Episode 46: Dating Your Own Kind

Emily: Hi I’m Emily Ladau


Kyle: And I’m Kyle Khachadurian


E: And you’re listening to another episode of The Accessible Stall

K: What are we gonna talk about today, Emily?


E: We’re gonna talk about dating your own kind


K: What does that mean? That sounds racist


E: I ain’t trying to be racist 


K: What are you trying to be, Emily?


E: Just trying to explore the issue out there because apparently some people seem to think that you should be limited to only dating people who share a particular identity with you. 


K: Really?


E:  Yeah. So I should probably backtrack and explain that I got this email from somebody’s whose beginning a dating site that is specifically for people who have disabilities, chronic health conditions, things like that. And we were asked if we would promote it, maybe a mention on the podcast and on the one hand you’d think we be all, “Money money money money!” But on the other hand I was kinda conflicted about how I feel about it, so we’re not mentioning it but we are using the concept to precipitate the episode. Or rather the concept is what precipitated the episode. 


(“For the Love of Money” by The O’Jays playing)


K: Yeah because we actually like debated for awhile about whether or not we should accept the offer and we realized like halfway through our conversation that it would probably make a better episode than discussion. So here we are.


E: So I’ve struggled to articulate exactly why I don’t love the concept, and I don’t think I’m any further along in reasoning, at least insofar as I really can’t explain myself fully but I really wanna talk about it cause I’m super aware that there are so many other dating sites out there that are specifically meant for people of shared identities to connect

K: Yes. Pretty much every segment of the population that you can think of probably has a website or dating app associated with it.


E: Yeah. LIke, do you like underwater basket weaving?


K: I do actually 


E: In that case, do I have the dating site for you! (laughs) But I know that those apps and those sites are supposed to serve a purpose. An example being JDate for Jewish people or Christian Mingle. And that is supposed to bring two people who have a shared belief system and I can see the practicality in that. But when it comes to disability, is that a shared belief system? I know it’s a shared experience but at the same time something feels so different to me abou connecting based on belief and connecting based on a part of your body. Even though I consider disability to be an identity. So I’m all confused and tongue-tied about this.


K: But why, why, where’s the confusion? Because I don’t care. I mean, I don’t particularly love the idea, but I don’t love the idea of dating sites in general so I’m biased against all of them. The site can exist, I just think it’s silly. But I don’t care that it’s there. So where is the issue for you? 


E: It feels self-limiting to me. So on the one hand, I recognize that it’s nice to have a shared and common background. On the other hand, I feel that there’s some sort of message in there that says, “Yeah these people get it so this is all you can get. This is it for you.”


K: Sure, but you don’t have to use it. That’s my thing, like if there were some way to force everyone who has a disability to use it, then yeah I’d be with you like yeah sure, down with it! But otherwise,  you don’t have to use it so….


E: Yeah, I know it’s a choice, but people have suggested to me before you know like, “Why don’t you look up a dating site for disabled people?” And something about that bothers me so much more than someone being like, “Why don’t you look at a dating site for Jewish people?” 


K: Why?


E: That’s the thing, I can’t quite nail down the why. 


K: I mean, I agree that it’s stupid. For me it’s just like I don’t want the only thing I have in common with you to be that we both have a thing. I mean obviously it’s a good icebreaker. CP has been like the greatest icebreaker that life has given me. Even so, that only goes so far man. So like, I think they’re silly but I don’t see the harm in it existing. But I’d also never use one so you know. 


E: I guess the thing is, something that you have versus something that’s a decided identity. So, disability is not a choice.

K: No but it is a decided identity.


E: Exactly. But the same is not the case for something like religion or ethnicity 


K: It absolutely is the same with religion!


E: Wait a minute,  I take that back for ethnicity. I was getting at a different point there. It’s not the same for religion. 


K: Why not?


E: Because it’s not something that happens to you or something that’s in your DNA. 


K: No it’s not, but it’ something that you usually get from your parents. And sure they could choose not to raise you with the religion they have. But that doesn’t happen. If your parents have a religion, the odds of you being that religion are pretty high. Not that that’s a bad thing, I’m just saying, you’re right in that it’s different because it’s not  like part of you in a physical way. But you learn about your faith from such an early age that by the time you’re a person it’s pretty much ingrained in you as much as anything else is. 


