On a recent Disability After Dark host Andrew Gurza has a conversation with Kayla Whaley about body image, disability & swallowing. Amongst the many things they talk about is how each has used their appearance as protection or as a way of hiding from opportunity – deciding that people will reject you because of your looks so you do it on their behalf by not giving them the chance.
Lookism runs rampant through our culture & regardless of how one tries to transcend it is inescapable. A friend of mine recently had a make-over to do some TV appearances and posted photos of it – wow! – people flooded the pics with super flattering comments about ‘prettiness’ ‘hotness’ that left me wondering – what did they think of my friend before?
I don’t deny that I know the power of a good shirt thanks to What Not To Wear. I’ve never known how ‘flattered’ I should be when someone who has heard me perform meets me months later & all they remember is my shirt. They don’t even remember my name. They don’t even wonder about my body image – would I want them to?
On the podcast Andrew & Kayla discuss the power of body image – how they strive to accept themselves with all their physicality in the face of what is considered cute, handsome or even presentable. They come from a history in which a disabled family member could be restricted to a single room in the house & would never appear in public. Things have changed but I know how the struggle for not only recognition but acceptance continues. There are some who say that they wish queers were back in the closet & out of public sight.
I like to imagine how they will feel when they see Andrew making out with some guy? Now, that’s a pretty picture.
I am the light that plays
across you at night
as you turn to drift into a deeper sleep
to dream of kisses so gentle
they won’t wake the dark
when I visit friends, strangers
I like to see where they sleep
an intimacy of knowledge
living rooms and kitchens only hint at
that bathrooms are mere prelude to
I read beds
like a fortune teller reads palms
mounds folds life lines
the placement of pillows
reveals more than revels to be
are the corners tight
to pin dreams to sleepers
or untucked all the way round
to free the sleeper to dream
is the bed in the middle of the room
under a window
or snug in a corner
as far from light as possible
April 03 – every Tuesday
June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)