Imagine: a sunny Sunday morning, fresh white sheets, linen curtains undulating in the gentle breeze. Hours nestled together in bed, happily chatting, feet intertwined. You're finally up and you're going to get dressed, but … something about her smell, her smile, makes you reach over, grab her hand, turn her back and …

Advertisement – Read further below

POP! Her arm comes out! And then the screams start … What is your first reaction? If you are my wife, child of doctors, owner of an anatomical diploma: roll your eyes, sigh a little, walk nonchalantly over and pop that sucker back inside. Maybe even grumble about not owning chickens, so you can not have fresh eggs every morning. In all honesty, my wife's poached eggs are great! They are one of the reasons why I married her, along with an unshakable blasé attitude to my latest medical dramas. And I have a lot of medical dramas.
Thanks to congenital impairments – Hereditary neuropathy with liability for pressure paralysis (HNPP), Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) – affecting my nerves, muscles, organs, hearing, vision, digestion, immune system and blood pressure, I am no stranger to A & E. On some days I use a wheelchair or crutches. Occasionally I give up pain in the nearest bin (apologies to my neighbors for that one!). Often I will dislocate a hip, shoulder, finger or even – when very much in love – a rib. Every day my pain and exhaustion stop me with routine things. I am also deaf. And blind to one eye.

I do not find bad health or weak limbs particularly tragic

Advertisement – Read further below

But that's just my life! I do not find bad health or weak limbs particularly tragic. Unfortunately, for marital bliss, I noticed that others did not feel the same. The first data did not progress beyond my response to, "What music are you?" Started with: "Well, actually I'm deaf so …" For the context, I only lost my hearing in my teenage years and can lipread / think well enough to answer. "You do not sound deaf!" Is an incredibly common comment on my YouTube channel of new viewers.

The people I had dated before I met my wife fell into two camps: the "Oh My God, No, Please Leave & # 39; or the, "Yes, Let Me Mother You" – that treated me like a cute non-sexual object that they wanted to pet. No, thank you. Regardless of medical annoyances, my loveless heart bothered me the most. Being gay, the potential dating pool narrows. Finding someone in that group who liked me (and I wanted to go back) but who also did not mind releasing sick buckets … let's say it was not easy! Nevertheless, on First Date # 371, a brutal, grinning brunette who glanced at my hearing aids, assumed they were a Bluetooth headset and laughed noisily when I corrected her. I explained that there were other symptoms, but she was more interested in what I wanted to drink and too busy with questions. Did I especially like the houses of the National Trust? What were my thoughts about beaches, spicy food and weird science? As long as I laughed and shared her passions, she did not care what might go wrong with my body. When the attraction is there, does anything else matter?

Advertisement – Read further below

Advertisement – Read further below

Dating as a handicapped homosexual woman

Claudia Kellgren-Fozard

This is not to say that it was perfectly orderly. Dating someone means literally and figuratively carrying luggage, and disabled people have more equipment than average. Housing (but not afraid of) a wheelchair, crutches and wristbands is one thing. Dealing with your girlfriend with a caregiver is something completely different. I grew up with a chronic illness and have no sense of personal space or privacy. I am used to going to doctors, being bathed by someone I met five minutes ago and having meetings from my bed. It was a shock to realize that she wanted to keep our spaces co-owned private. Although I did not mind when it was my bed, she did not like strangers who were on it our bed. She thought it was terrible to have my caretaker in the house. It created a strange power dichotomy: who had priority? Who will get in first if I fall? It is strange and infantilistic to see the person you are attracted to by being physically assisted by someone else. Plus, I probably did not help much to let my caregiver in twice while we were in bed. Once we had bought our own place, she put her foot down; the caretaker would only enter if she was at work. Instead, she did all the little chores that used my energy and made me feel sick. From getting drinks to helping the stairs – and the best part? She grabs my back while she does it!

Advertisement – Read further below

Dating as a handicapped homosexual woman

Claudia Kellgren-Fozard

In the same way we sometimes forget that we are gay and that it is a thing & # 39; is, we also forget that I am handicapped or deaf. We are just two people with our own way of communicating … and sometimes one of us has to be carried upstairs. My disabilities are not negatives or defects, they are only a part of our lives. It's about what I give and have, not what I miss. And, as she recently trusted in me, a changeable medical condition keeps our lives always exciting! I was sure to remind her at 3 o'clock in A & E, while she moaned over the uncomfortable chairs. And she just laughed at me. Follow Jessica on Instagram, twitter, YouTube and Jessica and her wife Claudia on Instagram. If you ever feel that you need help or advice on hatching, contact Stonewall. Contact Relate for LGBTQ + relationship and dating advice, counseling and therapy. For advice on sexual health you can contact LGBT Foundation.