Expectations Vs. Reality (An Essay from 2015)


This is a new series that I am doing where I find old essays I wrote for college, and I am republishing them here. Some of the compositions are rough, some of them are random, but I thought this would be a fun place to publish some edited versions of these old English papers. I hope you enjoy them!

Expectations vs. Reality

The Cinematic vixen ( Marilyn Monroe) and The Hottentot Venus (Saarrtjie Baartman), both women, were sexualized and fetishized before they could even open their mouths. Saarrtjie Baartman is a woman molded and made into a spectacle because of her black skin, her body on display for the masses. Marilyn Monroe is a woman made by the men of Hollywood studio system, they changed her name (Norma Jean) her “look” (i.e., clothing, hair color) and made her into every man’s fantasy. Poets, Jackie Kay and Sharon Olds poems play with society’s expectation of the sexualized female’s physical body and image; and how society reacts to the reality of these women’s humanity.

In Jackie Kay’s poem, Hottentot Venus the men’s sexualization of her body is menacing, “You can see the moulds of my genitals as the Musee de l’Homme—Paris; the rest of me is here now, Natural History Museum, my brains, my wooly hair, my skeleton.” (Kay 2.1490) The men take pieces of her, break her apart and ship her to different corners of the world; Her identity solely based on how they want to perceive her. “Not so long ago people paid handsomely to see my rump, my apron, my non-European genitals. Two Schillings.”(Kay 2.1490) Kay is showing how this woman is seen only as this exhibit, a thing, a body, that they own and pay for so they can poke and prod. Kay depicts that she is more than that, that she wants more “I said the English words I’d heard them say so often. Money. Freedom. My Boer keeper smiled.” (Kay 2.1490) Its heartbreaking this poem, she wants out, but her lack of mastery over the language of her oppressor is taken advantage of like she and her and her body are held captive. The expectations of a sexualized female’s body in Sharon Olds poem The Death of Marilyn Monroe are based on what’s not said. She was no longer a seen as a normal woman at the height of her fame but became a sex icon. What Olds does in her poem is to take all those preconceived notions and images the reader has seen of Monroe, the idolized figure, and turns them on their heads. The men in the poem represent society’s view “The ambulance men touched her cold body, lifted it, heavy as iron,”(Olds 2.1279) When the men touch her, and the reality of the situation hits them, Olds portrays Monroe’s body as the opposite of sexy. It’s dead, heavy, and burdensome. One of the ambulance men moves her hair out of the way; “Moved a caught strand of hair, as if it mattered,” (Olds 2.1279). He is still clinging to the image of her in his head like if he moves that hair back in place, she will become that icon again, that fantasy. The authors of these poems show that the expectations the men held do not quite fit with the reality that they are faced with.

The image vs. reality. What society puts out for the world to see despite what is there, is something both authors, Kay and Olds decide to play with within their poems. “Let them view the buttocks of the Hottentot Venus. My heart inside my cage pounded like a single drum.” (Kay 2.1491) Kay uses the dichotomy of the Hottentot Venus’ image and the reality of the woman, Baartman behind it, who is scared and nervous of the hoards of men waiting to get a piece of her. All while, still reminding the readers of why the men are there, to exoticize her blackness, Kay pushes this imagery by saying her heart ‘pounded like a single drum.’ In Olds poem, the image of Marilyn Monroe is like a ghost that haunts the text. “These men were never the same.” (Olds 2.1279) The men within the poem are dealing with the way they viewed her before and the reality of what she really was. The old adage “Never meet your heroes” always comes to mind, they are disillusioned by her death disturbed even that she, the woman of every man’s dreams, can also die, and that she wasn’t perfect. That in fact, she was an ordinary woman.

