Building a Better Community: Carrie Wade

Emily: Hi, I’m Emily Ladau.
Kyle: I’m Kyle Khachadurian.
E: You’re listening to another episode of the Accessible Stall.
K: What are we going to talk about today, Emily?
E: We’re going to talk about how great Carrie Wade is.
K: Who’s that?
E: Carrie Wade?
K: Yeah.
E: Right here.
K: Oh, my God she is.
E: Right here, she’s here. Can you say hi, Carrie?
Carrie: Hello.
E: See, we weren’t making it up. She’s for real.
C: I’m here.
E: You are guest number three on this show, which is pretty cool because we do play favorites.
C: Oh.
K: Now you’ve annoyed like-
C: Why wasn’t I guest number one if you play favorites?
E: Oh no, no, by play favorites we mean we have our favorite people on the show.
C: Perfect.
E: All of our favorite people.
K: You are definitely in our top three guests.
C: I’m in fact the third. I’ll take it.
E: Of the top. Anyway, since you at home should all know who Carrie Wade is, can you please tell us about yourself, Carrie Wade?
C: Sure. I am a staff writer at, which is an intersectional feminist website that caters to queer folks and our friends basically. I
write a lot of stuff about disability over there. I have been writing a biweekly column called The Queering Disability for a few months now, almost a year.
I actually just started a second series called The Queer Crip Love Fest where I talk to disabled queer folks about all the different kinds of love in their lives. The first column is kind of a personal essay series and the second is more of an interview series, so that means there is a steady stream of disability content on Autostraddle now and I’m very happy to be part of that. I’ve written for a few other places and I’m hoping to write for many different publications in the future, but Autostraddle is very happily my home on the internet and where most people know me from nowadays.
E: I totally saw the Queer Crip Love Fest that you did with Annie Segarra, and she’s also – did I say her last name, right?
C: I think so, yeah.
E: Okay. Yeah, she’s also great. She’s a super awesome YouTuber who we should totally hunt down for the show, but hey anyway, tangent. No, I
really enjoyed that. I think you do such a good job of giving other people the spotlight while still maintaining your own.
C: Thank you. That’s really great to hear. I mean, I try very hard to do that, especially as a white person and a person with a number of other
privileges. I think that it’s really important to amplify folks who are at different intersections than I will ever be able to understand, but I also do want to maintain my writing voice through all of my pieces that you’ll know it’s me, even if it’s me and another person talking. It’s great to hear that that’s coming across. It’s actually really good news to me.
E: See, I think you’re sort of the epitome of what we’ve been trying to do
lately with our series on Building a Better Community. K: Oh, is this another episode in that? I guess again–
E: It should be. We are trying to figure out how to make the disability in community suck less, and not that we don’t love the disability
community, but there are certain parts of it that need to work on themselves.
C: For sure, yeah.
E: That’s what we’re attempting to do, and I think that you kind of point to that with all of your writing, specifically making your writing accessible to everyone. Despite of the fact that we’re not queer, it still resonates.
K: I was actually going to say that. I was like, I know you from your writing, and as the resident straight white male here, it certainly is very easily
accessible and understandable. It’s like, “Oh yeah, okay.” It’s probably like the best type of that writing I’ve read, and I’m not just saying that because you’re here.
C: Wow, that’s amazing. I mean, I usually don’t care about catering to straight white men, but I’m really glad to hear that you’re into it. That’s
K: The messages aren’t lost on somebody like me, which is I guess sort of a bridge that, I don’t know, I guess would be hard to cross, but you know.
Can I just share a story about how I know you, by the way? C: Yes, absolutely.
K: I was waiting. I would’ve done this pre-show, but it’s funnier this way.
C: Oh good, okay I’m ready.
K: Emily and my girlfriend Meg we’re at a SDS. In which state was it? Was it the first or second time?
E: You got to clarify your acronyms. Society for Disability Studies.
K: I’m a terrible disabled person. I don’t know understand. Sure, you were
E: In Atlanta, yeah.
K: That’s where you guys met Carrie, and I know who you are because they told me, “Oh my God, we met this girl who looks just like you,” because
we had a similar haircut. C: That’s amazing.
K: Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to meet you and tell you that, so now it is my honor to share that really crazy stupid story with you on this
E: No, you guys looked so much alike.
K: No, actually we actually kind of do right now.
C: We do, and I got to say you have great hair, sir.
K: So do you.
C: Well done.
