I never have had the luxury of hiding my disability. My wheelchair always has been a part of me. I go where it goes. My sexuality also always has been a part of me, though for eighteen years, bottled up for no one else to see.
Living with a physical disability often means relinquishing a certain level of privacy. Growing up, I needed the help of parents transferring me in and out of our inaccessible shower and other activities of daily living, some of the most private moments of my day. I knew nothing different and it never bothered me, though that level of familiarity led them to believe they knew everything about me, as if I had no secrets. When I hinted during senior year of high school that I have been hiding something important, my mother couldn’t imagine, given that we were so close. Still, I lived in a small community and like others my age, was not ready to come out. [continue reading…]