Is your boyfriend in a wheelchair too?
Can you have sex? You know, can you feel down there?
Do you have a license for that thing?
I always get, “Has it got a horn?”
> Do you play wheelchair basketball?
> I feel like that’s everyone’s standard if they see someone in a wheelchair. “Oh, you must play sport!”
> Are you going for the Paralympics?
> I used to play wheelchair rugby on the weekends and it’s no big deal. But people are like, “Oh, are you going for Tokyo?”
> My brother, he plays for England, wheelchair football. And it’s really actually patronizing to him because people come up to me and say, “Oh Kel, have you thought about joining the team?”
“So, what happened to you?”
> Where do I start with that question?
> I’m like, I haven’t DONE anything. I was born.
> I’ve told people I got attacked by a shark.
> … I was in a car and it did seven flips and it exploded and I lost a leg.
> One that I say to people is that yeah, I got hit by a wheelchair.
“Can I have a go?”
> I hate it. I hate it so much. It’s like, where am I going to go while you have a go?
> They expect me to stand there for 5 minutes while they wheel around in my wheelchair?
> My wheelchair probably cost the same as, probably double, more than some people’s first car. Sooo, yeah. I’m not letting you near it.
“You’re so brave!”
> Yeah, when you get like drunk people in a club, “You’re so inspirational, you’re so brave!”
> It’s always, “High five!” Or, “You’re so brave… It’s good to see people like you out.”
> Complete strangers come up to me, tap me on the head, without permission, and say, “Oh, you’re so brave.”
> Just because you’re a convenient height they start leaning their hands on you or on your wheelchair.
> Or the pat, the pat on the head.
“Do you work?”
> Yeah, I have that all the time.
> I’ve noticed that I always get asked, “Do you work?” rather than, “What do you do?”
> Like when I went to apply for a mortgage at the bank, the woman sorta said to my husband, “What do you do for a job?” And Jaz said whatever and she wrote it down. And then she said [to me], “And you’ll be entitled to some sort of benefit, I presume?” And I said, “Well actually, no. I own my own business.”
> They always ask, “So what kind of benefits are you on? Do you get a free car? How much is it? How much do you get paid?”
“You can walk? It’s a miracle!”
> Not all people in chairs are unable to walk. Let’s just make that clear.
> People think that you can’t feel anything, or stand up.
> I might have an itchy leg, so I’ll get out of my chair and itch my leg, stuff like that, and they’ll think that I can walk. I stood up, I haven’t run a marathon, you know, I’m not Usain Bolt.
“Sorry we can’t do wheelchairs.”
> Have you had that when they say, “Oh, we’ll carry it up.” And I’m like, I don’t think you quite understand the weight of an electric wheelchair.
> Also when you go to gigs you’re in like, a wheelchair chicken cage. They put all the wheelchair users together like we all know each other.
> Wheelchair corner.
> When you go into a pub and you know already they’ll have used the disabled toilet as a storeroom. And they’ll go, “Well, we don’t get many of you people in here so we just use it as a cupboard.”
> I go up to pretty much all of them and they’ll just be like, “Sorry love, don’t do wheelchairs.” I’m like, “Well, that’s what your ramps’ for, so can I just get in?” And they’re like, “No, sorry love.” And they would rather drive off then take my perfectly good money.
“Can you have sex?”
> Yeah, that’s probably the most asked question.
> [sarcastically] No, people in wheelchairs are not allowed to do that. They’re not allowed. And they do not know the law.
> They kind of assume that your relationship is really juvenile. And really like, “Awww, bless you, you’ve got a boyfriend!”
> I can’t feel my legs, but that’s fine. But then people like – they ask you questions like, “Can you feel everything around there?” And I’m like, “Why do you need to know?!”
> “He’s looking after you. Awww, he’s sooo good!”
> “And he’s having sex with you? Awww!”
“Do you only date people in wheelchairs?”
> When I say that I’ve got a boyfriend, they’re like, “Oh, is he in a wheelchair too?” Or they’ll just go, “Well, what’s wrong with him?”
> I’ve had this so many times. And particularly on my wedding day, when I was marrying my husband who is able-bodied. My brother, who’s in the wheelchair, was at the wedding – obviously, because he’s my brother – and somebody came up to me and my brother and said, “Congratulations!”
> When it’s just a profile, you’re like, do I put up a picture of me in a wheelchair? Or do I not, because I know that some people are instantly going to say “no” because of that?
> I had a friend who went on a date, who hadn’t put it on her profile, and the guy just left, because he said she’d lied to him.
“That’s awful, I’m so sorry!”
> No, our lives are not awful, and you don’t need to apologize, because you didn’t do this.
> The fact that I’m disabled, that’s the best part of me actually. It doesn’t define me, but it’s just made me into a stronger person I think.
> I think they assume that we hate our lives, we hate our wheelchairs, you know… [they say] “It’s so difficult.” And I’m like, no, my wheelchair has completely changed my life.
Personally, I find it’s what sets me out, just in life. It’s my unique selling point.
> They’re like, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” And I’m like, what do you want me to reply to that? I’m not pitying myself, I’m having a life.