K: You have beautiful hair.
E: Guys you also have similar palsy gates too?
K: We do?
C: Oh excellent.
E: You sure do.
K: Well the next time you’re in New York, we must walk next to each other.
C: Absolutely, confuse everybody around. It will be great. E: No, for real.
K: We should also dress alike.
C: Yeah, they’ll think we’re related.
E: You are definitely kind of, not definitely kind of– wow, you are definitely, in my mind anyway, the female version of Kyle and Kyle is the
male version of you. C: That’s excellent, good.
E: Now that we have that out of the way, because that was really the only point in doing this whole podcast was that we wanted you to know that
you guys look exactly alike. Back to building a better community. I would like to know what got you started with writing regularly for Autostraddle and how you feel that writing for a queer publication can still be applicable to the larger disability community.
C: Sure. Well, the first piece I wrote for Autostraddle was a few years ago actually. It was about kink, like kinky sex. It’s really funny that that’s the
first thing that I ever published on the internet because it was like way to jump in the deep end right away. I really should have saved that for later in retrospect, but I wrote that a few years ago and it kind of took off and it established me in a few different circles. I ended up being on a lot of kink panels and stuff because of that, which was hilarious and I felt very out of place and all of those situations. Then like a year and a half later after that, Autostraddle put out a call for new writers. I applied and I basically said, “Hey, remember me? I wrote this piece for you,” and they came back and said, “Great, we would like to have you on as a contributor.”
For about six months I did the Queering Disability series every other week. It started as personal essays almost exclusively, and now that it’s been going on for longer, it sort of branched out into different types of articles. Then once my contributor time was up, they hired me on staff, and so that’s how I got to where I am logistically with them.
I chose Autostraddle because of the community around the site. I think that by and large it’s a very thoughtful, intersectional, engaged, and activist oriented community. There wasn’t a ton of stuff about disability on the site when I first came across it, and so I was thinking, well, these are all really smart people. They’re already having a lot of really nuanced and personal conversations around bodies, and sex, and all the different ways that that can look and feel, and I think that disability stuff would fit right into that pocket. They just don’t know it. I think that that is the case with a lot of able-run activism, is that disability does belong there, they’ve just never had to think about it. You have a disabled person come along and be like, “Hey, you should also include us,” which is sort of annoying because you shouldn’t have to kind of poke them, you know what I mean? They should know on their own. The fact is they usually don’t, and that’s just because there’s a lot of disability erasure in activist spaces of every kind. I thought it was important to make sure that Autostraddle wasn’t part of the problem.
I knew that their community would be receptive to these kinds of conversations, so I decided to start them and they have been great to me. Both the editors and the community have been wonderful, and I think that queer people are by and large I’ve found very open to having conversations about bodies and what it means to have a non-normative bodily experience. Even if they are not disabled and they don’t know any other disabled people or they don’t know that they do, they’re open to having the conversation. I just tried to kind of get in there and exploit that as best I could, and it’s worked out. It’s great.
E: That was how I first discovered who you were, was through the “the know me where it hurts.”
K: Wait, that’s what you’re talking about, right? I’m sorry. That is the first thing I read about that you wrote, yeah.
C: Yeah, it’s the first thing that most people knew about me, which is pretty funny. It’s like very personal. Like I said, I would get asked to do
these kink panels and stuff, and people would sort of assume that I was a kink specialist, like some kind of expert. I’m like no, that literally happened this one time. I wrote about it. I’d be on panels with people who do porn progressionally, and they know so much more about sexual politics and stuff than I do. I’m just like, “I just wrote a piece about this one time that my ex wanted to try some new stuff in bed and here I am.”
E: That’s actually kind of badass though. I mean I feel like I have so many things about sex and disability that I want to write, and I don’t write
them because- K: Do it.
C: You should.
K: Do it. Write it on our site.
E: Yeah, I know right? No, let’s not deep dive into Emily’s sex life right now. It is good to see taboo subjects being talked about and acknowledging
the fact that you need to have real conversations about disability in spaces other than the typical disability spaces. On the flip side of that and in regard to our building a better community theme trademark, hashtag build a better community, I’m kidding.
C: I was over it.
E: For real, if we expect other minority spaces to recognize our existence, I think we can also stand to do a better job of recognizing the existence
of minorities within the disability community. C: For sure.
E: We’re not good at that. We’re so bad at that.
C: Yeah.
E: Not like I want to beat up other disability community.