Expectations are funny, they have a way of always leading to disappointment, whether it be disappointment in the crushing truth of said expectation as it was in Olds poem The Death of Marilyn Monroe or the disappointment of when your expectations become a reality like in Jackie Kay’s Hottentot Venus. In Olds poem, they’re broken by the idea that she was in fact human. Just a normal flawed woman. “Their lives took a turn—one had nightmares, strange pains, impotence, depression.” (Olds 2.1279) Seeing her dead body was something that physically wrecked them. The change in so radically different from what they envisioned, rocks them to their very core to the point where they are physically affected. Olds humanizes her by showing her in this vulnerable state. Her previous iconography no longer something important, death makes her like every woman these men know. “One found himself standing at night in the doorway, to a room of sleep, listening to a woman breathing, just an ordinary woman—breathing.” (Olds 2.1279) The sudden awareness of the humanity in women, the fact that Olds is showing an awakening to these men’s psyche’s that maybe there was more to Marilyn than sex. In Hottentot Venus, that realization never comes for the men depicted. They reject any notion that she is any more than what they need her for. “Some things I will never forget no matter how I am divided up: the look on the white lady’s face when she poked her parasol into my privates.” (Kay 2.1490) There is no hesitation to violate her, the white lady sees no problem with her actions whatsoever, the poem goes on; “Her gloved hands. Her small stone eyes. Her English squeal of surprise at my size.”(Kay 2.1490) She lets out a “squeal”, the image of the word “squeal” provokes the thought of delight and astonishment, the White lady takes pleasure in what she is doing. Baartman isn’t ever seen as a woman in this poem. Or even as a human being by the people that come to view her. She is treated worse than an animal, her humanity rejected and treated as if it never existed. Kay, the author, lets the audience see the real her she gives Baartman a voice in which we can see her as she really is. “I was wearing a thin skin coloured dress. Hottentot Venus. Don’t miss the Hottentot. Now, what name have I got? Sarah Bateman. Like a English woman. A great actress.” (Kay 2.1491)

In both poems Hottentot Venus by Jackie Kay and The Death of Marilyn Monroe by Sharon Olds the authors play with society’s expectation of the sexualized female’s physical body, and image; and the reaction of society to these women’s real humanity. In the case of Olds, she takes the death of a sex icon and ignites life to her humanity within the men that handle her remains. While Kay shows the humanity of Baartman through the inhumane things that she is put through. Both women depicted in these poems are fetishized and are seen as nothing more than what their bodies have to offer. But the authors gave them back their humanity with their words.

‘Bojack Horseman’ Goes Where No Other Show Will

TW: Article Contains Mentions of Abuse and Physical Violence.

I became a fan of Bojack Horseman when my brother told me I should check the show out. Before then I had seen the ad’s on Netflix for this weird animal based cartoon series every so often, but I wrote it off as one of those odd animated shows Netflix was working very hard to make me watch.

I was hooked after Will Arnett’s gruff voice, and Bojack’s foreign horse/human body graced the screen. He was apparently drunk, and a hot mess. Two things I could definitely relate too, I marathoned the entire series in one sitting. What started off as a deft satire on Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the society that is built around its celebrities, and films; became a dark and viscerally uncomfortable story about a horseman, his troubled childhood, and his unraveling present.

Netflix released season 5 of Bojack Horseman this month, and it continues on its grand tradition of us, the audience watching as the lives of its characters spiral, into deeply human experiences. When I watched this season, I was taken aback by how emotional every episode is. Several storylines this season stuck out for me. From Princess Carolyn’s struggle with adoption, and juggling her job; To Todd coming to terms with his new sexuality and how that affects his want for a partner.


Netflix Bojack Horseman

Watching Bojack gave me conflicting feelings, feelings I think the writers of the show wanted to stir up in viewers. Bojack is a self-defeating self-saboteur. He works hard to win over people, gain their trust, and create excellent opportunities for himself and then in one swift moment he destroys it all. I identified with this side of Bojack, as a writer I suffer from imposter syndrome, which is defined as “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.”  I often get in my own way, and lose out of experiences or don’t even try to put myself out there. Watching Bojack Horseman is often like having a television show drag you for all your weaknesses. But my confliction comes with how incredibly dark this season became.

