That is, until a wonderful United Kingdom disability charity called Scope took matters into their own hands. The not-for-profit "exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same rights as everyone else." Essentially, they provide information and lend support to people with disabilities all over the United Kingdom. Moreover, in order to truly make a difference on a larger scale, they also raise awareness of a persisting problem worldwide — people don't know how to interact with the disabled.
According to their website, two-thirds of the population feels uncomfortable around people with disabilities. This seems to be because people don't know what to do, and that anxiety leads them to do the wrong thing, like blatantly ignoring the disability, or drawing too much attention to it.
The organization's most recent awareness campaign — #EndtheAwkward — is attempting to end that awkwardness by showing the world that disabled people are no different than everyone else in their wants and needs. Since they're a bold group, they decided to go for it and address a more sensitive issue for anyone who already feels uncomfortable around disabled people — sexual expression. In light of International Kiss Day, they created a touching video that depicts how real people with disabilities have sexual relationships.
The description on the video says it succinctly, "we want to ‘kiss awkward goodbye’ by showcasing disabled and non-disabled couples kissing. By showing this unapologetically, we can help break down awkward barriers that currently exist." I have to say, this video gave me all the feels, and not just the emotional ones. The part where the couple's kissing in bed, and the man stops the woman from undoing her bra with his amputated arm so he could do it himself was nothing short of hot.
That, in essence, is what I think Scope is hoping everyone who watches this video starts to feel. Whether you're a paraplegic, blind, or an amputee, you're just as romantic, sexual and beautiful as any non-disabled person. That's not to say you're not also awkward and clunky in the bedroom sometimes, but who isn't? The point is, disabled people should not feel like they have to hide any aspect of themselves to make the rest of the world more comfortable. We all have unusual things about ourselves, it's just that disabled people are often more visible, and everyone else simply needs to get over it.
I know International Kiss Day has come and gone, but public displays of affection from disabled and non-disabled people alike are here to stay. So let's keep all of the awkward out in the open, and continue the conversation on #EndtheAwkward. Remember, it's about the connection, not the impairment.
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