Last week I entered into a Twitter debate regarding dating apps/websites specifically designed for disabled people. I’m not one to hold back with my opinion (as you well know), and since I found a number of issues with the websites/apps, I thought I’d share why I find it all so problematic.
1. It highlights that disabled people should only date/be in a relationship with another disabled person. My boyfriend is able-bodied, and a lot of my disabled friends have able-bodied partners, they love us because of who we are, it has nothing to do with our health. The whole thing stinks of the archaic attitude of, ‘sticking with your own kind,’ and quite frankly, it pisses me off.
2. It’ll be an easy hunting-ground for devotees.
Do you know that there’s an odd collection of people out there that are attracted to disability? Not the person, but their disability. Having a website/app with hundreds of profiles of (some) vulnerable people is surely not going to go down well.
3. What about the haters?
The amount of hate-crimes and physical/emotional abuse disabled people have endured makes me sick. Once again, they’ll be an easy target and evil shit-heads can take their pick.
4. Still considered sub-human.
We’re different. We know we’re different. We’re reminded everyday of our lives. Can’t we at least use whatever bloody site we want to find a partner!? Why do we need a different site? Are we not allowed to use Match or Tinder? I don’t get it. We’re all human ffs.
Funnily enough, there are people out there that will love you despite your disability. Like I said, the majority of my disabled friends have able-bodied partners that don’t take their condition into consideration; our lives might be different from a ‘healthy’ couple but it works. You can’t help who you fall in love with.
Also, please note, I’m totally not having a go at any disabled couple, fall in love with whoever you want, my issue is how we’re segregated from the ‘norm’, and how we need our ‘own sites’. I do not have a problem if you’re disabled and would want to use a site like this, that’s completely up to you, I’m just stating my opinion on the topic. This is not a personal attack on any disabled user of an app/site like mentioned, it’s a comment on how these apps/sites further alienate the disabled community.
I was tweeting with one of the co-founders of a particular new disability dating app last week and once I emphasised a few of my concerns, she became extremely rude and treated me like I had no clue what I was talking about. I mean, what do I know? I’m only a little disabled girl with a post-graduate degree and background in the medical humanities.
If I wasn’t in a relationship, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be using a site marketed at the disabled, not because I don’t want a disabled partner (been there, done that), but because I don’t want my disability to define who falls in love with me.