Bojack is the character you hate to love. He is a narcissist, egomaniac, sociopath, that doesn’t care about anyone, and that includes himself. But the one thing I wasn’t ready to add to the list is an abuser. In season 5 Bojack in a drug-fueled rage takes a scene of him choking his co-star and lover Gina,  and makes it a reality. It isn’t until the crew, and Mr.Peanutbutter pulls him off that we see how violent his intentions were. When watching this moment I was in shock, I was sure the show was going to go that extra step and make Bojack the villain he has been spiraling towards since the 4th season and have him kill Gina.

Bojack didn’t remember choking out his co-star, and now that videos of the incident are going viral it’s up to Princess Carolyn to try and clean up the mess for the sake of their show. Bojack Horseman does an excellent job of mirroring the complacency and compulsion the industry has to protect abusers to make sure their bottom line stays intact. Bojack is handled with kid gloves, Princess Carolyn won’t let him see the video and reassures him that the footage isn’t that bad, while she schedules a PR visit with Bojack and his victim/co-star Gina on a talk show. The main focus of everyone is to cover up the incident until Bojack sees the footage and tells Gina he will come clean. This moment is pivotal, I thought, “Yes, take responsibility for being a shitty guy!” But then Gina remarked on how her career was finally taking off because of the show they are on.  How people finally started to pay attention to her acting, but “All of that goes away if I become ‘the girl that was choked by Bojack,’ […] I don’t want you to be the most notable thing that happened to me.”

Bojack Gina and Biscuits Interview

Netflix Bojack Horseman

In that one moment, Bojack Horseman summed up a choice no victim should have to make, but a decision that is made daily. If victims speak up and name their accuser, demand justice, they are often branded with a scarlet letter of sorts. Tossed into the shadow of their abuse and no longer able to do the work they did before. Just think about all the countless victims in the #metoo movement who decided to stay quiet for the same reasons as Gina did. Gina had to choose between having the agency to control how the public and Hollywood viewed her; or justice, which is the messed up reality of the world we live in.

It’s not a topic many shows will step so boldly into, and the fact that this animated show from Netflix is taking a leap into this territory is exciting and emotionally exhausting to watch.  Bojack Horseman is a show that everyone should be paying attention too. It’s funny, insightful, smart, and cathartic. Season 5 is a dark ride that has the shows trademark humor and levity sprinkled in. In a way, Bojack’s descent into darkness mirrors the world we find ourselves in today. Hopefully, Bojack finds his way back into the light in season 6 and brings us with him.

Vampires and Women: Octavia Butler and the Literary Canon (An Essay from 2015)

This is a new series that I am doing where I find old essays I wrote for college, and I am republishing them here. Some of the compositions are rough, some of them are random, but I thought this would be a fun place to publish some edited versions of these old English papers. I hope you enjoy them!


Vampires and Women

Octavia Butler’s novel Fledgling, written in 2005 was a force to be reckoned with. Butler, who is an acclaimed Black female writer in the science fiction and fantasy genre, wrote the first of what would have been a trilogy though she had died in 2006 before she could finish the last two novels. Fledgling is about a Black female vampire named Shori who wakes up alone in the woods, with no memory of who she is or what she is. Throughout this book, she is tasked with rediscovering her roots and making connections with forgotten family members along the way. Butler’s novel Fledgling and the short story Bloodchild should be included the canon of Women’s Literature because it deals with the complex issues of love, sexuality, and friendship within the literary veil of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Octavia Butler is a Hugo, and Nebula Award-winning author. She became one of the first African-American women to gain fame within the genre of science fiction. Gilbert and Guber, writers of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women stated; “According to many feminist and African American scholars, Octavia Butler transformed science fiction conventions by grappling with the racial and ecological problems that today confront all human beings.”(Gilbert, Guber 1307) Not only did she tackle the robust ideas of race and religion, but also her writing deals with the views of love, sexuality, and friendship heavily.

