferdinand is happier by himself doing his own thing that he likes than he is with the other young bulls trying to fit in and do the things they want to do.  (Ferdinand is a very lucky bull, because his mother understands, and lets him do what he likes to do instead of trying to force him to be like the other bulls.)

Ferdinand is a sensory-seeker: all he wants to do is smell the flowers.

When Ferdinand is in pain, he has a meltdown (snorts and paws the earth and acts crazy).  (This is why they think he'd be a good candidate for the bullfighting ring.)

But when they get him there, they can't get him to fight because he doesn't want to.  (Ferdinand still doesn't participate in social expectations, preferring to do what he wants to do--i.e. smell the flowers.)

In the end, Ferdinand is allowed to go back home and just be himself, experiencing the world the way he wants and needs to.
beatrice_otter: Sarah Connor kicks ass--made for me, not shareable (Sarah Connor kicks ass)
I went in to the doctor this morning for a routine checkup and to get some warts on the soles of my feet removed.  But one of them, I wasn't even sure if there was a wart there any more, or just a big callus.

See, one of the things that many autistics do is rub or pick at any irregularities in their skin--scabs, dry skin, calluses, zits, etc.  This is a form of stimming and can be anything from no problem at all to really damaging, depending on several factors like how often and intensely you do it, what type of things you're picking at, etc.  (If you do it so that it's dangerous--regularly breaking the skin and thus bringing the risk of infection, for example, or preventing wounds from healing--you can sometimes get the same satisfaction out of letting glue or nail polish dry on your skin or nails and then picking at that.)  And I've always been one to pick at things, though never to the point it became a problem.

This is relevant because, about a year ago when one of the warts was coming in, there was a flap of skin or something sticking out.  And this is on the sole of my foot, it was really bugging me.  So I started fiddling with it, and eventually yanked, and this core of stuff came out of my foot leaving what looked like a deep puncture.  Well, I disinfected it and bandaged it, and when it was healed up there was still a callus there but I thought that might have been the core of the wart, right there.  Sure enough, the doc said I was right--it was nothing but callus left.  So I only had to have two warts frozen off, not three.  Yay!  Less pain!

Also, the doc knew like nothing about autism or how an autistic person might react to stuff in a doctor's office.  Like, the fact that we have sensory processing issues was complete news to her.  So now she knows, and hopefully will take this into account for her other autistic patients.  (At roughly 1 in 70 people being on the spectrum, I guarantee I'm not the only one of her patients who is autistic, whether they--or she--know it or not.)

Profile

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
beatrice_otter

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3 456789
10111213 141516
171819 20212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

LibraryThing



Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags