I’m Coming Out – No More Lies – I’m Out & Proud!

I’ve known for years. It came on
all of a sudden but after that there was no denying it. I never came out and
said it and I think others could tell but they were too scared of saying
anything and especially something that would offend me. Women knew for sure.
Not all but most never looked at me the same way since. So now the opposite sex
and I are like best friends because she never looks at me in a romantic way, no
fear of being taken advantage of.  Men obviously
know and think the same thing – they see me as no threat to their romantic or
sexual relationships with women or the potential relationships to women in the
clubs. So there it is and time for me to just say it, the “G” word

out loud

to EVERYONE

I am a GIMP! That’s right I am a cripple, a
paraplegic and proud! Paralyzed from the mid-back, thoracic 7th
vertebrae and I don’t care who knows!  


 

Yeah, I know you thought I was
going to say something else but my sexual orientation is hetero and I love
women. And that is
often a subject that
comes up early on when first meeting people – first is “How did you wind up in
a wheelchair?” and then usually the topic of sex comes up. Or sometimes how do I go to the bathroom! Subjects I just
love to talk about when in public or at parties! It is awkward! And is often part of the disAbled lifestyle. But how do you know about this? That is unless you are a person with a disAbility or know someone who is. But how about everyone else? These awkward questions and situations that come up – that nobody knows how to ask – but if it were out and is portrayed in movies and television that has a paraplegic character then people will be exposed to what it is like – and all of this is part of the authentic voice in movies and television
that I write and direct – that can only be written by a person who has experienced it that I advocate all the time. This cannot effectively be done by an able
bodied actor who watched a movie made by other able bodied people. Would a movie where this was authentically portrayed and represented help in society’s opinions, and in the
able bodied majority interacting with those with
a disAbility
in public or a crowded party? Would it lessen the awkwardness that the able bodied and the disAbled have
with one another thereby opening a more
inclusive and accepted way of life for everyone?
   


 

Sex and the paraplegics! Okay now that I have your
attention and provided this but one example of the issues that deserve an
authentic voice in movies and television, it is probably no surprise how I am frustrated and don’t know
how to express this frustration – this serious issue of disabled
culture and voices
and having people who
have no idea
what it is like to live with a disability, especially one that
is as dramatic as being paralyzed – representing
me
and all of us with a disability in today’s entertainment.


 

It seems there is a haven for those
who are different getting a welcomed embrace, an honest and sincere acceptance,
and the heart felt support from the entire Hollywood
community. Gays, lesbians, transgenders, black, brown, yellow, purple, and even
green. And that could be taken in two ways, the green movement of environmental
activists and as I intend it to reference Kermit the Frog’s honest song, “Being
Green” that I can so relate to. And despite that
everyone of the aforementioned minorities also have members within the disability
community as whether you are born with it or is acquired later in life through
disease or injury, disability does not
discriminate
and affects all races, nationalities, genders, social &
economic class, all ages, all orientations, all political groups, all creeds as
nobody is immune to the possibility of a disability – yet Hollywood feels that
it is ok and completely accepted to allow someone without a disability to
nearly always be the voice and deny us representing ourselves with
authentic voices and portrayals.   


 

It doesn’t matter that I cannot
suddenly just come out and proclaim how I am different from the majority and
how I feel about the social and economic disadvantages that are imposed on me
and how I have to deal with them. How as I mentioned above even some of the
basic human needs and desires do not get dismissed because they are never even
considered – as a wheeler I am rarely considered a romantic and certainly not a
sexual being, although I am certainly both. But those things are not important
to us as human beings, right? Not important issues in our society and our
culture. Sex is not important unless of course your orientation is different
from the majority. Then the often scorned and forbidden love and the physical
expression of it is embraced and even celebrated as “everyone is important” in Hollywood and its
products that give voice to it.


 

But even with the very little
representation those with a disability get in movies and television – we have
to be content with able bodied writers,
directors and actors being our voice and our representatives.
Let me put
this in a way that Hollywood feels is much
more important – it is like having a Republican give voice and representation
as a Democrat in the halls of Congress. Would that be fair? Would you feel
comfortable with that? And what if that was the case in nearly every single
case? Now do you feel where I am coming from?


 

Most of Hollywood that I have dealt with over the
years somehow does not think this is a problem. As was pointed out to me from
the personal opinion of a staff member (I can only assume as he was the one
that answered the phones) at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment made it
perfectly clear. Yet in my final question to him do you think for one moment
that you as an able bodied person can understand what I go through every single
day as a paraplegic, he did answer no, yet somehow it is still okay by him that
someone like himself was the writer, director and actor of a paraplegic character
being represented on the screen.


 

Well, Hollywood, I am out and I am going to make
this authentic voice and representation despite how you feel. And if you keep
making me feel that my art is worthless  as anybody can represent what I do as a writer
and director, and as a person who has no rights to express an authentic voice
of those with a disability, then instead of the hundreds of phone calls,
letters, faxes, emails that I have been sending you to bring attention to this,
then I am going to come knocking on your
doors
– at your Producer/Production company offices, and at the Big 6
Studio executive’s office with a camera of my own and with your names proudly
displayed on screen to ask just one question, where are the representation of your audience – the segment of 56
million Americans, a full 20% of our population, the one in four American
households that have a person with a disAbility in YOUR MOVIES?


 

Anybody want to talk, just talk
about this BEFORE it comes to this?
  

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s