K: No, well, sometimes you need to because we as a people are really bad at that.
C: Yeah, it can get pretty insular.
E: Yeah, it happened and I don’t think it happens intentionally all the time, but I also really want people to realize that we need to get out of the
same spaces that we’re always in. We’re always in these bubbles. People like you writing for a site that is not all disability all the time, not that there’s anything wrong with being all disability all the time, but it’s good to get out of that echo chamber.
K: That’s probably like the coolest thing about who you write for in my opinion because I’ve never heard of that happening like anywhere else
like that’s– C: Oh really?
E: Regular disability column?
K: I’m ignorant to the inner workings of the disability community and I’m willing to admit that, so it probably has. It’s just cool to see a site that’s
not all disability all the time have a columnist who talks about it and have it fit into what they do. That’s something that doesn’t happen often enough, and the fact that you achieved it is really, really cool.
C: Well thank you. I mean I think that as much credit goes to Autostraddle and its editorial board, and I’m not saying this just because they pay me to write, which is an important note. I do actually get paid for this and a
lot of people do not pay their writers at all, let alone their disabled contributors, so I think that that’s really important that they do that. Yeah, they were very open to me when I first approached them with ideas and they’ve been very supportive in basically understanding that if you’re going to have an intersectional activist conversation, which I think is where they have been and now even more where they’re going ,with Trump looming in the distance. Everybody kind of has a different
th jobthanwehadonNovember8 ,youknowwhatImean?Every
creative person has different set of responsibilities now, and I think they have been very receptive to me personally wanting to sort of push my own work in that direction.
They know that, as they get their house in order to take on whatever’s coming, that disability needs to be part of that conversation. Even articles that I’m not writing, sometimes when a contributor role sends something into an editor that has a disability angle, they’ll run it by me to see what I think about it, so it’s really great. It’s exciting to be bringing disability politics into a space that wouldn’t have necessarily gotten them, at least not for a while.
E: How do you feel about the disabled body or living in a disabled body and having that automatically be a political act?
K: You stole my question, Emily. E: What?
K: You stole my question.
E: Oh sorry.
K: That’s all right.
E: Hey, Kyle, would you like to ask that question? K: No, no, no you do it.
E: Go ahead, you ask it your way.
K: Sorry, I already forgotten you’re present.
C: I think that you’re right, that it is automatically a political act. It is a little bit overwhelming and strange sometimes to think that nothing I do or
don’t do will ever be value neutral. There will always be some sort of extra value, extra bias, whatever assigned to everything that I do and don’t do. Even a queer person having sex, let’s say, right? Because that’s what we were just talking about. That’s already something that kind of shocks and surprises a lot of people, although less now than like 10 years ago. If you have a disabled queer person who’s in a relationship or hooking up or doing whatever, all of a sudden it becomes this thing that people want to talk about all the time. I am currently in a place where that’s okay with me. I actually kind of like the political elements because it means that I’ll always have something to say and something to write about, but I can see how that may eventually become exhausting, to have to constantly be like, okay, and take up kind of the education mantle.
I mean for now, it’s great and I like it, but I also understand that that may get tiring, and also it’s only because of the other privileges that I enjoy that I’m able to be like, “Oh, it’s so fun to educate able-bodied people about this stuff.” I’m only dealing with certain intersections at a time, and there’s a lot that I don’t have to personally contend with in my life. That leaves energy for me to do those educational things. I completely understand why a lot of folks aren’t up for that or whatever for various reasons.
E: Kyle and I differ on this a lot, and we’ve been staring each other down the whole time you’ve been talking.
K: No, but it’s so funny. You are like the perfect middle ground between how we feel about that exact thing. That is really interesting. Well
because Emily-
C: What’s your breakdown? Yeah.
K: I know it’s like… we’ve said it before on the show. It’s a very popular thing when you’re an activist to say, “Oh, it’s not my job to educate
you,” and I understand that. I get where that’s coming from. Of course it’s not. When I’m faced with that in my day to day life, although it doesn’t happen everyday, which is something that I’m sort of thankful because it would get annoying pretty quick. I take my time to sort of let the person know. Like, “No, hey, this is how you…” whatever it is. Like, “No, I don’t need help and no I don’t need you to… if you help me anyway, that’s actually rude and counterintuitive. Actually, it’s not your business how I have sex,” or something like that. I don’t mind doing that. In my view, if I help one person, then that’s me doing my job, right? But Emily, I mean I’ll let her speak when I’m done ranting about this. She and I differ sometimes and we’ve butted heads I think more about this exact thing than anything else we’ve discussed on the show.