E: Right 


K: Again, that’s not a bad thing, but it’s like I find that very similar. I understand what you’re saying, like I understand why it’s different but the effects of it I feel might be more similar than you think. 


E: Well I think there’s a hundred percent similarities. I mean the reason that I said ethnicity was because I had it in my head for another point which is that it makes more sense to want to stay within a particular race or ethnicity because…


K: (scoffs) No it doesn’t 


E: No it does, it does


K: I can’t say that, I’m White, I can’t say that.


E: Oh I don’t mean that for me. 100% no. But if you are of a minority, I can see why it makes sense. Same thing with being Jewish, you want to stay within your minority and like procreate 


K: Okay but you say minority and we like say, “We’re the largest minority” so there you go, why doesn’t it make sense when you’re disabled? I mean, I don’t mean to be playing Devil’s Advocate because I can’t stress enough how dumb I think this is. But I just don’t see where…I just don’t get it. I understand this is the source of the conflict, I mean this is why we’re doing the episode but I really want to get to the bottom of this.


E: Yeah me too. It’s just like in all other cases I suppose I see why it makes to be self-limiting. Or, not all other cases because it’d really, really bug me if someone was like, “Yeah I’m a White person and I only date White people. Gotta keep that White Supremacy race going.” Like no, that would bother me so much, obviously. But then why is it okay for minority identities to be self-limiting like that? 


K: I mean look, I don’t subscribe to any of that, but if you wanna do that like more power to you man, if you really want to do that. But I don’t prescribe to limiting yourself in any way and that’s why I think this is silly. But like you’re picking out disability so…


E: Yeah…because (chuckles) Oh, I hate this episode. 


K: No, no it’s good, it’s good, it’s good! I just really wanna figure this out.


E: Yeah no seriously, leave this is even though I said I hate this episode! Because I’m so frustrated by not being able to get to the bottom of why this is bothering me that I’m having trouble articulating everything else.


K: Well…Okay, so we’ve established that if you want to it’s generally okay to limit yourself to your kind of people, if you want. But for some reason, disability is weird, I  don’t agree with that. I think that if you want to date within your disability, then more power to you. I find that silly. I can tell you in my life the only thing that CP has done is make the other person understand if they have CP too. But like, you don’t  only date people with Larsen’s Syndrome. 


E: Well first of all that would be almost literally impossible given how rare it is.


K: Still though


E: Okay I get your point…


K: The last time we tried to do this you said “Wheelchair User” but then that would be like me saying, “Well I only date people who walk!” And that’s not true either, so.


E: Although there is this constant assumption that I face, and I’m pretty sure that even though I can’t quite articulate what bothers me, it’s internalized ableism. And the reason that I say that is that I get so frustrated when I mention a guy to somebody and their first question is, “Oh is he also disabled? Oh, does he also use a wheelchair? Oh does he have disability too?” And part of me wants to say that I suppose I understand because it’s the same logic I guess as when my grandma is like, “Oh is he a nice Jewish boy?” You know, that would be a reasonable Grandma question to ask. But there’s sort of like this assumption that that’s all you can get. You can only date someone who’s disabled because you’re disabled, and therefore just date your own kind. 


K: I don’t…I understand that. But I just, the way to combat that is to not do it if you don’t wanna do it. It’s not, you shouldn’t do it if you do wanna do it which is who the site would be for, right?

E: Right. I think that my issue with the site is not even with the site. It’s more of an issue with the implications. Cause, it has larger implications for me because I’m constantly encountering people who are like, “Why don’t you look for somebody else who has a disability?” And I have no problem dating somebody with a disability, in fact I would say that my best relationship was with somebody who has a disability. And I learned a lot from that relationship about myself and how I perceive my own disability and how the world perceives me, blah, blah, blah but I didn’t actively go looking for a wheelchair user. I wasn’t like, “I’m gonna look for a wheelchair user because that’s all I can get.” I was like, “I’m really attracted to this guy who uses a wheelchair.” And if anybody used this logic on me and they were like, “You’re not disabled, you’re just a person that uses a wheelchair,” I’d be like, “Shut your mouth because no, I’m a disabled woman and that’s part of my identity.” But for some reason my own logic isn’t translating to my dating life.


