I love my beta readers. Without them The Disability-Friendly Wedding Planner would not exist. Most of them are my family, so I owe them my life. However, I struggle with my beta readers from an ideological standpoint. This is something very real.
Before the book changed its name and content, my beta readers were great. They still are great, but with much crappery.
When the book transitioned to The Disability-Friendly Wedding Planner, things changed between me and my beta readers. I told my beta readers I wanted to include men, they responded men weren’t to do any wedding planning. Then, when I said I wanted to include genderqueer people, they responded with, “But they already have wedding books. Everything is already about them. You see them everywhere.”
Them. Them should be a curse word, unless you’re referring to gender-neutral pronouns.
We live in an Us vs. Them world, where many people see themselves as an US, while everyone else is a THEM. Thems are subhuman, immoral, and undeserving of what US have. Us are kind, intelligent, noble, moral, and good. Us deserves their rights and protection.
Ultimately, Us does not understand Them.
There is a way to be a Them on multiple levels, an Us on multiple levels, or partially an Us and partially a Them. This is called intersectionality – the blend of a person’s social identities that either brings them a cocktail of power and/or submission.
For queer disabled folx, they have many blends of social identities that make them a big ol’ THEM to the white, cisgender, Christian folks that have been volunteering to read my book.
Not everyone like that THEMS folx, but a few do. I hope with my book, the thems of the world are exposed as US to somebody – a lot of somebodies – and eventually everyone.
If you are a good person, hit me up in the comments. Please help me with my project. Please please please. Even if you aren’t queer, if you have chronic illness or a disability, this project can help you. This book is a traditional wedding planner for everybody – and I mean every BODY. A disabled body is an every BODY. People never realize it, but in the blink of an eye, the progression of age, anyone and everyone eventually becomes disabled. Just think of your 80 year old grandma, or how I went to athletic and active to occasionally using a mobility aid and unable to walk my dog.
A disabled body is an every BODY, so the book includes everybody.