E: Yeah, because I– and this is I think the weirdest spot where Kyle and I differ because Kyle is like, “I don’t call myself an activist, but I don’t
mind educating you.”
K: Well I don’t do that because of the baggage. I don’t do that with many things. I’m that guy who hates being called things. That’s just– and I
understand that like that eludes me if some-
E: You don’t want to be labeled, I get that. You don’t want to be labeled an activist, but you don’t mind teachable moments where I don’t always
want to be a breathing teachable moment.
K: I understand that 100%, but it’s just really weird how… I don’t know. You’re just like perfectly in the middle. It’s cool.
E: I like to have the privilege to choose, and I realized saying I like to have a privileged for something is, there’s probably something to unpack there.
I can enjoy the privilege to choose when my body is the teachable moment. Kind of in the same way that you have the privilege of writing about what you want when you want and putting it out there if you feel like it, that is sort of how I go about my teachable moments.
C: Yeah, that makes sense.
E: Because I don’t always want to be a political act, but I also know that I am a political act every time I go out in public.
C: Yeah, you kind of can’t exist in public space without somebody ascribing something to you. Sometimes that’s great, but sometimes it sucks.
Sometimes it’s a lot. Yeah, I mean it’s a really delicate balance that I think we all have to figure out where we are on that spectrum of how much are we taking responsibility for. I mean, I very actively have chosen to write these columns and do this work, right? But I think that if I decided that I needed a break from this sort of writing, I don’t think anybody would begrudge me that decision. I mean, I don’t get called out every single day. It’s kind of like you were saying, Kyle. I don’t have to confront it super actively everyday, and I think that if I did, I would probably be singing a different tune. For the time being, it’s good. I don’t feel that I’m close to burnout, but I’ve really only been doing this work– I’ve only been at Autostraddle full time, or as close to fulltime as a staff writer is, for about a yearish, maybe a little less. There’s a long road ahead and I might have a different opinion. Ask me again in a year; I might be over it, who knows.
K: We will.
C: Yeah, and for now, I mean I think not everybody has to or wants to take up the education cause, and that is completely valid for whatever
reason. I am at a point in my life and my career where I’m happy to do that, so I am glad that it’s reaching people in that way.
E: Activist burnout is definitely a real thing. I’ve read some pretty great articles on taking care of yourself and also speaking up, but you ranked a really good point about how right now it’s something you’re not tired
of but you recognize the possibility that that could happen. You say that no one would begrudge you if you stopped this kind of writing. For me – and Kyle, I imagine you would feel differently about this – I am always pushing myself to be all things disability all the time because I feel like if I don’t uphold that, that I’m somehow letting down some invisible force. This sounds ridiculous coming out of my mouth.
C: No, it doesn’t.
E: It’s just this feeling that I need to keep it up because this is what I established myself as. If I want to indulge in more frivolous things or just
stop and take a break for a while, that it would be somehow a negative reflection on me. Like Kyle and I have had a zillion conversations about how the Emily who is not constantly talking about disability is someone who would just be happy writing about makeup all the time, but that seems super frivolous.
K: Yeah.
E: Not in a bad way.
K: I hear you, but for me, my workup until just now has been all disability, and I made it a point to get away from it in order to prove to myself that I wasn’t a one trick pony though. I really… I get what you’re saying, and I
sort of, by being where I am right now, I don’t want to say I totally proved it to myself that I could do more than disability because it’s only one job. But it was a nice sort of tale that maybe this isn’t all talk absolutely because for me it was just a little weird to– not that I didn’t love the disability related work that I did. It’s just that I had this bit of an existential crisis where it’s like, well, did you hire me because I’m good at this or did you hire me because I was born this way and have a lens on life that you don’t, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that.
C: Yeah, being [0:27:32 total] nice for money is one of my specialties.
K: A lot of disabled people, a lot of people in our community hate that. I
really don’t. I love it. C: I love it too.
K: I want to high five you so bad right now. No, for real. It’s my favorite thing, but it got to me on a primal level where I was like, “Is this all I
really am? Is this all you see when you look at me?” I had to leave for a while. I’m not going to say I don’t miss it, but there is a relief that I feel that I didn’t really realize was relief until I got completely away for a while.
C: Yeah.