K: You don’t practice what you preach, I do man, I don’t care!


E: It’s just that I wasn’t attracted to said ex-boyfriend because he was a wheelchair user. 


K: Who thinks you were though, I mean where’s that logic?


E: I think a lot of people assumed that we were together because we were disabled. I really, genuinely believe that. 


K: I believe that you believe that, but I would posit and say that perhaps and say, “Hey, you too, huh?” But that’s as far…it doesn’t, at least for me. Maybe it’s different if you use a wheelchair, but you know, that’s as far as CP goes and like, that’s a lot. We talked about this with Ashley a couple weeks ago, like CP will make a best friend out of someone at least in an hour, more if you give it a week. But you know, that only goes so far because once you’re done talking about CP, now you gotta know the person.


E: Yeah like that’s the thing, in every instance of dating sites that are meant to bring you together because of this identifier that you have in common, I sort of feel like the larger point is missed sometimes in that you can’t just have one identifying aspect in common and expect it to work out. And I know the dating site doesn’t assume that’s what’s going to happen, but I think that a lot of people superficially makes that assumption. 


K: Yeah but that’s really like saying, “Yeah, I met my fiance on JDate and the only reason that I’m with her is because she’s Jewish too!” That’s ridiculous, no one would think that!

E: Yeah, no and that doesn’t happen. But like…


K: Ugh, I don’t know I don’t know!


E: Nobody ever said, “Oh you can only get a nice Jewish boy. Oh, because you’re Black, you can only date someone else who is Black” Like no one else experiences those assumptions


K: No, do people say to you you can only get a person in a wheelchair? Or are you afraid that people think that?


E: I’ve had that said to me. Yeah, I’ve basically had that said to me  and implied that because I’m disabled, I basically should stick to other disabled people cause that’s pretty much all I’m gonna get.


K: No man, I mean look, I love me some disabled people like some of them are really hot as sh*t but like, that’s not, I don’t, that’s not a thing I look for. If it’s there cool, if it’s not cool, but it’s not something that enters my mind. It just isn’t. And I guess that’s part of my semi-passing privilege I suppose


E: Yeah 


K: Or it’s part of the fact that I don’t use disability as an identifier for anything but this show. Um, but it’s not a factor in my dating life. Period. It just isn’t, like I’m totally…I understand you, but it’s just like you’re talking past me. 


E: Yeah, and I think that it’s okay that we have different experiences with this. I mean, dating is something that’s unique unto every person, but there have been times where I go through this period of frustration and think that I should just go look for another disabled guy and it would make my life so much easier. But then I realize that I have equally terrible luck with disabled guys so whatever, man!


K: I was gonna say, would it actually? I don’t think…


E: No! 


K: Even if terms of, let’s say you get one, right? You catch one in your wheelchair person…


(Emily laughs) 


K: And now you’re dating someone in a wheelchair and now you have to think about accessibility times two. Like I’m not saying it should be harder, but certainly it’s not easier is it? It’s easier within your relationship maybe, but everything else I would say like looking in, not using a wheelchair  I would guess that it’s probably a little bit harder. 

E: Easier and harder. You know, there were definite pros and cons. There was no feeling of embarrassment or frustration when I couldn’t do something, but then there were feelings of frustration and embarrassment when people would objectify us and make comments about us. So perfect example being that we were chilling on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial, the top step obviously because we’re both wheelchair users and just like everybody else, literally like every other couple, we were being couple-y and I had my head on this guys shoulder. And somebody came up to us interrupted our nice moment and says, “Excuse me, I just wanna tell you guys that you are cavity inducingly cute!”


K: (Scoffs) Were you though?


E: Yeah but like so was every other couple, so we weren’t doing anything that every other couple wasn’t doing. And then I think here in lies the problem of dating someone with a disability when you  also have a disability. I was like, “Oh that’s so annoying and objectifying!” And he’s like, “I think it’s sweet.”   


K: I agree with him!


E: Yeah well, he clearly is not in my life anymore and you’re about to be next so…


K: Yeah he’s the worst!


(Emily laughs)


K: Well here’s something interesting so I have dated people with CP before, and there’s inevitably a part, it’s usually before we’re actually dating but it’s in that grey area between friends and like, “Hey what are we?” You know that spot that everyone’s in sometimes.


E: Thanks for just describing my entire life always


K: Yeah. But it’s always that weird gray between friends and “Eh, I don’t know!” That you have the conversation, at least for me, where you go, “Hey, not to be weird or anything, but how much of why you like me is because I also have CP?” I have had that conversation, not that I’ve had that many experiences, although I’m sure that by listening to this podcast you might assume otherwise.


E: Kyle’s a regular Don Juan


K:  No, you are terrible, I am not! But if the person I wanted to see or was seeing had CP there was always that moment where it was like, “Hey…so…” And like, the split over who would bring it is fairly even. But it’s always reassuring to know. Because the best answer to that of course is, “No, of course I don’t like you because you have CP! That’s stupid!” But somehow, it has always come up but it’s not only  always come up but it’s always been completely necessary. There was always that sigh of relief from one of us that was like, “Oh thank God! We can continue!” 


E: See this is where our experiences differ again because I’ve never had to have a conversation like that. 


K: Yeah no, I know and it comes from not having  I guess that much CP because it’s never happened with wheelchair users


E: No, no. Like, when I engaged in any sort of romantic relationship with somebody in a chair it’s never like, “You’re in a chair, I’m in a chair, let’s do this” And it’s also like never been in a point of conversation like, “Are we only doing this because we’re both in chairs? That’s never happened.”


K: And yet, that’s what you think people think!


E: Yeah 


K: And I think that’s very interesting. 


E: Yeah, it’s this weird internalized nonsense that I can’t get rid of. I don’t even know that I want to call it internalized ableism, just internalized nonsense because


K: I don’t know man, it’s genuinely fascinating to me, like that’s so interesting, cause it just like doesn’t happen. And I’m not saying that in a bragadocious way. I cannot say that word!


E: Why’d you do that?


K: Without thinking..I know! We were having a perfectly good conversation, and I said a word that the President  has said and now…(laughs) No, but I’m serious I’m not saying it in sort of a way to brag about it, I’m just saying that my experiences…


E: You’re dating life is Big League! (laughs)


K: Not it’s not. No, no, It’s more like, uh…I was gonna say Little League but that’s got implications so I don’t uh…


E: Oh, like Big League Chew? Like you  get chewed up and spit out? You know, the bubblegum? 


K: It’s not…no! That’s depressing, I don’t know, I don’t know, leave me alone!


E: (laughs) Never, Kyle! Never.

K: But, the topic of disability. I’ve had more in depth conversations about having CP when the person who I was dating didn’t have it. But I guess that makes sense cause then they’re all curious about how it affects my life. 


E: It’s a weird conversation to have.


K: No I love it, I love talking to people about CP that don’t know what it is. I love being the person that they meet and like learn it from. It’s so invigorating and it’s great.


E: Nah, then people will like Google Larsen’s Syndrome and it’s super clinical. 


K: CP too. Like I’ve told this story before when I met my first friend in college cause my social skills were stunted in high school and I told him that I had CP because he told me that he walks fast. And I was like, “Oh yeah I walk slow cause CP!” And I outed myself, and he immediately asked me how I have sex with people. And it didn’t for some reason that one time it didn’t raise a red flag. And I told him, I said when you go home and Google this, that’s not me.” And the next week he was like, “I have more questions and I remember what you said.” And it was really cool.


E: See, this is why I always say in my dating profiles or depending on the profile, app, whatever I would say “You can feel free to ask me questions.” Cause I’m open about my disability on my dating profile and people don’t wanna ask me questions because they feel like it’s rude. And it;s not rude! Especially not if I’m giving you an opening. 


K: See I get the reason behind why someone would think it’s rude, but if you…LIke I’m the kind of person where if you tell me I can ask a question about something obvious that we both know I’m dying to ask about, you better get a notebook because I will ask everything! And you know, not in a douche-y way, I’m just a naturally curious person. So that’s why I don’t mind when people ask me about CP, I definitely don’t mind answering as long as I’m not busy doing something. 


E: Yeah, I  definitely don’t mind answering questions and in fact would encourage people to ask me more questions in the right context. Because then maybe it would demystify disability and make dating easier but it’s like sure dating somebody with a disability is easier because there’s less questions but there are still questions because every disability affects people differently. And I guess that’s the other thing…You can be an Orthodox Jew, Conservative Jew, Reform Jew, Reconstructionist, whatever. There are certain sects of Judaism and I know I’m going back to this but I feel comfortable using it as an example because it’s also part of my identity. So, there are only so many types of Jewish that you can be


K: Like actually, or to you? I’m genuinely, I don’t know.


E: No, like actually. There are different types of Judaism. I mean Judaism mean something different to everybody but there’s only so many types. Whereas, I would argue with disability just like with Judaism it is unique to every person but there’s like an infinite range of disabilities out there. 


K: Yeah but, not  really. I mean, yes. But if you’re using disabled as an identifier, just in same way that you would use your faith as one, Even if you’re two kinds of Jew, and I don’t know what that would be, but you do so fill in the blanks in your head, you have a pretty good idea of what the person believes and I would say that’s even more true with disability. I really believe that. And that’s part of the reason why I don’t honk the identity horn.


E: A Reform Jewish person would not date and Orthodox Jewish person. Or you would, and somebody gonna get pissed!


K: Okay, well I stand corrected but my point still stands. I think that the word “disability” carries an absolute set of beliefs. I would even say that to a some degree it’s almost like a secular faith. Not in like a Church-y way but…


E: Oh yeah, we definitely have a Church of Disability. We do.


K: Oh do you? Okay, well  that’s the thing. 


E: No, no I’m saying like I think that there’s a Church and we indoctrinate people.


K: I would agree with that but I’m saying that in like an actual religious context. I mean like there’s clearly when you identify as disabled there’s like a Doctrine. Like if there were a Bible of Disability…


(Emily laughs)


We’d have already written it and handed it out to people! That’s not a bad thing, I’m just saying like it’s part of the reason why it doesn’t give with me. Not because it’s a secular religion, just because I just don’t…It’s not me, it’s not me, I’m more of everything else except that. It’s just not me, man. That’s gonna be like the part that gets heat for this episode (chuckles) Not all this crap we’re saying about comparing Religion to Disability.


E: Oh no, I can definitely imagine people being pissed off at me for like twenty different things I’ve said in this episode. 


K: Yeah well, we really don’t mean to compare real Religion to Disability but it’s sort of an apt comparison in the context of which we’re talking about the word “disability” in terms of an identity. 


E: I really thought discussing this would help me make sense of it but I’m still left completely baffled by my own problems.


K: Why though? Cause especially, cause you’re the one who said, “Oh we’re definitely like a religion.” So like, if you can draw that…I was being facetious! But if you could, and I’m sure were to some degree. If you can make that connection, then surely you because you like justify the existence of JDate right, then what’s the difference? 


E: Because I’m still sympathy yelling at everybody to just accept the humanity and the personhood of disabled people that I don’t think society is evolved to a point where the fully recognize Disability as an identity as much as I like to tell everyone that it is. And why I recognize Disability as an identity, I think I’m still at the point where it’s like, “Emily’s Brain Vs, Society.” And to me, what I think about is how other people are perceiving a relationship from the outside which is, “You poor disabled thing, you should be dating some other poor disabled thing, because that’s all you’re ever going to amount to or get in life.” Whereas, my personal view of disability is contradictory to that and is like, “Yeah like I am proud to be Disabled and it would be great to date someone who shares that Disability Pride.” So my perception of myself is at odds with my perception of how I think other people see me. And I know that’s ridiculous, but it’s reality! 


K: No it’s not, not it’s not! It’s not ridiculous at all man, because the word “disability” has a stigma attached to it, and that’s also part of the reason why I don’t identify with it because to me if I tell you, “Oh I’m a Disabled ™ person, then you, even if you don’t about the “Church of Disability” you already think of less of me whether you know it or not. And yes, not my fault, society’s fault, but why would I put myself through that? Why would I voluntarily use a word to describe myself that when I say it, immediately puts me at a societal disadvantage, when I don’t have to. That is a completely different question.


