So this post of @thebibliosphere‘s has been making a lot of noise on Tumblr, and it got me thinking. It made me realize I fall into a camp I’m sure is all too common: Those of us who don’t write disabled characters because we simply don’t think to. I know it was speaking to those who try to erase them or argue against their inclusion, but I feel like it’s just as important for those of who simply didn’t think about them to get thinking. I wrote this little blurb, just as a thought experiment as to how a disabled serpent might live. In a culture so entrenched in the importance of dance, where would she fit? How would she feel? What would her cousins do to help her feel included, a part of their dance?
She never felt broken. Bathed in the light of her cousins’ joy, she never felt left out, wistful, longing. All she felt was the glory of the dance, swept up in rush of heat and movement and praise. Her aura joined theirs, sending her adoration to the shining goddess that had granted them this gift. She never cursed Li’Daea for the extra fire in her veins, igniting her joints with blazing pain when she stood too long. She simply danced with her cousins, spirit in ecstasy though her body did not move.
“Again,” she said, when the dance had spiraled down to its graceful conclusion. “It was almost perfect, but that second to last half turn was muddied, the aura rippled funny. Zi, Tan, Rak, slow it down. Viti, Nalia, bring the arc in a little faster. That should do it.”
She didn’t move, but she danced.
Is it perfect? Not hardly. I’m sure starting out with “she never felt broken” shows my ableist privilege like there’s no tomorrow. But it’s a start. And she’s quickly become an integral part of the plot I’m planning out for my just for fun shipfic.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here, other than “People, just think about it, would ya?”