Why Can’t Physically Disabled People Be Heroes?

Published: Mar 23, 2018

I’m tired of reading sci‐fi where disability has been completely eliminated. I’m tired of people who decide that an ideal world is one where I don’t exist.

While I feel strongly that being disabled is not ideal, disability is still part of the human experience and should be represented in our creative endeavors as a species. Disabled folks don’t just need heroes, they need to be heroes.

Why can’t a person in a wheelchair be a hero? Why can’t someone who uses a wheelchair?

Captain America flexing his bicep as he grabs on to the skid of a helicopter and the edge of a helipad to prevent the helicopter from flying away.

How important are leg muscles in that situation, for example? Not very, I would suppose.

Or how about here?

Captain America splitting a large tree stump by hand.

I want to see people who look like me in movies and other forms of media. I want to see people in wheelchairs be more than background characters and information brokers.

Writers who claim that writing such characters is hard are fucking lazy. What’s that? You create a magic system involving break‐dancing and blood‐magic but can’t be bothered to figure out how a character in a chair would climb a mountain?

Let me tell you how: They would strap themselves to their fucking chair and climb that mountain using a pair of really sharp picks, raw (unbelievably sexy) pectoral and arm strength, and and a lot of creativity. And when they got to the top they would be tired, pissed, and incredibly dangerous.

I can tell from personal experience that non‐wheelchair users are quite surprised at the strength of wheelchair using folks when anger / violence is involved. I want to see that fear in the villain of a story where someone like me is the hero.

It’s not that fucking hard.