E: Of course, yeah that is a whole different issue. But it gets to the crux of the issue in some ways because I can be “Rah Rah Disability Pride!” as much as I want, but the problem is that most of the people I’ve encountered have made the suggestion to me that I should look for another disabled guy to date. They’re not doing it because they’re like, “Yeah, Disability Pride!” That’s the thing…You know what? That’s what it is! 


K: Cool, now that we’ve gotten to the bottom of that, I propose a question to you: Would you rather date an able-bodied man that believes in Disability Pride who is “woke” to disability issues, or would you rather date a disabled man who just doesn’t care and is just himself? What matters more to you? 


E: That’s really hard, and I don’t think I can answer, which I know is a copout 


K: Really?

E: But it depends on so many other factors about the person.


K: I gotta tell you something, I didn’t think that would be hard. I thought you would absolutely say that the person who gets Disability Pride, whether or not their disabled would be…I mean, I’m not putting words in your mouth. I really thought that was going to be your answer.


E: No because I don’t demand that someone see disability in the same way I do, but I do ask that they respect the way that I see disability. So I think…but at the same time, I feel like maybe that was a little bit of a tension point in my previous relationship because I was just starting to become….


K: Oh, you weren’t there yet?


E: Not previous…You know, the one where I was dating the guy in a wheelchair.


K: Yeah, yeah. Wow that’s interesting. 


E: Um, I was just starting to…What?


K: That’s sort of interesting because that would’ve been like the real life example of my question and yet, you weren’t quite there.


E: Yeah I was just coming into my own with disability and the more Activist-y person that I now am.


K: So exhausting. I don’t know, I also have the privilege of not being so obvious with my CP so like if I’m dating someone with similar CP it’s not like they’ll look at us and go, “Oh look at them they’re so cute when they wobble when they walk!” 


E: I would probably say that to you though (laughs)


K: You would because you see it. But like, someone else will probably not…I’m not saying it’s completely invisible because it’s not. Because if you’re just walking down the street you’re not gonna look at me twice, and you’re not gonna look at someone who looks like me twice, unless you think we’re cute. But it’s not gonna be, “Wow look at them they have CP how cute!” “It’s gonna be, “Wow look at them they’re really attractive people.” 


(Emily laughs)


K: I’m being a little conceited right now, but you know what I’m saying? No, no,no like it’s different when I don’t have a 400 lb tow attached to my butt.

E: I know what you mean. And yeah, I feel a little bit relieved that I finally articulated exactly what’s bothering me, which is….


K: Oh could you say it again?


E: Yeah. So I really wanna be conscious and intentional about how I say this. I am somebody who has pride in who I am and who counts disability as an identifier. If I was to date someone else with a disability, to me it would not be a matter of thinking that’s all I can get, but rather that I’m attracted to the person and they’re disabled. And I think the outside perception of Disability right now is that disability is all you can get when you have a disability. You should stick to your own kind because nobody else is going to give you a chance. And I think that when people make the recommendation or suggestion to me and arguably the tone that I get from the few mediocre disability related site type things that I’ve seen, or attempts at them. It all just seems to be about, “We know you want love, we know you’re not finding it amongst the able-bodied people so here, settle for this and we’re gonna help you settle. If somebody came to me and said, “Here is a dating platform that is centered around being proud of who you are as a Disabled person.” I might think about it a little bit more. 


K: Nah I really wouldn’t join that sh*t! I really wouldn’t join that sh*t! (laughs)


E: Honestly, I still wouldn’t because I hate being self-limiting so…but I’d be more okay with it. 


K: That, I agree with you. I agree that that that stigma that like we are only dating our own kind cause that’s all we can get? LIke that’s nonsense! It’s like, “No this chick has CP or whatever and she’s cool.” It’s not because she has CP, and it’s not because I think that this is, “Oh well, we’re both at the bottom at the barrel and you’re here and I’m here,  so let’s do this!” You know, that’s stupid, that’s dumb! And in fact that’s making that all that you are as a person and making it your medical diagnosis, like that I’m 100% in agreement with you that’s a stigma that I will help smash. You know it’s a bad thing and it should be eradicated. But there’s still like no problem dating someone with a disability whether it’s yours or not or without one, it’s fine! But I realize that I might be a minority in that regard. 