K: Yeah, so I totally get your point, Emily, but that’s why you should write
about frivolous things every once in a while because it feels good, man.
E: I know. Well that’s why I’ve sort of come to this compromise with myself, where I just ordered a whole bunch of lipstick and posted a
picture of it on Instagram because everyone just needs to not ask me about disability and let me enjoy my pink lipstick.
C: Damn right they do. It’s like kind of what you were saying before about the fact that I write on a site that is not disability specific. I think that I
do have a certain privilege of being able to sort of cross over into Autostraddle’s other areas of interest if I need a brain break. If I want to like do something else, there is like a full buffet of other topics that they cover that I can just sort of jump into when I want to. I think it seems easier to me to do that because I’m working in a place that already offers those opportunities, but I completely get the wanting to stay with what you’ve established, the writing voice that you’ve established for yourself. It’s funny; the first time I ever wrote something for Autostraddle that wasn’t a disability related thing, it was a recipe list. We do these biweekly food lists, so and I did–
E: The potato thing?
C: The potato thing was the very first thing. I got a bunch of text messages and emails from disability activist people who were like, “What is this potato business? Why are you writing this?” I was like, “Because they
asked me to. I don’t know. I work there.” It was weird for other people to see me doing something else. I think that disability will always be an angle that I bring to my creative work, and I want that. I embrace that actively. I’m not trying to distance myself from it in any way and I sort of get offended when people suggest that I should, but I think that to build a career as a writer, I do want to be able to reach out into different areas, ideally to bring disability into those areas, kind of like what I’ve done at Autostraddle thus far. Even if it’s not disability related, good writing is good writing, so if people want to hire me to write something because they like the way that I write, I’m not going to say no just because it’s not a disability piece, you know?
E: Yeah, it always is a nice thing to be recognized for an ability to write rather than just an ability to talk about disability incessantly. At the
same time, I can’t get too mad at being known for writing about disability because I am trying to change people’s minds and perspectives about disability, so if you’re going to know me for something, I’m glad it’s that. Also that’s how I connected with you anyway because I remember getting an email from you before SDS saying, “Hi, I’m Carrie and I don’t know if you know me. Maybe this is weird or something like that, but you would room together?”
C: Yeah, I remember that. That was so funny. I needed friends. I didn’t
know anyone.
E: Of course I was rooming with who is now Kyle’s girlfriend, Meg.
C: That’s so cute, by the way. I’m really into that. Anyway continue.
E: Yeah, but I remember getting an email and being like, “You’re such a really cool person who wrote this really great article,” because I had
shared your article on this roundup of links that I used to do. C: I remember that, yeah.
E: I was like, I love her writing and she knows who I am. This is really cool. Sometimes being known for disability stuff is not all bad.
C: No, I think it’s great.
E: You opened your mouth like you were going to say something.
K: Well because I mean I’m just– it is great. But does it put pressure on you– I’m talking to Emily. I’m asking Emily’s question. Does it put
pressure on you though? If you decided tomorrow to write something about anything, do you think you’d get an influx of emails and text messages from your activist friends that are like, “What the hell are you doing?”
E: It depends when it is.
K: Well I guess it’s a better question for Carrie. Like when you– I haven’t
read the potato thing, but-
E: You should read the potato thing.
K: Well no, I’m going to, of course. I got to read everything she’s written now. Do you feel pressured by people within the community when you
don’t write about disability?
C: Not to the point that it affects my choices. I mean, it was definitely – people were surprised to see something else. I’m a staff writer at a
website. If they want me to write something, being on staff means that you’re going to get all sorts of different assignments. It’s nice to be able to flex different muscles, and it’s not like writing the potato thing or like any of the other stuff. I’ve done a couple of different articles about magazines and things like that. It’s not like any of those things has alienated the people that are reading my disability stuff. I’ve sort of been able to walk that fine line, and the only time I’ve ever been able to walk a fine line in my life because cerebral palsy makes that very hard. I’ve been able to do that without much trouble. I think that that’s a function of my position at Autostraddle, and also just the vast majority of the things that I put out for them are disability related. Maybe it would be different if the balance was different, but for now it doesn’t. I know and everyone else who reads anything that I write knows that I’ll be back to disability stuff sooner or later, so none of that input has really affected my decisions about what to write.
E: I’m thinking I might need to also try writing something about potatoes and see what–
C: See what happens. People have a lot of shots. K: Do it.
C: Yeah.