The theme of love is prominent throughout this book. In many of Butler’s works, her depiction of love tends to be on the unconventional side. Renee/Shori’s (the protagonist in the novel Fledgling) relationship with Wright is the perfect example of the theme. Wright finds her walking on the side of the road, and immediately Shori/Renee feels drawn to him.

“I surprised myself completely by instantly wanting to go home with him. I went around to the passenger side of his car and opened the door.”(Butler 8) This moment isn’t quite loving yet but an infatuation a longing. Shori/Renee is a vampire, she is a woman alone, small, and has lost all of her memory. But in her the initial contact with Wright she holds power. Shori/Renee has agency of herself and knows that she has the power to control the situation. She sees Wright and her infatuation is determined and based on her extreme hunger. But after she feeds, she feels a deeper connection; “He tasted wonderful, and he fed me without trying to escape or to hurt me. I licked the bite until it stopped bleeding. I wished I could make it heal, wished I could repay him by healing him.”(Butler 12) Similarly in Octavia Butler’s short story Bloodchild while unconventional, love plays a major role in that text. The story that takes place in a colony on another planet. We follow a family who is dealing with the struggles of cohabitation with another alien race called the Tlic. Gan, a boy chosen to be a carrier of T’Gatoi’s young. “‘Yes.’ I leaned my forehead against her. She was cool velvet, deceptively soft. ‘And to keep you for myself,’ I said. It was so. I didn’t understand it, but it was so. She made a hum or contentment.”( Butler 2.1320) In both the short story and the novel, there are examples of complex relationships. Relationships that aren’t easily defined, Butler, use the genre of science fiction and Fantasy to manufacture relationships that on the surface seem strange and “inhuman” but show a complexity of love that transcends into something relatable to the reader.

In Fledging the theme of sexuality oozes through. Nothing goes hand and hand with vampires more than sexuality. In the novel, Shori/Renee has to have what they call symbiotes to survive. Symbionts are what vampire’s call the humans that they choose to be in their, family and they feed on them to survive. They need around three or four to make sure they have a healthy rotation (pun intended), to not bring any harm to their humans. The act of taking blood is depicted as a very sexual experience. When Shori/Renee first meets Wright (her first symbiont), they immediately participate in the ritual. “A moment later, I bit hard into the side of his neck. He convulsed, and I held on to him. He writhed under me, not struggling but holding me as I took more of his blood. I took enough blood to satisfy me…He sighed and held me, leaning back in his seat and letting me lean against him.”(Butler 12) The act of taking blood can be a metaphor for women being able to partake in sexual fulfillment and not be ashamed. She says she is “satisfied,” Butler uses that word to bring emphasis to her fulfillment.

The relationship between Shori/Renee and her symbionts is one she gives full agency to them. In the case of Celia and Brook (two of her new symbionts) who both were apart of Shori/Renee’s father’s, and brother’s family, who were both murdered. Because the bond between a Symbiont and their Ina (Vampire) is for life, (they are physically bound to one another) Shori/Renee gives them a choice on whether to join them or not. “‘If you know any other Ina, and you would prefer to got to them, you should do it now, while you can,’”(Butler 108)

