The Disabled People Destroy SF Print Books are HAPPENING! Plus Personal Essay: "Disabled Enough" by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
You Magical and Magnificent Space Unicorns!
You did it!!!
The Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction/Uncanny Magazine Year 4 Kickstarter reached the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction PHYSICAL BOOK STRETCH GOAL! Everybody who backs for just that or at $50 and above is getting a FANCY BOOK!
Thank you, Space Unicorns. You are the best.
We only have 59 hours left in the Kickstarter, and we're not done!
If the Kickstarter reaches $50,000, every backer will receive access to an exclusive Rachel Swirsky Patreon story!
If the Kickstarter reaches $55,000, we will do a Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue!
Here is today's new Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction personal essay (edited by Nicolette Barischoff). These essays, much like their counterparts in the previous Destroy Kickstarters, will feature disabled creators sharing what it is like being a disabled person in the science fiction community.
Shine on, Space Unicorns.
"Disabled Enough" by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
The other day, someone asked me if I felt like I “count” as disabled. A lot of people don’t. A lot of people feel like they aren’t disabled “enough” to claim crip, to claim disability, to claim party to this community, to this issue, to this world.
I said yes.
Not everyone would agree with me, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
We are enough. You, me, all of us.
We are disabled enough.
People have been asking us if they qualify to write for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, if their perspective has value, if their disability counts for qualification.
We talked a lot about this before the Kickstarter, and I’m sure we’ll continue to reassure people after it ends in a few days.
But you are enough.
Disability is not a one stop shop for definitions. Partially blind or fully blind. Visibly disabled or invisibly disabled. Any form of disability at all.
The only restrictions we have are these:
Are you currently disabled? If you are, then you can submit.
Do you consider yourself disabled? Great. You can submit.
There’s no test to pass, though you’re welcome to tell us about who you are and what your disability is in your cover letter. There’s no kind of disability that we’re limiting it to. We want your stories, your perspectives, your opinions. Dominik and I are not waiting here with a list of who can and cannot submit, of what does or doesn’t count.
Because the only person, at the end of the day, who can make the decision of if you should or shouldn’t submit is YOU.
Ableism likes to tell us that there’s only one thing that disability looks like, that there’s only one way to be disabled. It has lots of definitions, lots of arguments for who “gets” to be disabled. It’s one of the ways in which ableism functions, to keep us apart, to keep us squabbling over who gets a pass into the disabled community.
I’m not going to look at the submissions and ask questions. I don’t have a checklist. I don’t have an agenda. What I have is a goal to share as many stories as possible.
So, when we open for submissions in 2018, don’t let ableism tell you whether or not you can submit. Tell YOURSELF that you can.
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry is a partially deafblind speculative fiction writer and disability activist. Her short fiction is included in Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling, Fireside Magazine, and Ghost in the Cogs. She also writes for tabletop roleplaying games and was part of the ENNIe award-winning staff for Dracula Dossier. Her nonfiction has been included in The Boston Globe, Uncanny Magazine, Terrible Minds, and many other venues. She teaches disability representation at Writing the Other, and recently spoke at the New York Public Library on this topic. She is the Managing Editor at Fireside Magazine. She has a Masters in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and uses it to critique media representation of disability from all mediums.