When the topics of dating, romance and sexuality are discussed, people generally do not think of people with physical disabilities. So, when I was asked to do a TEDx talk, I was excited to bring this topic to light and debunk the many negative stereotypes that serve as a roadblock in our pursuit of finding a romantic partner. Being born with a neuromuscular disease and having gotten my first wheelchair in kindergarten, I have had my own share of personal experiences as a teenager and adult attempting to date.
When sculpting my TEDx talk, I pulled from these personal experiences as well as from knowledge gained through my Ph.D. in clinical psychology and working with clients, both with and without disabilities, on issues revolving around dating and sex. I also developed my long-standing critique of the established fashion/beauty industries, and the mass media, who continue to exclude multi-billion dollar markets of people with disabilities perpetuating the stigma that we are not sexy.
This TEDx talk is a continuation of the groundbreaking moment I achieved as a runway model during New York Fashion Week in February 2014, deemed by some as a “Rosa Parks moment” on behalf of women living with disabilities. In this talk titled “Every Body: Glamour, Dateability, Sexuality & Disability,” I am asking society to readjust its views of what “good” sex is and redefine “sexy.”
I am also specifically asking for the integration of people with disabilities into this modern, more open-minded view of sexuality with the intent of improving the dating lives of everybody! #KnowMe #Disabilityglam