Butler gives all her female characters agency in their relationships. She has Shori/Renee present the offer, instead of having her bite the two girls without their consent. The relationship between the Symbionts and their Ina (vampire) isn’t just one based on sexuality alone. Octavia is sure to show the development of trust and friendship throughout the novel, depicting a loving relationship between all members of Shori/Renee’s surrogate family. That isn’t often seen in literature between male and female characters. Shori/Renee’s family is one made up of Wright (male), Celia(Female), Brook (female), and Joel (male). Butler uses this odd family dynamic to show the difficulties of human relationships and especially the challenge of friendship between genders. “I glanced at Brook, feeling almost angry with her. ‘Ask me questions when you want to know things. Tell me whatever you believe I should know. Complain whenever you want to complain. But don’t talk to other people when you mean your words for me, and speak the truth.’ She shrugged. ‘All right.’”(Butler 122) Butler shows the hard part of relationships, especially new ones. They doubt Shori’s strength and ability to protect them. In this, she lays out the rules for Brook and doesn’t shy away from saying the hard stuff. But after this rough patch, Butler shows the friendship and trust beginning to grow. “ ‘ I didn’t ask what you knew. I asked whether you believe that I or my people murdered my families?’ He glanced back at his fathers and brothers. ‘I don’t. I don’t even believe you could have.’

‘Then stop scaring my symbionts. If you have questions, ask them.’

‘You’re a child,’ one of the older men said. ‘And the two women with you are not your symbionts.’

I looked at him with disgust. He had already heard me answer this. I repeated the answer exactly: ‘They were my father’s and my brother Stefan’s. They’re with me now.’”(Butler 145) Butler uses the line “They are with me now.” Twice in the text, Shori/Renee takes ownership and then claims them as her family, friends, and lovers. At this moment in the story, she truly accepts her matriarchal role in this mismatched family.

In the short story, Bloodchild friendship is depicted as between characters as something strained. In the world she creates, friendship doesn’t thrive due to the circumstances of colonial life. “One of my earliest memories is of my mother stretched alongside T’Gatoi, talking about things I could not understand. Picking me up from the floor and laughing as she sat me on one of T’Gatoi’s segments. She ate her share of eggs then. I wondered when she had stopped, and why.”(Butler 2.1308) This failed friendship, and the burgeoning one in the novel shows how Butler’s writing seeks to introduce readers to the idea that there isn’t just one side to personal relationships. But several levels that can’t be defined by pure emotions. Both Fledgling and BloodChild show this dynamic of love and family in its genuinely complex form.

Octavia Butler’s novel Fledgling and short story Bloodchild should be in the Women’s Literary canon, because of what the texts add to the literary canon in regards to the themes of love, sexuality, and friendship. Butler uses science fiction and fantasy to show the complexities of life through a fantastical lens. Her use of unique relationships and her new handling of would be stereotypes; Is what makes her a writer that should not only be included in the canon of this survey class but also in the broader canon of Literature.

Works Cited

Butler, Octavia. “Bloodchild.” The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women – The Traditions in English: Early Twentieth Century Through Contemporary. Ed. Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007. 1307-320. Print.

Butler, Octavia E. Fledgling. New York: Seven Stories, 2005. Print.

M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007. 57-65. Print.

Me the night before my second spine surgery.

Shit Happens…

So I have had two spine surgeries within three months and I have been bed ridden six months out of this year I think.  I had been growing my hair out and I was even able to install faux locs, which looked so good. But the stress and the incredible, agonizing pain I was in made my Fibro flare up, which flared up the subsequent tactile allodynia, and made having hair hurt again. I couldn’t be in that much pain that I couldn’t control and then have the head pain which I could control. So I shaved my head again. So I’m back to being bald and lovely.

The Black Bibliophile Podcast Logo.
The Black Bibliophile Podcast Logo.

The cabin fever is intense at times. I haven’t been able to sit up for more than 3 minutes for six months. I lack the money to purchase a proper chair. I have been reading and trying to keep up with The Black Bibliophile Podcast. Which can be daunting at times because of all the formatting and research. My last two episodes have been me just talking about books and throwing my segments to the wind. I think this next episode I’ll try to get back to formatting as usual. I wanted to get back to writing also. I haven’t written a creative story in so long.