E: You’re part of the world’s largest minority


K: (Sighs) I don’t want to be. It’s fine, yeah. But like, that’s all it is, it’s fine!


E: So strange. Because you love educating people, have no problem answering questions, do this podcast, and you’re like, “I don’t even wanna be disabled!”


K: It’s not that I don’t want…Dude!! I don’t want you to look at me differently and you will if I use that word to describe myself. I’m sorry, I know it’s a bad thing, I know it’s a societal thing but you’re lying to yourself if you think that’s true! And I know yo do, and I know that that’s part of why you do it because you’re reclaiming the word and it’s like, “Look at me I’m not ashamed of this!” And I’m not ashamed of it, but I’m just saying why would I start myself on a lower bar if I don’t have to? And I don’t have to! 


E: I’m trying to juggle reclamation with my own personal irritation with how people perceive the word, It’s really not easy!


K: You don’t have to defend yourself, I get it, I understand! I just don’t do it myself, it’s just hard for me to do it. There’s not enough benefit in it. 


E: This is definitely a whole other episode if we really wanna dive into it.


K: Yeah, no we should really do another episode on this for sure. 


E: All that said, I feel better now, I just think I needed to have the conversation to have a clearer picture of what it is that’s driving me up the wall about the concept


K: Fair enough


E: And I’m not settled in my views yet, but I think I can start to articulate it a little better. 


K: You can’t even commit to what you believe?


(Both laughing) 


K: No, that’s okay, that’s totally fine. 


E: I have tons of convictions but in some areas I just can’t.

K: I mean look, if you don’t change your beliefs no matter what they are at some point in your life, then you’re not really growing. Like everyone believes something new or changes something they used to believe, you know. That’s what growing up is. 


E: Do you count that as your final takeaway because that was just beautiful and profound.


K: Well, no. I got that from a blink-182 song. My final takeaway is date whoever you want (laughs) Don’t limit yourself if you don’t want to, or do if you do want to, I don’t care! Just be your best self. 


E: Mine is don’t be like me and let society get in your head.


K: No, I definitely agree, do not be like Emily!


E: Because, spoiler alert it’s not working out for me. No I don’t think my view on this particular issue is why dating is the worst thing ever. 


K: I don’t care, I’m so carefree.


E: You’re not carefree Oh my God, you care about so many things. You get worked up about the smallest little thing.


K: No, no of course I do. I have beliefs and convictions and faith in things. Just not this thing, which is why this is the greatest podcast ever. I’m just saying that in my life things that definitely would have been dealbreakers for people that I know have not been dealbreakers for me because usually, underneath the differences which tend to come in religions, faith or political beliefs, sometimes both. Underneath that, usually was a shared, like our morals were the same, our values were the same and although they manifested themselves differently because we  were the same or similar enough morally that even though they came out differently in terms of actual belief, it didn’t matter. And I realize that’s not a thing that a lot of people can do, but because I can do it I think that’s why or at least part of the reason why I believe what I do about this particular subject. 


E: And this has been another episode of Why Kyle Is Superior To Everybody Else. (laughs)


K: I am not superior, I am just saying. I don’t think I’m that weird…in this regard


E: I’m glad you clarified “In this regard” because you are very weird. 


K:  Oh no, I will concede to that, I am a strange person. But you know, not about this. I think I have a decent head on my shoulders when it comes to this sort of thing


E: You keep telling yourself that, sweetheart. Um, but for real I’m glad we were able to talk this out and this episode has been the result of what happens when we don’t just shut up and take the money. 


K: You know what, Emily? I think we should’ve taken the money.


E: No! Makes for a better conversation


K: Plus we get to keep our dignity which definitely keeps our lights on.


E: Yup. Dignity is what I use to pay my electric bill


K: We pay our transcriber in dignity!


(Both laugh)

E: Thanks for listening


K: Goodnight everybody


E: Bye!


K: Bye