E: Yeah, I definitely have thought about branching out, but then I’ve also… I guess this is the flip side. I don’t know; it’s somewhat correlated. If I
have not produced something for a while, I feel like a slacker. Whereas you’re a staff writer so you stick to a schedule. I used to have a biweekly column for the Center for Disability Rights and I did that for a year. This constant stream of producing became so immensely exhausting to the point where I was like, “Do I just need to make up something about discrimination that happened to me so I can write about it, so that I can have an article topic?”
K: Did you do that?
E: Never.
K: Oh God.
C: That’s unethical, but yeah I know. I get it.
E: I would never ever do that.
E: Do you know… I’m talking about it more of the feeling and a sentiment, not as something I actually did.
K: No, I understand, but just for a minute you really caught me off guard.
E: Yeah, I know. I realize how I said that was like, whoa. No, I would sit there and I would be like, oh my God, I feel like I just need to
manufacture an instance of something so that I can just get this article out there. I mean the good and/or bad thing about disability, however you may look at it, is that something always came up on its own.
C: Yeah, that’s the thing, right? I mean I’m dealing with that very same feeling right now, as we speak. That’s kind of why the original series that
I did for Autostraddle and I’m still doing is, it used to be all personal essays and now it’s sort of become disability related articles of various types, and that was why. I sort of, at some point, reached the end of what I felt like I could write essays about at that moment, and I took it in another direction because I had deadlines to meet. I completely get that. That’s especially been a thing for me since the election. I haven’t really written any big personal essays since the election, because I’ve just felt depleted. I think as a lot of people have by that experience, and so I completely understand. I know that I have to get back on that horse and I know I want to, but it can be hard to sort of drum up that stuff even though, like you were saying, things randomly happen of their own accord all the time, and you’re like oh, right, ableism is real, so I’ll always have something to say.
E: Yeah, it’s one of those things that comes in handy and is also the most annoying thing in the world. Like it’s great if you’re a writer or a
podcaster and it’s also terrible. Especially after the election, I felt this pressure on myself which is ridiculous, and it was a purely internal thing where I was like, now more than ever it would be a good time to use my writing voice to write something about disability and Trump. I have pages and pages and pages in my notebook of an article that I kept planning to put together and then pitch. I was just feeling so out of words at what should’ve been a critical moment to be talking about it, but I had written enough that Buzzfeed ended up saving the day by coming to me and being like, “Hey, do you want to part of a compilation piece,” and I was like–
C: Oh right yeah, I saw that. That was a great piece.
E: Yeah, they did such a good job of curating it and putting it together and getting really diverse perspectives, and I was just relieved to be involved
honestly because it took the pressure off of just me trying to say something profound. It’s not like anyone was sitting there being like, “Oh, is Emily going to say something profound about the election?” It was more like, I feel like the least I can do as a disability activist is put my voice forward for the greater good in this particular pivotal moment.
C: Right, totally.
E: We kind of sorted that all out through the podcast instead. C: Right.
E: It’s easier to talk than to write.
K: That is true.
C: It’s so true, yeah, solid.
E: But I appreciate what you do, Carrie, and how you are bringing something fun to the conversation around disability because that’s the
whole thing.
K: Yeah, like it’s a good point actually. We’re no fun as a people. No, I mean it’s a bad thing to say, but it’s nice to hear something different,
and I don’t know. It’s just a rare thing to come by in our world.
C: Well thank you. I mean that’s great to hear because I do try really hard as part of the general accessibility of the things that I’m writing. Sort of
put everything in a conversational tone and make sure that I am sort of- – it’s like when people sneak vegetables into smoothies or whatever. I try to do that where it’s like this isn’t just a fluff piece or this isn’t just me like putting together like a funny flow chart about what it’s like to try to have sex as a disabled person or whatever.
K: That flow chat was– I’m sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt you. C: No, it’s okay.
K: That flow chart was like the most legit thing I’ve ever seen. It was
awesome. C: Thank you.
K: It was great.
C: Yeah, I mean it’s things like that, that it’s funny and fun. That didn’t take very long to put together because it just made me laugh the whole time, but there’s a real lesson there. If you go and look at that, it’s like, oh this
is a commentary on sexual exclusivity among able-bodied people and how hard it is to sort of break into that environment and whatever. Just trying to like put a spin on things that people want to read and will make them laugh while also dropping some truth bombs is sort of what I’m aiming for, so I’m glad that that is happening.