I have just been writing articles and think pieces. Which is fun but I want to get back to the science fiction stories I was so good at writing. Or at least thought I was good at. I finally finished my first zine it’s called The Cosmic Egg. It’s got all the poetry, short stories, and personal essays I’ve written in the past five years all in one 32 page booklet. I wanted to put it all together so I can move on from those stories and start new ones. It marks the end of one life and me starting another.

The Cosmic Egg Zine.
The Cosmic Egg Zine.

Financially we have hit a wall. The store is struggling because of the construction next door. This new building not only blocks the view of our apartment but it completely obscures the view of our shop from the street. So we have less foot traffic in the store. We wanted to move the location of the store but all our efforts were thwarted. We are young and so is our business. Many retail store front owners do not want to lease us their space.

So we might have to close for a month or so to find a new location for the store and to move into a new place ourselves.  It’s a lot.  All I can do is lay here and try to heal. I’m three weeks out of surgery. I can walk to the bathroom, walk up one flight of stairs (Slowly) and I can brush my teeth.  So it might be awhile until I can actually manage to help my business and household.

The world doesn’t stop. I can’t even attempt to describe my feelings on 45 and the chaos he is inciting. I’m just tired.

So look out for more zines and short stories. I’m going to try and keep the blog posts coming and keep anyone who cares updated on my life.

Tall Grass

The wind calls out from under

That never-ending blue sky.


Tall thistles sway back and fourth.

The dry tan of their bodies reflecting the bright sun into our eyes,

I lay underneath the telephone poles and wires, buried out there in the tall weeds.

The electromagnetic waves most likely eating my brain. I dream of far away oceans of static.

buzzing swells, pulsating white black dots.

I see wisps of fluff crawl across the sky. My fuzzy ocean dreams fade, and I dream of Stars.

Far reaches of space, black and starry-eyed I swim through dark matter.

It clings to me like a baby clings to its mother. We dance, we spin, nebulas kiss my cheeks as I twirl by.

Comets light my way.

Mermaid moons and me in the tall grass.

Waiting to be set free.

Let the worms eat me, let the soil have its fill. Let the stars drink me in.

All want me.

Standing Up, For Yourself

I am standing in my store because it is physically too painful to sit. I have 5 herniated disks in my spine and one of my disks is pushing on a nerve that goes down from my butt to my right and left legs. The best way to describe the pain is, imagine the most painful charlie horse you’ve ever had, now imagine that no matter what you do it won’t stop cramping. This goes on for weeks and only gets worse. It’s a literal pain in the ass.

The pain is so bad that I can’t write any fiction. I can’t build worlds because the pain is all I can think about. I am falling behind in all of my duties because my leg constantly feels like it is being chainsawed off.  I go to doctors, they give me pills and stretches, and a recommendation for physical therapy.  I have had this back problem for 7 years. If pills and stretches were going to help I feel like they would have already.

My fiance and I went to see John Wick 2 this past weekend, I love Keanu Reeves, I’ve seen every movie he’s made and the John Wick series is by far my favorite. Sitting down for five minutes is absolute agony. That movie is around 2 hours long and the only way I could get through it was on a cocktail of muscle relaxers and pain killers.  I don’t want to be high all the time. I want to find a way to deal with the pain without medication. But at this point all of my doctors keep pushing medication at the problem and aren’t in any way concerned about fixing the issue. Like they say, there isn’t any money in a cure.

I’ve done injections, physical therapy, yoga, pilates, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and everything else under the sun and nothing helps. I was finally after years of being told I was too young reffered to a surgeon only to be pushed back into the physical therapy/ injections loop. It’s inferiating to be told what my body needs. I have no agency when I walk into the doctors office. I am told what I feel, how I feel it, and that I am basically being dramatic. Even though my X-Rays, MRI’s, and CT Scans say the problem is gradually getting worse and preventative measures are no longer working. But when I bring this up it is just me “not giving the system a chance”. The system has fucked me for my whole life. I have had to fight for every diagnosis, and every bit of mediocre care I have received.

