Monday, July 14, 2014
Gay, Disabled & Doing Fine. A Hudson Taylor Interview.
Some of you may have seen Joey or a guy or girl like him on the street walking with a limp. Some of you might have even gawked at them. Others probably look away when they see them out of shame or fear. Well Joey, 27, and the thousands of other men and women like him don’t need your stares or sorrow for their affliction. What they do need is for you to see how normal and fun they are.
Joey got hit by a car at 17-years-old that left him with a permanent limp. Though slightly tarnished to some, Joey shines bright and shows his patience in answering my 9 questions. In my exclusive interview with him (love saying that!) we talked about everything from Twerking-to-Eleanor Roosevelt.He is beyond awesome.
1. Q: Dating is tough in New York no matter what, but having a disability, and being gay; is it harder to date?
A: It can definitely be harder. Having a more visual "disability" makes it is easier for people to draw quick conclusions about me and decide I'm not what they are looking for. The good thing is, the ones who think like that get weeded out pretty quick in the process. I've learned to not take it personal and realize it says more about who they are than a comment on who I am and what I'm worth.
2. Can you Twerk?
A: (laughing) I sadly cannot twerk but now that I have health insurance it may be time to start practicing.
3. You don’t identify as a nudist, but you’ve attended several nudist events like “nude camping,” this year. I was worried that you’d burn your Tater Tots. Are people ever shocked that you’re there?
A: (laughing hard) my tater tots remain just fine thanks. As for the nudist stuff, I've never had anyone be shocked that I am there. I think that's been one of the most liberating things about dabbling in that environment for me, is that we are all naked and exposed. Flaws and all. It tends to even the playing field a bit.
4. People sometimes assume you’re drunk because of your limp; any funny stories about this?
A: My favorite story of mistaken drunken-ness happened one St. Patrick's Day in NYC when a police officer tried to take me in for public intoxication when I was on my merry sober way to the subway. Long story short, I laughed, he laughed (albeit nervously,) and I got a police escort all the way home, and saved myself an hour commute!
5. Any sex tips?
A: if you're partner is silent, you aren't doing it right.
6. You’ve had a tough childhood (Joey is estranged from both of his parents) and I was blown away with how positive you are; any advice for us jaded and bitter?
A: I have my jaded and bitter days as well, I am a New Yorker after all...I think what has helped me work toward a more positive attitude, especially in regard to my past is simple: one's attitude and outlook on things is a matter of choice. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she declared, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
7. What’s the biggest misconception about someone with a disability?
A: The biggest misconception about the disabled person as I see it, is that we are weaker than, and more incapable than our more "abled" counterparts. I am by no means an expert on the collective disabled community but I believe it takes immense strength and character to continually face the challenges of a world that wasn't built for you and carve out an existence that is bold and dynamic. There are certainly those who have faced greater challenges than I, and I am constantly humbled and proud to be a part of the handi-CAPABLE community.
8. How do you feel when people stare at you?
A: It depends on how and why they're staring. Most days I shrug it off because people will inevitably look and notice something that is different to them. If they are rude about it, then yea it tends to annoy me. I just repeat to myself again, it tells me more about who they are then it is a comment on myself.
9. Anyone ever just tell you, “hurry the hell up!” when you’re walking with them?
A: That actually hasn't ever happened to me. I think if it did I'd probably end up walking even slower just to piss them off.