E: Yeah, especially because I am recording this after just getting home from a date. I feel like-
K: Oh, that’s right?
E: Yes, so I’m like good I think–
C: Excellent.
E: It was good. I think it was good and–
K: Emily?
E: Yes.
K: Use your microphone on Skype. You unmuted it. E: I did?
K: The outgoing.
E: Oh no.
K: It’s all right, don’t worry, sorry.
E: Oh my goodness.
C: It’s okay.
E: Okay, wait, am I still like going?
K: No you had it and then you ended it again.
E: Did I fix it?
K: No. There you go.
E: Yes.
K: Oh, you’re still echoing.
E: I’m trying to talk about my date and you’re ruining everything. K: Sorry you kind of sound like Darth Vader.
E: Cool.
C: It’s right.
E: I like Darth Vador. I don’t know why I’m echoing, but yeah. I went on a date. It was pretty cool. It was with a nondisabled guy. I was stressed
out about that. I would like to write about that more without breaking the anonymity of the random guys who were subjected to my storytelling after I go on dates with them. I seriously want to be more open to writing about that sort of in the same way that you’ve shared personal sex and relationship experiences through your writing. That is something I aspire to. I just got to pull the anatomy.
C: I would definitely read that if you wrote it, so let that be the motivation you asked for.
K: Yes, do it, Emily.
C: Right? Thank you, Kyle.
K: Also, if we ever do a follow up to our sex and relationships episode that we did when we were just a little, it was-
E: Our baby podcast.
C: Yeah, you were wee at that point, yes.
K: We should have Carrie on again.
E: I would like to talk more thoroughly about sex and disability because quite honestly when we attempted it the last time, I’m not sure we
actually said anything about sex.
K: It was so vague. It was terrible. It was –
C: I’ve done that a bunch of times. I’ve gone on sex shows and just ended up talking about ableism with people for an hour. It’s weird, yeah.
K: It was so bad.
E: It’s all interrelated, but yeah we got to do better about actually talking about sex, but it’s also hard because I don’t really mind sharing my
experiences so much, but I don’t really want to incriminate anyone else. C: For sure, yeah.
K: I don’t care.
C: Oh good. At least one out of the three of us is like eh.
E: Yeah, we’re fine. No, but I once wrote a piece about the worst date I have ever been on, and people figured out who it was about. Even
though I put no identifying details, someone knew that I had gone on a date who told someone else who told someone else, and then it got back to that guy and he was so livid that I wrote the article. For a minute I felt bad and then I was like, “No, you were a jerk. You deserved it.”
K: He sucked.
E: It’s hard because I want to put my life out there in the hopes that it’ll resonate with someone, but I also don’t want it to come back to bite me
in the butt.
C: Sure. I mean and that’s a risk among all writers who write about anything personal, right? It’s such a delicate thing, and you really have
to figure out what your personal boundaries are. That’s been something that I’ve had to negotiate also, like that kink piece. The only reason that I could write it was that that girl and I hadn’t been together for like two years at that point. It was long done and I had a lot of perspective on it, and it wasn’t something where… I’m much more hesitant to share those sorts of details about my current relationship that I’m in right now because that’s ongoing and it’s a living thing and I want to protect that and it’s important to me. Your ex that you’ve been broken up with for two years, it’s like, oh well, I’m not particularly like concerned about how this is going to affect our relationship because we no longer have one anyway and–
E: Yeah, so that’s where I guess I shouldn’t worry so much about writing about failed dates or past experiences.
C: I get that. I mean it’s a really… it’s tricky. Especially like you said, like everybody with the internet especially, people can always figure out
who you’re talking about somehow.
E: Oh yeah, and I have like 5 million things I want to write about my ex who was my first serious boyfriend, and I was with him for two years
and we’ve been broken up since 2013. You would think that by 2017, I should be able to write about him, but the problem is that every single person in the disability community, I feel like seems to know him somehow.
K: You’ve also said his name on the show, so if you write– E: I have. Hi, Steven. What’s up, Steven?
K: Come on, don’t do it now. Now you really can’t.
E: Hi, Steven. Oh please, like he’s listening to this?
K: He might. You never know.
E: Yeah, he’s with his girlfriend and their two stupid cats. I’m not bitter.
K: That is stupid.
E: I’m not. Anyway.