But instead of you know, listening to me, the patient. I am stuck at 25 using mobility aids such as a cane and wheelchair, and in constant intense pain.  This last ER trip I was in the emergency room for 3 hours crying uncontrollably because of the pain. Only to be taken back and be told I should try losing weight ( I had lost 60 pounds prevoiously and immediately dislocated my spine, proving that the fat was possibly holding my back together. Like some kind of burrito fueled glue.) , I should try injections, this told me that the doctor didn’t read my chart but then began to treat me as if I was a drug addict. Like me wanting some kind of relief from the intense pain was a crime. I had to prove to him, in-between tearful gasps, that I  was an upstanding business owning citizen. To make him feel better about easing my pain. In what fucking world does a patient have to convince a “doctor” to do their damn job.

This is my life.

I now I have to schedule an appointment with my primary to be able to convince him to refer me to a neurosurgeon. I don’t understand why I have to negotiate with medical professionals to get help so I can live my life without being in an insane amount of pain. It’s absolutely ridiculous and completely exhausting.


Con Fatigue

Every time I go to any convention I know, I will physically pay for every conversation I have and every booth I visit. That’s the price when it comes to my disability. This latest Con, the Long Beach Comics Expo was a special one because we were able to participate in our first panel, but it is going to go down in my memory as the Con I didn’t use my wheelchair.

I am a part time wheelchair user. Now I know when some people hear “part-time” it brings up thoughts like; “If she only needs it part-time why does she use it at all?” or “She must be lazy.” I get this a lot as a person with an invisible illness, and as someone who needs mobility aids part-time. There is a stigma for guys like me who can walk short distances but do need the help of a wheelchair or cane, or any other device when moving about for extended periods of time.

Now with that said, at Long Beach Comic Expo I was unable to bring my current wheelchair because I had outgrown it. That’s just a fancy way of saying I got fat and couldn’t  squeeze into the chair, and can’t really afford a new one. So I decided I would just take my cane and make it work.

I was in so much pain that I couldn’t really think straight most of the time. I had to lean on my fiance, on random booths, and at one point I was slowly hunching forward, subconsciously trying to get some weight off of my back and legs, to alleviate the pain. I looked like Zorak from Space Ghost, using my hands to balance all my weight onto my collapsible cane.

The Convention was fantastic, the people I met were smart, fun, engaging, and I learned so much from the panel experience I had.  But my takeaway was the fact that there was literally nowhere to sit in the exhibition hall. Not a chair or a rest area for disabled people or older people, or just people who need a break from running booth to booth. Every spot to sit was either outside ( it was raining a lot of the time this weekend), the lobby entrance area of the Convention Center, or if you found a well-situated planter out front.

With every convention, I go to I am constantly reminded of how non-inclusive the experience is when it comes to disability. There are no rest points or well-placed signs for elevators,  and no quiet spaces for people who suffer from sensory overload. Now I was lucky enough to know individuals in artist alley who let me sit at their booth to rest. But it’s not entirely fair for those who don’t have that privilege.

Now I’ve heard arguments against this topic that go like “Then maybe you shouldn’t go to Conventions.” I shouldn’t have to forgo the things I love to do because of my disability and the organization’s inability to accommodate me. I think it is in the best interest of any major event to be as inclusive as possible. So whether or not I can fit my big ass into my wheelchair is irrelevant, because there should be suitable rest areas available to me.

It’s a topic that is always in the back of my mind when I enter any convention. It’s always a struggle when in 2017 it really shouldn’t be. But alas it is, and I am sitting here reaping the benefits of not having proper places to sit all weekend. My back is shot, I can’t walk, and I most likely will be spending part of my afternoon in the emergency waiting room.

This is the second time I have written about inaccessibility for disabled people at conventions (See SDCC article for BGN), and I will continue to share my experiences until I no longer have to.  Now with that, I need to lay down.