Paddy Smith, a disabled gay man from Ireland opens up about how he struggled with being gay and disabled, reports GCN.
Paddy was born with cerebral palsy in his legs, and. as such, has to walk with crutches. He became an activist for the disabled because people in his life would doubt him, saying things like "you're not going to be able to live a normal life." He noticed that many disabled activists were concerned with changing laws, but Paddy was focus was much more personal – he didn't find himself attractive or worth anything because he is disabled.
When he started dating, he realized that many people tend to go mostly for looks and ignore the personality aspect of a person. They would ask him if he can even have sex and take pity on him, saying that being disabled must be rough. Because of this, he never felt that he fit into the mold of being a gay man. He noticed that the people whom he was dating treated him like a baby or a general fragile person, which he attributes to them not finding him attractive. And it is true that disabled people are often treated like babies. I would know – I too am gay and disabled and I know just how truly frustrating it is to be coddled constantly.
Wanting to hide his disability, he relied on the partial anonymity of dating apps, but when he revealed that he is disabled, they would ask him "how disabled" and cut off contact with him. Once he did an experiment on Tinder in which he spoke with five different men and told four of them that he was disabled but didn't tell one. The four that he told all made excuses to not meet him. When he met up with the one that he didn't tell, there was an element of shock at first but they had a great time.
Paddy came to the realization that some people will never give him a chance because of his disability but others may, so he started posting disabled pictures. He now has a partner that sees his disability as a secondary characteristic, as it should be.
Paddy Smith is definitely an inspiring person, as he taught himself to be happy with who he is despite being disabled and he showed that confidence in oneself is truly the stepping stone to having a good relationship with others, whether they be platonic or romantic. Having a disability shouldn't define anyone, as being disabled is just a part of the whole person.