I married someone who was a good match for my appetites but, because of medical emergencies and life-saving medicines, my husband lost that part of himself. I’m not talking about dysfunction alone; I’m speaking of the loss of intimacy and desire.
How, I wondered, could being fat possibly be okay when everybody and everything in my life before now had so adamantly insisted that being fat is unfortunate, at best – and utterly unacceptable, at worst?
There is an aspect of the model minority myth that is rarely talked about: the notion that Asian American people do not experience mental health issues. From this perspective, the model minority myth is particularly damaging for Asian American folks. Through the false lens of the myth, Asian Americans are perceived as healthy, wholesome, straightforward, and uncomplicated. It presents a deceptive picture of their mental and physical health.
Her future is literally made of chances for her rambunctiousness to sour, her curiosity to wane. She’s a smart girl in a world where that’s too often treated like a contradiction. The smartest girls are the ones who thrive, but they’re also the ones that others fight hardest against. I’m scared to tell her it’s lonely being smart and courageous and her, but that it’d be a damn shame for her to try being anything else.
It wasn’t until the tail end of college that I started suspecting that I might actually be different. I had a friend who would always complain that she was “soooo horny.” I felt confused, as I was pretty sure I’d never had the experience of being horny…until I found myself falling for HIM. And more than that, I realized I wanted to do more with him. I was starting to understand demisexuality as part of the asexual spectrum,
In my mind, I was nothing but short legs, thin wrists, and a troublesome potbelly, and I repeated that to myself every time I picked up a dumbbell. Those superhero-shaped men flew around my squat racks and my nightmares. Some did so with deliberation and scorn, smirking and commenting; most never acknowledged me except perhaps to ask how many sets I still had.
Inspiration porn is when disabled people are called inspirational or brave for doing all the things that regular people do. It’s a problem because it assumes that anyone with a disability must have it so much worse than the rest of us. And because it uses disabled people to make us nondisabled people feel good about ourselves, or to make us do something, like exercise or whatever. And disabled people aren’t tools. They’re people.
Try giving a primer on gender while handing change to a cashier. Or piping up about your pronouns in a lecture hall filled with several hundred students. There are some situations where I can explain things in private, like with teachers, but then you have to hope for the best with the teacher’s reaction. I had a really wonderful creative writing teacher that I loved a lot, and I explained my gender and pronouns to her pretty early on. It still took her a full year to stop using the wrong pronouns in class, and it took me a full year to feel comfortable correcting her in front of thirty or so people who didn’t know I was trans.
I came out of the bathroom and promptly lost my balance, ending up naked on the floor. All that I can remember is saying sorry over and over again – because we were late, because I could not get up independently, because I needed help. Sonya asked me why I apologized so much about something I could not control or change. She asked me if I loved by body. I do not remember what my answer was. I know that I cried for a long time.
I didn’t start to exist until my thirty-fifth birthday, when I got a restraining order against my mother. I had been working as a body worker and yoga teacher for a number of years. Although I was actively healing others, I was extremely disconnected from myself emotionally and physically. I had to disconnect in order to survive. I had learned to minimize and even deny all aspects of physical pain at my mother’s hands.