Today January 12, is National Take The Stairs Day. This day challenges people to adopt healthy habits in a new year, starting off 2022 by taking the stairs. As a full time power wheelchair user, I have to admit that upon hearing about this day, I felt really left out and excluded. There are so many ableist undertones here, I am not quite sure where to begin: is being ambulatory and walking the only way to be healthy? It presumes that being able-bodied is the norm, and that any accommodation is laziness. Ugh, good riddance, right?
But then I got to thinking about our mission at Bump’n, and how we strive to bump the barriers to pleasure out of the way, and I remembered all the times that I tried to go on dates with guys, or just go to bars and meet someone and I couldn’t because of stairs. When I was in college, I got asked out by the cutest guy to go to this little bistro and spend a romantic night together. I got all dressed up, and I looked the epitome of deliciously disabled, only to get there and discover the whole bar had stairs. The guy ended up bailing on me because he realized then that if I couldn't access the spaces he wanted to go, we probably shouldn’t date. How many of you part-time or full time wheelchair users have experienced this - trying to enter a socio-sexual space, like a bar or a club to try and get your gimp on, or get to know someone, only to be met with stairs? Too many times to count!
So, while I think that if you are able to take the stairs and you want to do that for yourself, you should! But, I also think that we should have “National Need a Lift Day” to highlight the importance of elevators for people who need them. And also, think about how many famous kissing scenes there are in movies that take place on TV and in movies: Mer/Der in Grey’s Anatomy, Fifty Shades of Grey, or even Sleepless in Seattle. Do you think Tom Hanks would really want to kiss Meg Ryan if he had to walk up all those flights of stairs? Not a chance! I jest, but more seriously, we need to take a look at how days like National Take The Stairs Day are excluding so many disabled people from the conversation, and we need to remember that making out in elevators with your disabled lover is hot sh*t!