Disability Tropes 101: The Outsider
Crafting characters / Disability Tropes 101 / Represention

Disability Tropes 101: The Outsider

Scholar Isabel Brittain brings attention to the trope of “The Outsider” in her article on “An Examination into the Portrayal of Deaf Characters and Deaf Issues in Picture Books for Children” (Disability Studies Quarterly 2004, Vol 24, No 1). In this trope, “the character with an impairment is portrayed as a figure of alienation and … Continue reading

Disability Tropes 101: “The Genius Cripple”
Crafting characters / Disability Tropes 101 / Represention

Disability Tropes 101: “The Genius Cripple”

The Genius Cripple trope is pronounced in representations of disability in popular media and is generally grounded in the idea of a mind-body dichotomy. The notion of the mind-body dichotomy assumes that the mind and body are distinct from one another. This dichotomy is traced back to the philosopher Descartes, who suggested a distinction between … Continue reading

Disability Tropes 101: “The Crippled Sidekick”
Crafting characters / Disability Tropes 101 / Represention

Disability Tropes 101: “The Crippled Sidekick”

Throughout this series, I hope to bring to light some of the tropes around disability in order to (1) improve the representation of disabled people and (2) provide writing tips for those of you who want to include disabled people in your stories. Today’s lesson is about The Crippled Sidekick. This is a common trope of disability, … Continue reading

I’m not F**king Brave
Author image / Body positivity / Cerebral Palsy / chronic fatigue / chronic pain / Living fully / Multiple Sclerosis / Represention / Spoonie Challenges / Writing journey

I’m not F**king Brave

Just to set the record straight, I’m not brave, okay? I live with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and relapse-and-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). I can’t count the number of people who have called me brave. I always smile and nod when they say this, but the truth is that bravery has nothing to do with it. … Continue reading

How do you make *this* sexy? Why representation in fiction matters. (Part I)
Body positivity / Cerebral Palsy / chronic pain / Represention / sex / Sexah / Why Representation Matters

How do you make *this* sexy? Why representation in fiction matters. (Part I)

“How do you make this sexy?” a reader asked me, gesturing to her wheelchair in the middle of one of my sex education Q&A sessions. The question stumped me because the answer isn’t an easy one. The short version is: You don’t. There isn’t anything inherently sexy about using a wheelchair or a walker, or having … Continue reading