C: I also wonder if the woman in that essay of mine has read it. I’m 95% sure that she has, but I’m also really happy that I can’t definitively say for sure whether she has or not. I feel like that’s the perfect balance because you’re like well it’s out there and we know enough people in common, and as a fellow queer person, you know enough people who are affiliated with Autostraddle and its attendant communities that you’ve probably seen this. The best part of all is that I don’t know because you’ve never contacted me about it. I think that’s like the sweet spot of like probably, but I’ve never had to deal with it personally, so I think that’s the difference.
E: Yeah, and I always wondered if my ex had seen some of the stuff that I’d written because he does factor into certain things that I’ve written or
talked about. For a while I had him blocked on Facebook, and to be quite honest, I just unblocked him like a month or so ago. I was like if Donald Trump can win the election, I can say hi to you. That was literally what I said to him. I was like if the world is ending anyway, hi, how are you doing?
C: Hello. Let’s make this right.
E: I wouldn’t even say we like made it right, but now he has potential access to things that I do and say, but it’s also been three plus years, so
he can deal with it.
C: Right yeah, exactly. I think that’s the statute of limitations is that.
K: I was on another sex and disability podcast where I went really into a lot of… and I’m sort of… you made a good point, Carrie. I wonder if the
people involved in those stories have listened to it. I doubt it.
E: I have a great idea. I’m going to get the link and send it to all your ex- girlfriends.
K: Please don’t do that. That would be the worst thing ever. C: It’s like a game to figure out which story’s about you.
E: The best part is that I know all of Kyle’s sex stories, so-
K: Yeah, this is great. Now this is fun.
E: I could just play match the girl to the story.
C: Nice.
K: Dude you make me sound like such a word I don’t want to bleep because–
E: He’s not. Don’t worry, ladies. He’s perfectly monogamous. Anyway, this got-
C: Well, nothing wrong with a little polyamory. E: There you go.
K: There’s nothing wrong with it.
E: Only if it’s mutually decided upon.
K: Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Just not for me.
C: Ethical non-monogamy, as they say.
E: Yes.
K: Is that what it’s actually called? That’s really like– that sounds like legalese. I like that.
E: Yeah, ethical non-monogamy.
C: There you go.
E: I like that actually a lot better. That’s kind of cool.
K: Than what?
C: Dispatches from the queer community. There’s our terminology. You’re welcome.
E: Word of the day, no, for the rest of the day. Wow we got so off the rails. How do we do this every time?
K: We’re just terrible at ending things. Yeah, my final takeaway is I learned the correct way to refer to polyamory. That was cool.
E: My final takeaway is that Carrie’s super great, and you should read all
her work, which we’re going to link. K: Yeah.
C: Thank you guys.
E: This was fun. I’m just going to tell everyone listening that we had absolutely no idea what we were going to talk about when we started,
but I think some of our best conversations come out of that.
C: Yeah, I mean I think it’s a conversation, right? So you just kind of have to let it go where it’s going to go and that’s great.
E: Well, a lot of people have said that when they listen to us, they have a conversation back with us and they’ll talk to the podcast. That’s what
we’re trying to do here is just let people know that they’re not alone in all of those inner monologues that they’ve had with themselves.
C: Right.
K: Yeah.
C: There’s a bunch of ethically non-monogamous people out there who were like, “Hey, that’s me.”
E: Raise your hand if you’re ethically non-monogamous.
K: You can’t see them, but we know they’re there.
C: We know you’re there guys.
E: We recognize you and respect your existence because we love everyone on this podcast. Is that a cheesy enough note to end it on?
K: I mean, I’m sure we could get worse, but yes.
E: Anyway, for real, thank you for being with us, Carrie.
C: Oh, thank you for having me. This was awesome and I love all of the work that you both do, so this has been a real treat.
E: Love Fest.
K: I’m blushing.
E: He is, and can you tell us and our 8 million listeners – that was an approximation – where they can find you on the inter-webs?
C: Sure, so I am on Twitter and Instagram @wadetheory, so like my last name and then theory, like music theory or string theory. I am also, if
you go to and search for Carrie, my author page will come up and that will bring you to every article that I’ve written about disability stuff and potatoes and everything in between.
E: And Hillary Clinton.
C: And Hillary Clinton, there’s a lot of great stuff.
K: Hillary Clinton is definitely in between disability and potatoes.
C: Yeah, so solid middle ground.
E: I’m going to end it right there. Right there. Okay, and that was another episode of The Accessible Stall.
K: Bye. E: Bye.